Have you already heard from the Black Metal gods ROOT from the Czech Republic? No, then you should definitely change that a.s.a.p. You also could describe their music as Occult Metal, because ROOT do not have that much in common with what you normally get from the black banner. Their dark sound art sounds completely original and you clearly hear their Slavic roots.
Jiri Valter, called "BIG BOSS" is the head of ROOT. The guy is not only responsible for the vocals, but is also a member of FIRST CHURCH OF SATAN. A man, who does not only reuse phrases and pseudo-satanic crap, he knows his craft. His lyrics have something philosophic, he is an almost infinitely creative head. His often tenor-like vocals sound very evil, his whispering mysterious, also grunts we can find, albeit more rarely. An strange way of singing, true, but also an original one. You will hear BIG BOSS out from thousands of bands… And the crankiness of his vocals are part of the big appeal of ROOT!
Musically "Black Seal", the by now sixth ROOT-studio-album, is rather sluggish. Doomy, fat guitars set ablaze a hellfire and above all thrones the divine tenor of Big Boss. By using many kinds of choirs, as you surely never have heard them before, they create a brooding atmosphere, which you can hardly elude. And then those whining guitar-solos, gripping and completely enchanting! Incredible! Friends of obscure bands like MANILLA ROAD or CIRITH UNGOL just have to test out ROOT. You will not regret it!
To get into all songs would be too much for this review. All songs are so pumped with surprises and dark tension that you could almost scream! Only the 19-minute closer "Before I Leave" lies heavy in my stomach. The (in itself brilliant song) ends in an infinite acapella-choir… Seems to be their kind of humour. Listen for yourself, I won't give away more! Apart from that, record of the year, shit, already from 2001. Anyway, timeless music is always up to date… (Online November 29, 2002)