TESTAMENT
Thrash Metal • United States

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Testament was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. Originally formed as 'Legacy' in 1983 by founding members Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar), Derrick Ramirez (guitar) and Louie Clemente (drums), the line-up included vocalist Steve Souza and Greg Christian (bass). Ramirez was later replaced by wunderkind Alex Skolnick (lead guitar). Souza soon departed to join Exodus and suggested that the towering Chuck Billy take over as frontman(and was later run over by a bus). The band became known as 'Testament' 3 years later, while recording their debut album in Ithaca, New York.

"The Legacy" was a brutal intro in 1987, putting Testament at the forefront of the flourishing thrash metal scene. Following "Live At Eindhoven", an EP recorded at Holland's Dynamo Festival, "The New Order" in 1988 was well received producing one of the band's most memorable classics "Disciples Of
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Brotherhood of the SnakeBrotherhood of the Snake
Nuclear Blast America 2016
Audio CD$7.48
$7.47 (used)
Original Album Series -  TestamentOriginal Album Series - Testament
Box set · Import
original album series 2015
Audio CD$11.47
$10.81 (used)
Low - Limited Gold VinylLow - Limited Gold Vinyl
Limited Edition
Metal Blade 2017
Vinyl$18.49
$14.22 (used)
Practice What You PreachPractice What You Preach
Megaforce Worldwide / Atlantic 1989
Audio CD$4.99
$3.64 (used)
The LegacyThe Legacy
Megaforce Worldwide/ Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$4.95
$3.62 (used)
The New OrderThe New Order
Megaforce Worldwide/ Atlantic 1990
Audio CD$4.74
$3.42 (used)
LowLow
Atlantic Off Roster 1994
Audio CD$5.06
$3.69 (used)
Dark Roots of Earth (Deluxe Edition)Dark Roots of Earth (Deluxe Edition)
Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks · CD+DVD
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$10.95
$7.76 (used)
The Ritual - Limited White VinylThe Ritual - Limited White Vinyl
Limited Edition
Metal Blade 2017
Vinyl$18.49
$17.03 (used)
The Formation Of Damnation (Deluxe Tour Edition)The Formation Of Damnation (Deluxe Tour Edition)
Extra tracks
Nuclear Blast America 2012
Audio CD$9.86
$8.98 (used)
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New World Man (A Tribute to Rush) SEBASTIAN BACH WINGER  TESTAMENT VINNIE MOORE New World Man (A Tribute to Rush) SEBASTIAN BACH WINGER TESTAMENT VINNIE MOORE USD $5.28 Buy It Now 3h
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TESTAMENT Discography

TESTAMENT albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.08 | 45 ratings
The Legacy
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.71 | 51 ratings
The New Order
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.77 | 42 ratings
Practice What You Preach
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 36 ratings
Souls of Black
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.43 | 30 ratings
The Ritual
Thrash Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 24 ratings
Low
Thrash Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.22 | 23 ratings
Demonic
Thrash Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.09 | 30 ratings
The Gathering
Thrash Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.08 | 36 ratings
The Formation Of Damnation
Thrash Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.33 | 32 ratings
Dark Roots Of Earth
Thrash Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 3.87 | 9 ratings
Brotherhood of the Snake
Thrash Metal 2016

TESTAMENT EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
Live at Eindhoven
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trial by Fire
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.04 | 8 ratings
Return to the Apocalyptic City
Thrash Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nuclear Blast Presents Thrash Metal
Thrash Metal 2008

TESTAMENT live albums

.. Album Cover 4.18 | 8 ratings
Live at The Fillmore
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.09 | 4 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Live at Eindhoven '87
Thrash Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.65 | 5 ratings
Dark Roots of Thrash
Thrash Metal 2013

TESTAMENT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Crown
Thrash Metal 1992

TESTAMENT re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Signs of Chaos: The Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.52 | 11 ratings
First Strike Still Deadly
Thrash Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Days of Darkness
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spitfire Collection
Thrash Metal 2007

