Dark Roots of Earth

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Dark Roots of Earth
Studio album by Testament
Released July 27, 2012
Recorded June 2011 – February 2012 at Driftwood Studios, Oakland, California
Genre Thrash metal
Length 50:48
Label Nuclear Blast
Producer Andy Sneap
Testament chronology
Live at Eindhoven '87
Dark Roots of Earth
Dark Roots of Thrash
Singles from Dark Roots of Earth
  1. "True American Hate"
    Released: 2012
  2. "Native Blood"
    Released: 2012

Dark Roots of Earth is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. It was released on July 27, 2012 in Europe, and four days later in North America by the independent German record label Nuclear Blast Records.[1][2] The album is available in three configurations: CD, CD/DVD and vinyl with the latter two versions including four bonus tracks.[2][3] The album was produced by Andy Sneap, who mixed and engineered the band's previous two studio albums, The Gathering (1999) and The Formation of Damnation (2008).[2][3] The album artwork was created by Eliran Kantor.[2][3] Pro music photographer Gino Carlini was brought on to do all the photography on the album packaging. A music video was made for the track "Native Blood".

This album saw a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who played drums on the band's 1997 album Demonic. During the recording, Hoglan filled in for Paul Bostaph due to his "serious injury".[4] Chris Adler of Lamb of God provided drum tracks on the iTunes bonus version of "A Day in the Death".[4] Dark Roots of Earth is also the last Testament album with bassist Greg Christian, who left the band for a second time in January 2014.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[7]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]
Blabbermouth.net 8.5/10[9]
Exclaim! favorable[10]
Jukebox:Metal 5/5 stars[11]
Revolver 4/5[12]

Dark Roots of Earth has received mostly positive reviews. Ryan Ogle of Blabbermouth.net awards the album eight-and-a-half stars out of ten and states, "This album is anything but a rehashing of former glories. The skilled interplay between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, which features a wall-to-wall showcasing of intricate and harmonized runs, back-and-forth soloing, hooky riffs and metallic perfection, is at the centerpiece of this album. The duo displays everything that made them among the most formidable guitar teams on the late '80s / early '90s while placing everything into a modern context." Ogle also praises the music a "noticeably different vibe than its predecessor by leaning more towards their (now) classic American thrash roots", while he describes the album as a "2012 take on Testament's classic and pioneering sound."[9]

Dark Roots of Earth sold over 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, and reached number twelve on the Billboard 200—Testament's highest U.S. chart position to date.[13] By March 2013, Dark Roots of Earth sold around 60,000 copies in the U.S.[14][broken citation]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rise Up"   Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson 4:18
2. "Native Blood"   Billy, Del James, Peterson 5:21
3. "Dark Roots of Earth"   Billy, James, Peterson, Alex Skolnick 5:45
4. "True American Hate"   Billy, Peterson, Skolnick, Steve "Zetro" Souza 5:26
5. "A Day in the Death"   Billy, Peterson, Skolnick, Souza 5:38
6. "Cold Embrace"   Billy, James, Peterson, Skolnick 7:45
7. "Man Kills Mankind"   Billy, James, Peterson 5:05
8. "Throne of Thorns"   Billy, James, Peterson, Skolnick 7:04
9. "Last Stand for Independence"   Billy, James, Peterson 4:42

Personnel and credits[edit]


Session musicians:

  • Chris Adler – drums on "A Day in the Death" (iTunes bonus track version)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak position
Austrian Top 75[15] 21
Belgium Top 100[15] 62
Belgium – Flanders[15] 86
Belgium – Walloonia[15] 40
Canadian Albums Chart[16] 12
Finland Top 50[15] 4
Germany Top 100[15] 4
Hungarian Albums Chart[17] 1
Ireland Top 20[15] 13
Japanese Albums Chart[18] 56
Netherlands Top 200[15] 32
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 8
Switzerland Album Chart[15] 10
UK Albums Chart[19] 57
U.S. Billboard 200[16] 12
U.S. Rock Albums[16] 1
U.S. Hard Rock Albums[16] 1


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (2012-05-15). "Album art + release date for Testament's Dark Roots of the Earth!!!". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d Childers, Chad (2012-05-16). "Testament Reveal 'Dark Roots of Earth' Album Artwork + Track Listing". Loudwire. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  3. ^ a b c Hart, Josh (2012-05-15). "Testament Reveal Artwork, Track Listing, Release Date for New Album, 'Dark Roots of Earth'". Guitar World. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  4. ^ a b "TESTAMENT: New Album Title Revealed; Tour With ANTHRAX, OVERKILL, DEATH ANGEL Planned". Blabbermouth.net. 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2012-05-21. 
  5. ^ "Testament Parts Ways With Bassist Greg Christian, Announces Return Of Steve DiGiorgio". Blabbermouth.net. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  6. ^ "Dark Roots of Earth – Testament". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  7. ^ Jervis, Marcus. "Testament – Dark Roots of Earth Review". About.com. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  8. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Dark Roots of Earth – Testament". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  9. ^ a b Ogle, Ryan. "Testament – Dark Roots of Earth". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  10. ^ Pratt, Greg (2012-08-08). "Testament – Dark Roots of Earth". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  11. ^ Andy Lye. "Jukebox:Metal review". 
  12. ^ Camisasca, Paige (2012-07-18). "Review: Testament – Dark Roots of Earth". Revolver. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  13. ^ "Testament's 'Dark Roots of Earth' Cracks U.S. Top 15 – Aug. 8, 2012". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Testament – More Dark Roots of Earth Chart Positions Revealed". Bravewords.com. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Dark Roots of Earth – Testament". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 
  17. ^ "Top 40 album- és válogatáslemez-lista – 2012. 31. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  18. ^ "テスタメントのCDアルバムランキング、テスタメントのプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE" (in Japanese). Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  19. ^ "Testament UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-08-11.