TESTAMENT — Titans Of Creation

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TESTAMENT - Titans Of Creation cover
4.12 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2020

Filed under Thrash Metal


01. Children of the Next Level (6:13)
02. WWII (4:48)
03. Dream Deceiver (4:58)
04. Night of the Witch (6:32)
05. City of Angels (6:43)
06. Ishtars Gate (5:09)
07. Symptoms (4:37)
08. False Prophet (4:54)
09. The Healers (4:23)
10. Code of Hammurabi (4:52)
11. Curse of Osiris (3:24)
12. Catacombs (2:01)

Total Time 58:34


- Eric Peterson / Guitars
- Alex Skolnick / Guitars
- Chuck Billy / Vocals
- Gene Hoglan / Drums
- Steve DiGiorgio / Bass

About this release

Nuclear Blast
Released 3rd April 2020

Thanks to Nightfly for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Kev Rowland
The boys are back, four years after ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’, with their thirteenth studio album. I was a latecomer to the band, with ‘Dark Roots of Earth’ being the first time I really paid a great deal of attention to them. That got me hooked, and the resulting live album ‘Dark Roots of Thrash’ is something I still play a great deal. Chuck Billy is a big man with a big voice, and alongside guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson was there in time for their debut album, ‘The Legacy’ back in 1987. Both drummer Gene Hoglan and bassist Steve DiGiorgio had previously served time with the band, returning in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Since their return to recording in 2008 with ‘The Formation of Damnation’ they have released a new album every four years, but amazingly this is the first time there have been two with the same line-up.

To my ears there is something very special indeed about this band in full flight. Hoglan is one of the finest metal drummers there is (and he makes it look so easy), making it terrifying for most bassists to stick with him yet DiGiorgio manages to do just that. Although Skolnick took quite a few years away from the band to work on other projects, his relationship with Peterson goes all the way back to the formation of the band, and they both appeared on their very first four-track demo when they were still known as Legacy. The understanding they have of each other only comes with countless hours playing music, on stage and in the studio, knowing what each one brings to the party. Then you have Chuck Billy. He may not have been the very original singer, but he joined Legacy in time for their last show under that name and has been on every Testament album. Here is a band who have been producing the goods for more than 30 years and they show no sign whatsoever of slowing down.

This is bottom-driven thrash with a real groove to it, strong commercial hooks with wonderful vocals. They have changed and grown over the years, and Testament in 2020 is simply superb. They continue to deliver the goods – now please can you tour down here?

"Titans Of Creation" is the 12th full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in April 2020. It´s the successor to "Brotherhood of the Snake" from 2016 and features the exact same five-piece lineup who recorded the predecessor.

The material on the 12 track, 58:34 minutes long album continue the familiar thrash metal sound of the last couple of albums. Since the release of their "comeback" album "The Formation of Damnation" in 2008, Testament have been on a steady roll of releasing an album every fourth year and touring quite a lot in support of every album too. They´ve locked into a groove and since they´ve experienced a lot of success and almost nothing but positive album reviews in those years, why change a winning formula? So if you´re familiar with and appreciate the three direct predecessors to "Titans Of Creation", nothing will change your opinion listening to this album.

This is Testament as we know and love them. Hard hitting and energetic thrash metal performed by some of the best in the business (it doesn´t get much better than a rhythm section consisting of drummer Gene Hoglan and bassist Steve DiGiorgio). It´s not audible that Chuck Billy is pushing 60 as his vocal performance here is as strong as his performances on the classic albums from the 1980s. He has lost none of his commanding vocal force, and if anything he has picked up a few tricks through the years to make his performance here both varied and very convincing. A good example is his performance on "City of Angels" (an album highlight), where he really shines. Oh yeah and guitarist Eric Peterson performs some black metal type screaming vocals a couple of times during the album´s playing time (most dominant on the chorus of "Curse Of Osiris"), but they are very few, so if that sort of thing is not to your liking, don´t be too concerned.

The material are generally of a high quality, and one sharp thrashy riff, blistering solo (Alex Skolnick and also Peterson are positively on fire here), and powerful pounding rhythm part follow the next. The album features a great balance between the hard edged thrashy sound and some slighty more melodic parts. An example of the more melodic sound of the album is the traditional heavy metal influenced chorus to "Dream Deceiver". What a beauty...

Peterson and Billy are credited for producing "Titans Of Creation" while Andy Sneap has mixed and mastered the album, and not surprisingly the sound is massive, powerful, and very heavy. So upon conclusion "Titans Of Creation" is another high quality thrash metal release from Testament, who one must conclude have aged really well. I´m sure these tracks will also translate very well to the stage. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Its 2020 and the 1980s Thrash Metal legends Testament have dropped their twelfth canonical studio album (ie. not counting First Strike Still Deadly, since that is re-recordings of old material). I was pretty hyped up for this album before it even arrived as the band have been on such great form for the last decade with no weak releases in recent memory. Their latest effort is called Titans Of Creation and has the same killer production style as the last two albums and also features the same line-up as the previous album Brotherhood Of The Snake, which is actually a rare thing nowadays as they usually seem to have at least one line-up shift on each new record since the ‘90s.

Interestingly though, although it has the same line-up as the last record, it kind of sounds like there has been a shift. The album is a lot less direct and a lot more technical and musically complex than ‘Snake was. Its also about 15 minutes longer. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still no intros and no ballads, just metal fury from start to end, and there are still some blunt force all-out Thrashers on there (see the red hot ‘WW3’ or ‘Curse Of Osiris’ for example), but they do take the foot off the gas a few times to flex their musicianship rather than just sanding faces off and full speed for an hour. It ends with a biblical sounding instrumental for example. ‘Symptoms’ goes down quite a technical and melodic route, that really lets you know the current rhythm section were both also previously members of the band Death. Single ‘Night Of The Witch’ should give you some idea of the direction of the record. Songs crammed with numerous tempo shifts, complex structures, virtuoso solos, loud and flashy drumming, as well as little hints of the mid-late ‘90s Groove Metal and Death Metal-influenced Testament style creeping in at points amongst their modern-Thrash style of the last four albums. ‘City Of Angels’ takes things even further, and is probably the closest thing to Low the band have done in a very long time.

Basically, the record takes the building blocks of the few previous records’ style, but really pushes it in several different directions and adds more variety. Whether you prefer this album to previous albums will really just come down to personal preference in issues of precision and succinctness versus experimentation and breadth. In terms of quality however, it is unquestionably as good as anything the band have put out since Chuck recovered from cancer.

In terms of highlights; I think my second favourite track on the album is the off-kilter ‘Ishtar’s Gate’ which is very bass driven, has a nice eastern-sounding intro and guitar solo, and revolves around a very satisfying loud/quiet dynamic that reminds me a tiny bit of Annihilator. My favourite song however, and the catchiest song on the album, is probably ‘Dream Deceiver’ which could probably be described as the bastard son of ‘Electric Crown’ and ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ and which is somehow even better than that sounds. It is arguably the most memorable song they’ve written since 2008’s The Formation Of Damnation album (and this is coming from someone who loves the last two albums, so this is saying something!). Oh and in case you were wondering, its not a Priest cover, that was ‘Dreamer Deciever’ you’re thinking of.

Overall; a damn fine modern day effort from a world class Thrash act, still at the top of their game, that is both similar enough to recent records that if you like them you’ll love this, but differnt enough that you haven’t just heard it all before. Highly recommended.

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