ROOT Viginti Quinque Annis In ScaenaViginti Quinque Annis In Scaena

Live album · 2013 · Black Metal
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4/5 ·
Kev Rowland
This release marks 25 years since this Czech band started, and while the original audio disc (and LP version) features the full show recorded at Melodka Music Club (Brno, Czech Republic) on 19th November 2011, the digipack additionally comes with a bonus DVD that includes road documentaries full of backstage and exclusive material as well as live songs filmed at Hammer Open Air (Lieto, Finland 2012), Noctis Fest (Calgary, Canada 2010), Brutal Assault Festival (Josefov, Czech Republic 2007+2012), No Mercy European Tour 2007 and several other shows. Root are one of the pioneers of black/dark metal in Eastern Europe, releasing material and unceasingly touring since they started back in 1987. Singer Jiří 'BigBoss' Valter is renowned as one of the best in the business, and has appeared as a special guest on records by Moonspell, Behemoth and Helheim among others.

What makes this album stand out is firstly BigBoss, who can provide the gruff vocals, or sing in a controlled baritone, or even go falsetto, whatever the music requires, but these guys are much more than just the singer. This is a BM band that emphasises the latter while paying more than just homage to the former, so that there is much more than just a wall of sound and emotion. The guitars link well together, while the bass and drums are having a blast, and there is much more space and room to hear everything that one might expect. I also love the fact that BigBoss is having a laugh and a joke with the audience – the subject matter may be dark, but that is no reason not to enjoy themselves and have some fun. This is one of the finest live BM albums I have come across, with musical twists and turns. While always dark and also containing some doom, there is a passion, lightness and togetherness that makes this a delight from start to end.
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