When talking about the rising power that was black metal in the late to early 90′s, the Czech Republic often gets overlooked in favor of what was happening in Scandinavia. Not to say the Scandinavian aspect wasn’t monumental for the genre but there were other parts of the world doing interesting and creative things with the genre at the same time. Japan’s Sigh comes to mind as well as the Hellenic bands down in Greece but for my money, the early Czech stuff is some of the most captivating. Along with the fucking stellar Master’s Hammer, Root was putting their own spin on the genre as early as 1988.
Kargeras is the bands thirds full-length and the first of what I consider their three masterpieces along with The Book and Black Seal. However, I’m not certain that this is a black metal album, musically. I think it is in spirit, similar to where Primordial is. The music is fucking epic, gloomy, folky, experiment, and a little weird, all hallmarks of Czech metal I love. It’s a concept album about an ancient race that is more rooted in an epic metal/doom style, with way less occult focus than their aforementioned follow up classics. Big Boss’s vocals are both clean and powerful but more powerful in sheer presence than range. It fits the music perfectly.
Kargeras may not be my favorite Root album, that title goes to The Book, but it’s nonetheless an amazing outing from an incredible band. You can’t really go wrong with their first five albums.