Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3rd, 2012 - Dark Roots of India Ale

Alright metal and beer brethren... are you ready for some new thrash?!  Bay area thrashers, Testament have a brand, spanking new album out this week, "Dark Roots of Earth" and it is a BEAST!  I'm pairing it tonight with a beer I've paired before, Samuel Smith's India Ale.  This album kills... so I wanted to pair it with something that I already know has the complex flavors and intensity to stand up to the metal onslaught that is Testament!

Characterized by a deep amber color, Samuel Smith's India Ale is a traditional, English IPA. The nose is "fruity", malty, and aromatic. It pours a 1 finger head with subtle and light lacing. Full-bodied and complex, Samuel Smith's India Ale has an intense, rich, abundantly malty flavor with a strong and "fruity hop character." Not as bitter as the Northwestern American IPAs, this still has a good bite, but is crisp and finishes dry. There is definitely that sweet finish characterized by English IPAs here as well.

Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson, Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian, and drummer, Gene Hoglan are back with a vengeance!  Unapologetic, "Dark Roots of Earth" is a powerful, deep, thoughtful, and complex thrash album in true Testament form.  From the first note of opener, "Rise Up" to final note of "Last Stand for Independence," Testament delivers with a brutality and intensity that sounds as fresh as early Testament records and stands up against anything on the scene today.  "Native Blood," "True American Hate," "A Day In The Death," and "Man Kills Mankind" are classic, fast, thrash monsters.  "Dark Roots of Earth," "Cold Embrace" and "Throne of Thorns" are slower but no less heavy.  You know I saw Testament earlier this year on tour and they have really captured that live energy, sound, and intensity of the band on this album.  Skolnick whips his guitar into submission (along with the listener) with blisteringly fast solos and near perfect tone.  Peterson's guitar work is equally fantastic.  Christian and Hoglan are a profoundly intense and hammering rhythm section.  Greg Christian's signature stampeding bass work has always been a favorite of mine!  And Chuck Billy?  He IS the voice every thrash metal band wishes was theirs!  If you love thrash metal, then you MUST own this album... I have literally listened to this album 6 times today alone!! 

If I haven't made my point, go buy this goddamn album right now!!  And pick up a sixer of Samuel Smith's India Ale so you can down one with each listen!  Hails and horns, beers and cheers my friends!!

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