Root – Zjevení (1990)

Root Zjevení

Article by Lance Viggiano

Root’s Zjevení updates Merciful Fate from Halloween to haunt by exorcising the clownish camp while maintaining their high degree of theatricality. A textural treatment gives speed metal riffs a spectral significance that allows for it to have expressive power in dreary dungeons at midnight lit only by a faint moon that is slowly swallowed by black vapor. Tonally and thematically, Root sets the stage for later Greek acts such as Varathron and Rotting Christ to further develop this music through melodious – relatively speaking – ambience which expelled punk’s poltergeist.

This music is primarily claustrophobic and most effective when descending chromatic progressions pull unwilling souls downward to be consuming by the chaos as the quickly picked pacing of the faster sections devours all musical space in between notes. This is reinforced by always distant but omnipresent character of vocalizations that are delivered as if cold stone walls were warping and wailing from the beck and breath of the Beast himself as he lays claim to the raptured residents within. Bombastic and exuberant leads reside somewhere in between heavy horror soundtracks and speed thrills. Taking much of its cues from speed metal, the drum performance is executed with nightmarish nuance and precision in which carefully placed and considered fills heighten the sense of drama through fright then flight. This is effect is analogous to a later work: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. No matter how finely stitched the music is, it never breaks through to an atmospheric approach.

Root work firmly within the tradition of first wave bands by taking from Black Sabbath the experience of a descending dark figure. They expand upon the template by describing the figure’s character, the surroundings, and the internal judgments of the tortured, all lending to a fuller experience of total evil. These were the last moments in a greater trajectory that culminated in the abandonment of the human perspective taken up by the second wave to occupy the role of the torturing shadow itself, who found meaning in the motives and actions of intelligences that completely disregard the desires and well-being of humans

Zjeveni is not only historical significant as a metal record but also possesses a high degree of tunefulness. Zjeveni rewards the listener without a strict reliance on mental imagery and artistic intent. The immediacy of this quality is deceptive and easily disparaged but it is required when providing a complete musical experience. At a time when metal music languishes in a lull by providing only a fraction of that aforementioned whole, it is helpful to look backwards to underappreciated records in order to survey successful marriages between tangible satisfying songwriting and intangible high ideals.

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14 thoughts on “Root – Zjevení (1990)”

  1. Hey Lance, have you listened to The Black? It had Jon Nodtveidt on guitars and vocals.

    The Black – The Priest of Satan (FULL ALBUM 1994

  2. snaggletooth says:

    Great pleasure to discover this evil band. Darkness prevails when they play. Hails ROOT.

  3. Zorak says:

    it’s Mercyful Fate, you posers

    1. Anton "Fantano" Rays says:

      Welcome to the age of autocorrect.

  4. Johan P says:

    For some stupid readon I’ve only heard later Root albums like Hell Symphony and Temple in the Underworld.. I’ll check this one out for sure, “Pisen Pro” is a singalong classic!

    1. Ludvig B.B (vOddy) says:

      I like your enthusiasm

      1. Johan P says:

        If there isn’t any passion, what’s the point? ;)

    2. Callused Hands Not Gay At All Fam says:

      Hell Symphony makes some improvements but falls apart quickly just before the second half and never recovers.

      1. Johan P says:

        I agree. I’m more positive to Temple… It may be too accessible for some, but the overall song material is stronger and certainly more varied.

        1. Callused Hands Not Gay At All Fam says:

          Accessibility isn’t an issue if the music isn’t fundamentally vapid.

  5. Poser Patrol says:

    This is some good graveyard heavy metal. Most heavy metal bands end up hamming it up when they try to be evil, but this is convincingly menacing.

  6. SadoCritter says:

    If you have any love for this album, I suggest checking out their release titled: The Temple in the Underworld. There are definitely a few skippers on the record but Casildas Song (particularly), and Aposiopesis are awesome tracks among others.
    Hail Root! Hail Big Boss!

  7. morbideathscream says:

    Zjeveni is the only truly good Root album. Kinda bizarre like their countrymen Master’s Hammer, but evil sounding and awesome.

    1. Brule the spear slayer says:

      Bullshit and Nonsense. Zjeveni and hell symphony are relatively good, but later albums up to 2003 are all masterpieces and ten times better than debut with excellent vocals and great dark melodies, intricate song structures and deep lyrics.

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