Root were formed by vocalist Big Boss and guitarist Blackie in late 1987. According to Big Boss, in the beginning, they knew no foreign bands and could do no tape trading. Although the first demo recording mentioned on their homepage's discography section is Deep in Hell, according to their biography, they recorded their first official demo tape Reap of Hell after a few rehearsals. Root played their first concert in September 1988. The next demo cassette, War of Rats, was released in 1988, followed by Messengers from Darkness in 1989. Vocalist Big Boss played drums on these recordings. Whereas Messengers from Darkness is mentioned as "the third and last" demo cassette in their biography, the discography section lists The Trial as the last one.