The Dark Roots Of Thrash is a Live Blu-Ray from the American Bay Area Thrash Metal band Testament, capturing them on the touring cycle for their Dark Roots of Earth album. It’s a 19-track, 130-minute concert video filmed on February 15th, 2013, live at the Paramount Theater, Huntington, New York. (It is also available in other formats such as MP3, Vinyl, CD and DVD).
The concert features the Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson, Greg Christian, Alex Skolnick, Gene Hoglan line-up, playing a career spanning set featuring a fine balance of tracks from the 80s like ‘Over The Wall’ and The Haunting’, modern favourites like ‘Rise Up,’ and ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ and even some tracks from the middle of their career like ‘D.N.R’ and ‘Riding The Snake.’ They play to an enthusiastic and packed audience, with a professional stage show full of banners and strobes. Best of all, the band deliver a very good performance, packing a lot of energy and umph into the delivery. Testament really seem on top of their game here, and you won’t be disappointed at all by how the band play live. They absolutely nail it.
The sound quality and mix are top-notch, delivering a crunchy, metallic sound job that perfectly suits the band, nicely balancing all the instruments and not ignoring nor overemphasizing the crowd. The visuals are good too, the camera work and picture quality are great.
The only minor let-down is that the editing is a bit too enthusiastic, and uses tricks like turning to slow motion or black and white a little too often. Its not so distracting that it’s a deal-breaker, in fact if you don’t watch concert videos all the time you mightn’t even notice, but there was something that was just “off” enough to warrant comment.
The Blu Ray specs are: 1080p, PCM Stereo, Region: All.
The version I bought came in a Steelbook, with 2CD version of the concert too.
In terms of extra footage; The music video for ‘Native Blood’ is included. There’s also a feature called ‘bonus footage’ which is an 11-minute montage of performance footage, recording, photoshoots and fans screaming, set to the tune of studio recordings of ‘Dark Roots Of Earth’ and ‘Man Kills Mankind.’
Overall; this is an excellent concert by an excellent band, and it sounds great to match. If you’ve already got the Live In London DVD, this is still worth getting due to the varied setlist, the interesting stageshow and the addition of Gene Hoglan. If you are hyper-sensitive about quirky editing jobs I’d advise having a test-watch before buying, but for everyone else the strength of the sound, look and performance make it an absolutely worthwhile release.