Released: 2011, Agonia Records
Expectations can be tricky. If an album meets lofty expectations, or exceeds low ones, it can be hailed as a masterpiece (or at least a very good listen). The flip side are the albums that fail to meet expected standards and are considered major disappointments, even if they are still solid pieces of work. Sadly, that's where I sit today with the new Root album. I've heard for years what an underground genius this band is, in particular the enigmatic front man, Big Boss. To date, I've not had the chance to check out the band's music and, now that I have, I'm quite underwhelmed.
True to what I've been told, THE HERITAGE OF SATAN is a twining of black and traditional metals, wrapped in a black metal philosophy (of the type exemplified by the first wave); at times it is extremely impressive, as on opening salvo "In Nomine Sathanas". Black metal's sonic influence is easily identifiable, bracing these often quite traditional-sounding metal songs, lending the songs an interesting, evil, vibe. Of course the most unique piece of Root's sound is Big Boss' vocals which are unlike any other singer in metal. His bassy, evil tones are sung aggressively yet surprisingly cleanly - definitely an original.
With all of this going for them, you'd be forgiven for making the assumption that Root have created an astounding album. They have not. Much of the album comes off as dull and uninspired, confirmed by the presence of two boring spoken word bits clogging up the proceedings (the first track, "Introprincipio" is particularly irritating - a five-minute waste of time!).
Unfortunately THE HERITAGE OF SATAN is nothing more than an “OK” release – it’s not actively bad, but there’s nothing inspiring here. It might be of interest to long-time Root fans, but I’ll be passing it over and going in search of the band’s older albums instead.