Testament: Dark Roots of Earth [2012]

Released Europe July 27, 2012
United States July 31, 2012
Recorded June 2011–February 2012 at Driftwood Studios, Oakland, California
Genre Thrash metal
Length 50:48
Label Nuclear Blast
Producer Andy Sneap

Dark Roots of Earth is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. It was released on July 27, 2012 in Europe, and four days later in North America by the independent German record label Nuclear Blast Records.[1][2] The album is available in three configurations: CD, CD/DVD and vinyl with the latter two versions including four bonus tracks.[2][3] The album was produced by Andy Sneap, who mixed and engineered the band’s previous two studio albums, The Gathering (1999) and The Formation of Damnation (2008).[2][3] The album artwork was created by Eliran Kantor.[2][3] A music video was made for the track “Native Blood”.

This album saw a reunion with Gene Hoglan, who played drums on the band’s 1997 album Demonic. During the recording, Hoglan filled in for Paul Bostaph due to his “serious injury”.[4] Chris Adler of Lamb of God provided drum tracks on the iTunes bonus version of “A Day in the Death”.

Dark Roots of Earth has received very positive reviews. Ryan Ogle of Blabbermouth.net awards the album eight-and-a-half stars out of ten and states, “This album is anything but a rehashing of former glories. The skilled interplay between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, which features a wall-to-wall showcasing of intricate and harmonized runs, back-and-forth soloing, hooky riffs and metallic perfection, is at the centerpiece of this album. The duo displays everything that made them among the most formidable guitar teams on the late ’80s / early ’90s while placing everything into a modern context.” Ogle also praises the music a “noticeably different vibe than its predecessor by leaning more towards their (now) classic American thrash roots”, while he describes the album as a “2012 take on Testament’s classic and pioneering sound.”[8]

Dark Roots of the Earth sold over 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, and reached number twelve on the Billboard 200—Testament’s highest U.S. chart position to date. 

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length  
1. “Rise Up”   Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson 4:18
2. “Native Blood”   Billy, Del James, Peterson 5:21
3. “Dark Roots of Earth”   Billy, James, Peterson, Alex Skolnick 5:45
4. “True American Hate”   Billy, Peterson, Skolnick, Steve “Zetro” Souza 5:26
5. “A Day in the Death”   Billy, Peterson, Skolnick, Souza 5:38
6. “Cold Embrace”   Billy, James, Peterson, Skolnick 7:45
7. “Man Kills Mankind”   Billy, James, Peterson 5:05
8. “Throne of Thorns”   Billy, James, Peterson, Skolnick 7:04
9. “Last Stand for Independence”   Billy, James, Peterson 4:42
CD/DVD and Vinyl bonus tracks  
No. Title Writer(s) Length  
10. “Dragon Attack” (Queen cover) Brian May 4:44
11. “Animal Magnetism” (Scorpions cover) Herman Rarebell, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker 5:56
12. “Powerslave” (Iron Maiden cover) Bruce Dickinson 6:51
13. “Throne of Thorns” (extended version) Billy, James, Peterson, Skolnick 7:41

Lyrics

1. Rise Up

When I say rise up
When I say war
That means the time is now
To even up the score

The leader speaks
His plan has failed before
Enlisted soldiers
Awaiting orders

It’s time for justice
Just like before
Our troops protect and serve
Are they ever coming home

So much regret
Another killed by war
Such a tragedy
Enlisted soldiers
Obey their orders

When I say rise up
You say war
When I say rise up
You say War!

Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!

The smell of death
Reeks through the air
The stench of burning bodies
Bloodshed everywhere
Scattered remains
And bullet shells
Send in the dogs of war
Unleash the hounds of hell

It’s time to rise up!
It’s time to rise for war!
It’s time to rise up!
Black is death!
And red is war!

Yeah I said rise up
And you said war…
All for one and one for all
The perfect world war

All of the rest
Will fail just like before
Such a tragedy
The fallen soldiers
They followed orders

When I say rise up
You say war
When I say rise up
You say War!

Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!
Rise Up… War!

2. Native Blood

Whenever I stumble, whenever I fall
Whenever I’m pushed against the wall
This white man’s world won’t tell me what to do

Nowhere to run my native blood
I wanna reach and touch the Sun
Blistering my soul but I can’t feel
You hear me say, get out of my way
I’ll do it my own way
Cross my path and get what you deserve

I’m warning this world
To stay out of my way
My voice will be heard
I’m alone
I won’t be afraid
I got something to say
My voice will be heard
So loud
Native blood

Forever proud
So God damn loud
It’s me alone against the crowd
Right or wrong it’s the road that I must choose
There’s no excuse
Attitude
Got something here that I must prove
Live to win instead of born to lose

I’m warning this world
To stay out of my way
My voice will be heard
So strong
I won’t be afraid
I got something to say
My voice will be heard
So loud
native blood

