If there’s one thing that can be said about Czech black metal stalwarts Root, it’s that they aren’t satisfied with repeating themselves. Each record they release has seen the band expand its sound, ranging anywhere from subtle changes to outright genre shifts.
Heritage of Satan, the band’s latest full-length, shows the band once again change gears, this time into a more stripped down, straight forward style with only a few hints of the band’s more adventurous side. The album tends to alternate between faster, blasting songs and slower, doomier dirges. Tracks like “Legacy of Ancestors” and “Greetings From the Abyss” are great examples of the former with their relentless high-tempo assault, and “Fiery Message” is a highlight of the latter. However, some of the more mid-paced tunes, such as “Revenge of Hell,” aren’t as interesting and unfortunately come off as a little uninspired. Granted, the band has set the bar for themselves rather high over the course of their career so not every song they write can be a winner. Still, each song is given that signature Root charm thanks to Big Boss’s menacing voice, which is as sinister as it’s ever been.
While this certainly isn’t the band’s strongest effort, it’s still a solid entry into the Root legacy and, if I may resort to clichés, it’s much better than most of the garbage that’s being released nowadays.