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>>>   R e v i e w s   >>>   ROOT "Zjevení"

>>>   E n g l i s h

>>> JOHAN | 2007-03-06 >>>

ROOT "Zjevení"

(1990 Zeras)

The chamber is covered by darkness...
                                      ...and Root rules in 1990

Today we can dare to talk about Root debut album as about a cult one. "Zjevení" (means „Revelation“ in Czech) was a real revelation on the Czech scene. It was not the first extreme metal album here, but it was a very different one. Mainly there are two big differences. The first one is that the LP contains almost complet demo "The Trial", the second one is its satanistic content. Everyone knows that the LP was forerunned by four demos, one 7inch single and indeed a videoclip "Upálení". The clip was broadcatsted by Czechoslovakian Television with a demo sound and in the old line up (with Poly alias Mr. Death, today´s leader of Insania). He was replaced by Mr. DAN who completed the trio Big Boss - vocals, Blaskosh – guitar and Black Drum - drums (today in Insania as well). As the band could not find a bass player, there is no bass on the LP.

Today it definitely does not worth to describe the songs individually, as most of people know them by heart. I would prefere to point out on some facts that could be omitted even after several listenings. Then I will dare to find something to criticize…

And I will start directly by something that could be done somehowe else and I think in a better way. I take the liberty to claim that by skipping the intro (a lesson from The Satanic Bible) and also the spoken beginning of "Upálení" the LP would have a better cadence. Another thing which I am not totally satisfied with is putting the song "Cesta zkázy" as the last track, while it logically belongs to the A-side stuff (there would be enough of space, if the spoken parts were skipped). Thus on the B side would be some space not only for "Píseň pro Satana" (now on A side), but also for "Hřbitov" which is missing on the album and I don´t really understand why. Sure, everybody must know that "Hřbitov" appeared on compilation"Death Metal Session" but can this be the reason? The songs "666" and "7 černých jezdců" also appeared shortly before the LP on 7inch single. So there is no excuse for the absence of "Hřbitov".

Well, that is the criticism. There is nothing more to criticize, only to bless. And it is the sound, above all, what deserves it. Recorded in Citron studio in Ostrava and considered it was back in 1990, it sounds much much better than other LPs from that time. If I compare it with Kryptor or Assesor, Root rules. It may be little surprising but especially the drums sound extraordinarily well.

What is not that surprising is that the most outstanding songs are the older one, which originally appeared on demos "Reap Of Hell" and "Messengers From Darkness". "Píseň pro Satana", "Sedm černých jezdců" and "666" are the best songs on the album. The is no live show without theses songs… Only instead of Rootan Big Boss sings about Satan. On the other hand, today almost forgotten "Znamení" should not be underrated. By his hypnotic majestical voice Big Boss here anticipated his future smoothing down. The guitars also worth to listen many times in a row. The second new songs "Démon" was not much interesting for me, neither when it was released nor today. As I said, the A-side contains almost complete demo "The Trial". This thematic opus is inspired by the practice of Spanish inquisition in the 15th century. The lyrics of "Výslech" contains names of the inquisitional ways of torturing (eg. garrucha = a tight cord was wound around the arms of the condemned, the executioner would then throw his entire weight backwards, or the pressure would be exerted by a lever, tortura de cordeles = rack torture, tortura del aqua = forced ingestion, water is forced down the throat and into the stomach) and all the dark story is reaching a tragical end which is described by "Cesta zkázy", beginning by long and slow intro, but then hellish fast madness with an excellent solo in the middle.

Another interesting fact is that the lyrics printied on the inlay differ from those really recorded. Franta Štorm (it is his hand writing!) probably transcribed the lyrics from the demos while Big Boss some of them slightly changed in the studio. The most striking are the changes in "Sedm černých jezdců" where the recorded and the written lyrics differ most, almost each sentence is different.

Franta Štorm was also the metal graphic designer no. 1. Big Boss´s horror make up was really not possible to pass by in any shop. However the back side I appreciate much more. Big inverted cross on the natural scenery backgroud (with the band photo inside).

The LP is a real gem and not many things could be done better. Anyway, it was definitely the best Czech album in 1990.

PS: After publishing the Czech version of this review Big Boss gave a notice where I was wrong. "Hřbitov" could not on this LP because of the contracts with different labels. "Hřbitov" was released by Direkt Records, while "Zjeveni" by Zeras Records. I am sorry for the confusion in my review.

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