I never learned to walk
Before I could crawl
Whenever pushed
I push back
Not afraid to throw the first punch
I’m never wrong cause I’m always right
When I’m wrong, I won’t admit it
Like the person your mother warned you about
They broke the mold after I came out
What gives me strength is my beliefs

Whenever I stumble, whenever I fall
I won’t be pushed against the wall
This white man’s world won’t tell me what to do

Nowhere to run, native blood
I wanna reach and touch the Sun
Blistering my soul but I can’t feel

I’m warning this world
To stay out of my way
My voice will be heard
I’m alone
I won’t be afraid
I got something to say
My voice will be heard
So loud
native blood

I’m warning this world
To stay out of my way
My voice will be heard
So strong
Oh I won’t be afraid
I got something to say
My voice will be heard
So loud
Native blood

My native blood
My native blood
My native blood

3. Dark Roots Of Earth

Now that the sun won’t shine
Slow down and take your time
Don’t lose your mind it’s all
Soul destroying lies

I’ve walked for miles
Past the sacred halls
SACRED HALLS!
My fists have bled
As I smashed the walls
SMASH THE WALLS!
Through this assault,
A voice says halt,
You’re not supposed to be here

I saw my grave
I see no future
Am I insane
Woven by the fabrics of the…

Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the earthy
Will see us home eventually

Now that the sun won’t shine
My world was left behind
All mankind was left behind
All mankind will rise and fall
Will anyone survive

Will we be saved
Is there a future left
What will it take
Woven by the fabrics of the…

Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the earth
Will see us home eventually
That’s right!

Now that the sun won’t shine
Slow down and take some time
The sands of time will fall
Left to ou demise

You hear the cries
Through the sacred halls
SACRED HALLS!
The people pray
To their God they call
GOD THEY CALL!
To save the Earth for its rebirth
Are we supposed to be here…

I saw my grave
I see no future here
Am I insane
Woven by the fabrics of the…

Dark roots of the Earth
Echoes an eternity
Dark roots of the Earth
Will see us home eventually

4. True American Hate

Fear nothing, say nothing
Pledge allegiance to what’s right
The future in question
Revolution overnight

For all the disservice
Into peril we fell
My instinct ticking like a time bomb
The human race implodes

Some choose to celebrate
Some choose to hate
Some choose to live their life
Through someone else’s pain

All those who follow
All those with faith
Show us your colors, American hate

True American Hate (Hate!) [x3]

Stand up and be counted
Stand up for what’s right
Fall to resurgence
Intuition overnight

The final plot in question
Evil mind overturned
So many flags of hate
So many nations scorned

Stand tall and be proud
Is there an end in sight?
Ever since conception
Always fighting for you life

Underneath the surface
There toils your hell
I’m ticking like a time bomb
Watch the world explode

5. A Day In The Death

Reanimate!
Opinions of the masses
Revolutions calling
Wreaking havoc in the streets
Aggravated aggression
Is sold for all our own freedoms
Occupy the system
And release the grip on us

Military forces
Are called in for reinforcements
Blue and gold failures
Denied to keep control and order
Not another hostage
Will be taken under
March to defy!
Stand up and be counted…

All the innocent and free
All those who can see
My back is against the wall
Freedom for nothing, freedom for speech
Freedom to believe
My back is against the wall
All of the hypocrisy
Damn your government
My back is against the wall
All of the corruption now
It doesn’t make any sense
My back is against the wall

A day in the death
A broken creed
Your so called life in which we lead
Forgotten dreams left behind
Is all I’ll find
Just a day in the death
A day in the death
A day in the death of mankind

Something inside of me says
The balance of life is at hand
Thousands of protesting mothers
Come here to rally in hordes
Together, forever
Together, for ever and ever
Just a day in the death of mankind!

Reanimate!
Opinions of the masses
Revolutions calling
Wreaking havoc in the streets
Aggravated aggression
Is sold for all our own freedoms
Occupy the system
And release the grip on us

All the innocent and free
All those who can see
My back is against the wall
Freedom for nothing, freedom for speech
Freedom to believe
My back is against the wall
All of the hypocrisy
Damn your government
My back is against the wall
All of the corruption now
It doesn’t make any sense
My back is against the wall

A day in the death
A broken creed
Your so called life in which we lead
Forgotten dreams left behind
Is all I’ll find
Just a day in the death
A day in the death
A day in the death of mankind

6. Cold Embrace

There was a sign on an ancient veil,
A dream that never really was
She only ever seemed to hope for a world
So surreal to the touch
She doesn’t want to wake
She only wants to sleep
Afraid of what they seek and where she’s been
When she awakes, she bends to her knees to pray
Praying for the secret to be safe

Come take my hand
Follow the path to infinity
Come take my hand
Trapped in the dark for eternity
Come take my hand…

After all when the kingdom falls
Her walls are shattered from within
She tries to flee but she’s trapped in this curse
Waiting for the cycle to begin
She doesn’t want to wake from her eternal sleep
Afraid of what they know and where she is
She doesn’t follow faith she’s stuck in her belief
Sorrow is the color of her dream…

Long ago…
When she first opened her eyes
there’s no tomorrow
The sun will never shine, no…
The sun will never shine
Yeah!

