Released: 2013, Nuclear Blast
My fellow Metal writer, colleague and friend Adrien Begrand were discussing reviews and lists as consumer guides and so I thought it would be a good time to get caught up on some higher profile double Live albums that are available. Many fans don’t automatically get live albums but if Granny is asking what you want in your stocking this Christmas, these should be easy for her to find! This month I have reviewed Live albums by Kreator, Rhapsody Of Fire, Sabaton and Testament. Feel free to enjoy al the reviews in this mini-feature.
Technically this is the bands 6th live release, but really only their 3rd full-length live album and in my mind this is the biggest and best of all of them. They had a couple of Live EP’s and an expanded, reissued version of one of those live EP’s. Their first live album, LIVE AT THE FILMORE was at a lower point in their career and came out on their own independent label in 1995. It’s quite rare now and I consider myself lucky to have a cassette copy. 10 years later in 2005, they had a poorly executed contractual obligation album, LIVE IN LONDON, for Spitfire Records. So here we are in 2013. The band is riding a massive high and they have finally released the ultimate Double Live album on a good label, the live album we have been waiting their entire career for, THE DARK ROOTS OF THRASH.
19 cuts of metallic bliss, over an hour and a half with cuts spanning a good chunk, but not their entire career. They have, perhaps wisely, opted not to play songs from what some people consider the darker years for the band (namely the 90’s) and songs from SOULS OF BLACK, THE RITUAL, LOW and DEMONIC. There is not as much crowd interaction as Mr. Charles William is known for chatting to the crowd, but they have to make cuts from the running length and it is often the in-between song banter. The set is pretty relentless and streamlined. No super-extended guitar solo, no drum solo, no cover tunes, no jam, no medley, which is somewhat disappointing for me, because those are components that bring the personality of a band to life on stage. However, Testament has never really been a band to do all that stuff, so it is understood. The sound is great, and the band is on fire.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Testament over the years (about 10 times!) and this is a great representation of where they are now. For all you collector guys, this comes in various versions, CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, combinations thereof and various special editions. This is the first Testament album I truly feel is essential not only for fans of the band but all Metal fans.