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>>>   R e v i e w s   >>>   ROOT "Hell Symphony"

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>>> BERRY | 2007-03-18 >>>

ROOT "Hell Symphony"

(1991 Zeras)

Definition of hell - the transition from the ancient to the modern black metal

The first album in English and the second in overall Root discography was in its time (16 years ago) a bomb. The band did not stop with the directness of the debut and the success on the Czech market. They added even more musicalness and they left from using their mother language. It was really presentable album which introduced in abroad - despite of the fact that the label Zeras (bankrupting in that time) did not do too much for the promotion even in own country.

The cover is a typical one. A goat in the pentagram, bloody red logo and horror title „Hell Symphony“. The inlay also contains hellish paintings and hand-written lyrics. This is the only thing I assume a little amateurish on this album, the hand writing. Otherwise everything else on "Hell Symphony" is real hell symphony. Black metal directed by Satan himself.

Alredy the intro announces an important shift from the debut. The songs are much more sophisticated, the tempo changes often, there are interesting guitar solos and occasionally also acoustic guitars. "Belzebub" is followed by "Belial" which represents the new style pretty exactly - the style still grows from the old roots. For example "Lucifer" by many aspects reffers to "Aralyon", mainly by its atmosphere and here and there deadly slow tempo, that was very unusual in that time when almost all metal bands played as far as possible. "Abaddon" is a mystical song whose slow start prepares us for the best chorus on this album. Also "Asmodeus" starts very slowly but in a short while the hellish spinning wheel continues its work, completed by excellent chorus and nice solos of Mr. D.A.N.a and Blackosh.

"Satan" is started by the drummer, Big Boss preaches all the the song and at the end he laughs. "Leviathan" is another full-value and striking hard song which can be assumed as a hit of the album - the listener is easily subjugated by the guitars supported by Big Boss´s barking. "Astaroth" is straight and simple song but specific by its choir chorus and a serie of guitar solos. "Loki" starts epically and after the mid-tempo middle it ends by changing it ends by an acoustic passage. "The Prayers" brings acoustic guitars, blowing wind, Big Boss´s speech and the song culminates in the far distance, somwhere out of the listener´s ability to percieve... This is the end of compact and conceptual opus which retrospectivelly viewed looks as a certain transition from the ancient to the modern black metal. This is why Root became legend and the most interesting and the most authentic band of all times. I only mean within the Czech scene, but there are many of those who would claim the same in the framwork of all the world.

I do not listen to this LP too often, maybe because of its undefiniteness - or in other words - from today´s point of view it represents logical and natural ambivalence. Without this period Root would never reached the their contemporary majestic and dark metal. Thanks to this continuity their music is still attractive no only for the younger but also for their old fans. "Hell Symphony" was a transition between the debut and the top of Root creativity: "The Temple In The Underworld".

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