(I Hate Records)
We have another re-release from the Root catalog and this time it is 'The Book' which originally was released in 1999. I am a little confused why the re-releases are not coming out in chronological order but I am sure the band and/or label has their reasons for this? With this being the bands 5th full length record you can hear a progression in their sound. Starting with the vocals of Big Boss, as distinctive as ever, here he stretches his lungs and his range turning in a deep well rounded and charismatic performance. I guess one could state they are less black metal sounding than in the past. I mean I still find 'The Book' to be a dark and hypnotic record but I think it is fair to say Root are more of a shadowy atmospheric heavy metal band in these days. It is impressive to see a band changing directions and doing it so seamlessly while keeping their dignity and quality largely intact. Now if you really nail me down and ask which is better, I have to be honest for me the early albums are better but the quality still displayed here is undeniable and Big Boss pulls the album through. They have taken things in a much more epic direction and feel. It is even a little quirky (folk type influence? - check out the track 'Corabeu' for confirmation) at times and can take a little getting used to. You will need to invest some time into this album to fully take in the art of sound woven into this release. Once again I Hate Records leaves no stone unturned and we get as a bonus the pre-production demo versions of songs like 'The Curse', 'Lykorian', and 'Corabeu'. I have just read on the Root website that they plan to record and release a new album entitled 'Heritage of Satan' this year, so keep an eye out for that. They released their first demo in 1988 and here they are still going strong today.