Saturday, April 2, 2011


I've recently found myself listening to the unusual Czech black metal band Root quite a lot, and in particular their 1996 release Kärgeräs. Considering both the quality of their material, and the length of time they've been around, it's honestly somewhat baffling that more people haven't heard of Root. I guess it's just a product of being from an out-of-the-way corner geographically. I always find it odd how, purely by virtue of being outside any regional "scene", excellent bands are often overlooked. Like how Necrophagia could emerge with excellent death metal material at almost the exact same time as Death, yet remain largely unknown because they were floating around in Ohio rather than existing withing the Florida, NY, or Swedish death metal scenes. Considering the easy availability of material from anywhere, it's really an odd phenomenon.

But that's not really the point. The point is that Root are awesome. They use clean vocals instead of growls and shrieks, which sounds on the surface like a bad thing, but in contrast with the typically whiney clean vocals one might expect, the emotive baritone of their vocalist is both unique and enjoyable. Root have, through their atypical vocals and more melodic, progressive approach to black metal, carved out a niche all their own. My advice is to go listen to them now if you've never heard of them. I'd suggest one of the albums from their prime years: The Temple in the Underworld, Kärgeräs, The Book, or Black Seal. Personally Kärgeräs is my favorite, but if you find it a little too "proggy" for your tastes and prefer a little more rawness, The Temple in the Underworld is a good pick.


  1. Root is excellent. It is weird that the Czech Republic produced two very good first wave black metal bands that no one has really heard of before. Master's Hammer being the other one. As for my favorite Root album, I am going with The Black Seal.

  2. Black Seal is the one you covered in your underrated black metal post, isn't it? That one was, of course, a great record. I can't really give a good reason why Kärgeräs is my favorite over Black Seal. It just appeals to me more for some reason.

    And I got Ritual based on your recommendation in that same segment. It's the only Master's Hammer album I have, but I enjoy it.

  3. Yes, I believe I covered The Black Seal in my underrated black metal post. Ritual is probably the only truly worthwhile Master's Hammer album from a black metal standpoint. Their other stuff is incredibly avant garde and weird.