The sun will never shine on you
Daylight blinds your way The sun will never shine through you
Now accept this cold embrace

Come take my hand
Follow the path to infinity
Come take my hand
See everything that you want to see
Come take my hand
Find everything that you sought to seek
Come take my hand
Trading your life for immortality
Come take my hand…

Long ago…
When she first opened her eyes
There’s no tomorrow
The sun will never shine, no…
The sun will never shine
Yeah!

The sun will never shine on you
Daylight blinds your way
There sun will never shine on you
No the sun will never shine…

7. Man Kills Mankind

Long befor the curtain call
The dregs they had been cast
Many screams and twisted dreams
Flames lead to the throne

Winds of change, keeps you searching for the truth
Sea of rage, slowly drowning wasted youth

Some poeple live to lie
Some poeple don´t
Some poeple turn there Cheek, while others hate!

Don´t ask why….

The broken world spins too slow, bitterness tasts sweet
Many paths, invoking wrath
The wolfs have stole the crown

Winds of change, keeps you searching for the truth
Sea of rage, slowly drowning wasted youth

Man kills mankind
Feeding the greed of the overfed swine
Man kills mankind
Again and again you choke on the vine
Man kills mankind
Feeding the greed of the overfed swine
Man kills mankind
Again and again you choke on the vine
Overfed swine you keep choking and choking…

[Alex solo]

Some poeple live to lie
Some poeple don´t
Some poeple are born to die
Some poeple won´t
Some poeple are well-to-do
Some poele ain´t
Some poeple turn there Cheek, while others hate!

Don´t ask why….

Man kills mankind
Feeding the greed of the overfed swine
Man kills mankind
Again and again you choke on the vine
Man kills mankind
Feeding the greed of the overfed swine
Man kills mankind
Again and again you choke on the vine
Man kills mankind

Again and again you choke on the vine, overfed swine,
You keep choking and choking…

[Eric outro harmony theme]

8. Throne Of Thorns

Behold now, the power i wield that comes from my soul
Crimson reign, reign through the fire of bodies I claim

Legions of darkness I call unto thee, decisions I make for I rule blacken thy kingdom of warriors above eager to storm iron gates…

God of war
Fire born
Throne of Thorns
God of war
No remorse
Fire born

“Listen to these words, to what I have said
from my throne of thorns is where I shall rule
keeper of all, bringer of death!
To challenge me, off with your head!”

Crimson lust, warlords of torment that do what I please
Power mad, opposing armies I feed on your death
The fatally wounded forever forgotten,
histories written in blood
The pillaging forces, blinded by hate
my kingdom is out of control

God of war
Fire born
Throne of Thorns
God of war
No remorse
Fire born

“I am the master and you are the slave,
commanded to do what I say
Bring down the heavens my legions await..
eager to storm the iron gates!”

[Alex Solo]

Behold now, the power I wield comes straight from my soul
Crimson reign, reign through fire of bodies I claim

Legions of darkness I call unto thee, decisions I make for I rule blacken thy kingdom of warriors above eager to storm iron gates…

God of war
No remorse
God of War
Throne of thorns
Fire born
Throne of thorns

[Epic outro solo]

9. Last Stand For Independence

Last chance for independence
call to arms to take a stand
fully armed, our forces strong
against the enemy we dance
Life lost for liberty,
blood shed to protect our homes
stand tall, divided we fall
the conflict takes it deadly toll

You struggle to breathe
Don’t ever let go
the less we conceive
The stronger we grow!

Fight on for independence
charge through, demolished lands
ears ring to the hum of bullets
a tune a tragedy of man
never surrender, blood stains upon thy soul
burning flags and body bags
the price of liberty for all

The last thing you’ll see
Is the last thing you’ll know
The less we conceive
The stronger we grow

Facing our death
Struggle to breathe, choking on fear
in god we trust
Oppression for years
Blood sweat and tears

Will we ever know know
The stillness of the storm…

Can we readjust
Our failures into trust…

[Epic whammy solo]
[Alex solo]

Last chance for independence
the final call to make a stand
hold fast, united strong
against the enemy at hand
never surrender, blood stains upon thy soul
burning flags, and body bags
the price of liberty for all

You struggle to breathe
Don’t ever let go
the less we conceive
The stronger we grow!

Facing our death
Struggle to breathe, choking on fear
in god we trust
Oppression for years
Blood sweat and tears

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