Root Hell Symphony and The Book

Root Hell Symphony and The Book
When Florida and Scandinavia were busily turning themselves into metal nerve centres, bands like Root were toiling away in Czechoslovakia and other parts of Eastern Europe, flying under the radar for most of the international metal scene. Sweden's I Hate Records is now re-releasing several Root albums, giving voice to the band's early obscure material. First up in the series are 1992's Hell Symphony and 1999's The Book, demonstrating Root's dramatic '90s evolution. Hell Symphony is a chaotic, unpredictable agglomeration of extreme sounds. It opens with powerful instrumental thrash but then lashes out into raw black metal, old school death, synth horns, spoken invocations, technical speed and barbarian warrior chants. By The Book, Root had developed a much more coherent direction, heavy and bombastic, but more consistent and melodic in their experimentation. The Book is still weird, slipping into eerie atmospherics or an odd bizarre tangent, but it's also more compelling, a strange, doom-y, mystical and almost progressive fusion. Demos and live tracks are featured as bonuses on each record, delving further into Root's evolution. This is more than enough to make the band's next project worth a listen. (I Hate)