TESTAMENT singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kerrang! Plastic Explosive
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
True American Hate
Thrash Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Native Blood
Thrash Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Animal Magnetism
Thrash Metal 2013

TESTAMENT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Seen Between the Lines
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Omni 1988
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Tilburg, The Netherlands
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Santa Monica Civic 1989
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Osaka Japan 1999
Thrash Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.89 | 4 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005

TESTAMENT Reviews

TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
The Berkeley based TESTAMENT has been a staple in the thrash metal world for more than three decades at this point pumping out an erratic output with their most productive decade having been in the 90s. Deemed as one of the keepers of the old guard of the thrash metal scene that began in the 80s and gently crept into the following decades, the band has had a scant offering in the 21st century. Finally in the year 2017, TESTAMENT finally released a much anticipated 11th album BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE which delves into the world of ancient alien astronauts inspired by the Ancient Aliens TV program that ponders the possibilities of all the possible alternative historical realities withheld from humanity regarding their true origins. Throughout their lengthy metal history guitarist Eric Peterson has been the only constant member since the band’s inception and on this 2017 release the band finds a somewhat stable lineup returning for this new album with only newbie bassist Steve Di Giorgio replacing Greg Christian. It also sees the return of long time (well five albums anyway) mixer and engineer Andy Sneap who has been a behind-the-scenes contributor to the overall production path that TESTAMENT has trod.

BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE has indeed been a commercial success for TESTAMENT which debuted at number 20 on the Billboard charts, however it is in effect another predictable thrash-by-the-numbers release by the band with the obvious Metallica influences that never seem to totally go away. While not quite a member of the big four of the founders of the influential thrash metal of the 80s, TESTAMENT has however made quite the career out of emulating their heroes who pioneered the genre who came before them. In all honesty, i have never been the hugest of TESTAMENT fans due to the fact that they are simply too derivative of early Metallica and despite their heroes having abandoned their pioneering sound in favor of a more commercial alternative one, TESTAMENT have not only run away with keeping that old school thrash metal sound alive but have nurtured it and incubated it in a way that very few other metal bands have.

TESTAMENT has always been a hit-and-miss band for me. I really hate their early albums as they are unapologetically mere clones of “Master Of Puppets” era Metallica with the largest derivative elements finding their way into the guitar riffs and vocals. Being a sensitive musician, i cannot stand these kinds of ripoffs that may not be obvious to the casual listener and i’m perplexed as to how this band has become so popular despite these obvious ripoffs of style. Come 1999 and TESTAMENT redeemed themselves as having the creds of actually releasing interesting and original material with “The Gathering.” It seemed as if the band had finally found their own niche in the burgeoning world of thrash metal even if it retained its old school roots, however BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE is somewhat of a mixed bag of the two different eras of the TESTAMENT experience. While the title track starts off as some of the heaviest and distinct material the band has ever released, the majority of the following tracks reek of James Hatfield vocalizations, classic Metallica riffing accompanied by solos and an eminent sense of been-there-done-that-before-isms that just rub me totally the wrong way in every way.

There are several bands from the same era who are keepers of the old school thrash metal scene including not only TESTAMENT but also Overkill, Kreator, Slayer and Obituary just to name a few but while the majority of these bands were successful in finding their own distinct sound, TESTAMENT simply sounds like an incessant tug-of-war between sounding like Metallica and trying NOT to sound like Metallica which drives me fucking crazy and constantly reminding me that this band is totally overrated for simply parasitically siphoning off other artist’s ideas. Metallica the most obvious influence but they also have no problem borrowing from Pantera (“The Pale King”), Megadeth (“Neptune’s Spear”) and a whole slew of others. I simply don’t understand the popularity of TESTAMENT when they continue to steal eggs from other’s baskets. While i have been quite impressed with TESTAMENT in the past with albums such as “The Gathering” and “The Formation Of Damnation,” i simply find BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE to be a cash cow sort of attempt to back pedal into the TESTAMENT origins and pretend that no one is noticing. Yeah, i love the subject matter and lyrics but the music is just ridiculously second rate despite being exquisitely performed. Careful listeners will note that the track “Canna-Business” is even ripping off riffs from Marilyn Manson. Just check out the song “1996” from the album “Antichrist Superstar” and listen carefully to the vocal phrasing of the chorus. Sorry TESTAMENT, you jumped the shark with this one.

TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" is the 11th full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in October 2016. It´s the successor to "Dark Roots of Earth" from 2012. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Greg Christian has been replaced by Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Iced Earth). The latter also played with Testament from 1998 to 2004, so he´s not an unfamiliar face for the fans. The remaining members of the lineup are Chuck Billy (vocals), Alex Skolnick (guitar), Eric Peterson (guitar), and Gene Hoglan (drums).

There has been much talk about "Brotherhood Of The Snake" being written and recorded faster than the band originally planned, but if this is how a "rushed" effort by Testament sounds, I wish they would be even more spontaneous in the future, because "Brotherhood Of The Snake" has turned out a really strong release. It´s sharp, heavy, organic, and memorable thrash metal, and it´s not at all as one-dimensional as some reviews may have you believe. Testament skillfully add both melody and dark atmosphere to their edgy thrash metal riffing and rhythms, and Chuck Billy delivers a strong and varied vocal performance.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts, but in addition to Billy´s strong vocal performance I´d like to give a special mention to Alex Skolnick. While Eric Peterson wrote most of the basic tracks for the album, Skolnick´s lead guitar parts really spice the material up and add an extra dimension to the music. He is an incredibly skilled guitar player, who perfectly understands how to balance fierce shredding with gorgeous melodic moments. Gene Hoglan is of course always worth a mention too, and his performance here is another demonstration of his amazing drumming skills.

As for the material on the 10 track, 45:26 minutes long album it´s well written and memorable. There are several strong tracks on the album, but it´s the consistency of quality and style, which is the real winner here. There´s simply not a single sub par track on the album. When that is said I still have to mention "The Pale King" as a standout track on "Brotherhood Of The Snake". That one is bound to be a future Testament classic.

"Brotherhood Of The Snake" features a powerful, sharp, and detailed sound production, and upon conclusion this is an album which features all the elements for success. One asset I haven´t mentioned above is that Testament don´t sound old and tired, which sometimes happens to artists this far into their career. On the contrary they sound both inspired and hungry, which has great impact on the performance of the material. It´s things like that which make a world of difference between the really great artists and the not so great ones. A 4 star (80%) rating is well deserved.

TESTAMENT The Formation Of Damnation

Album · 2008 · Thrash Metal
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Warthur
Eh, I dunno guys. The thrashier bits of this album are pretty good, but there's a certain spin on the vocals from Chuck Billy, particularly on the more groove metal/alternative metal parts, which somehow doesn't quite work for me. Perhaps part of the issue is the smooth production style, which doesn't bring out the more hard-edged aspects of Testament's sound quite as well as it would emerge on latter-day albums like The Gathering or Dark Roots of Earth. It's still listenable and fun, but it doesn't hit the higher tiers of Testament's catalogue. Grab it if you're a big fan of the band but don't make it your first port of call.

TESTAMENT The Legacy

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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Warthur
Testament's The New Order left me cold because it felt like a slickly produced but ultimately slightly vacuous Metallica rip-off. Imagine my delight, then, to discover in The Legacy a rough and ready thrash album with a substantially more distinctive character. It's evident from the sound that the band couldn't get a top-flight studio and a big budget for this one, but they didn't need one - not when they had a slate of songs this strong from their days as The Legacy to assault the listener with. It's a shame that what (to me at least) was their sophomore slump put me off exploring this album for as long as it did, because this is great.

TESTAMENT The Legacy

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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Vim Fuego
Testament has always been a bit hit-and-miss. During their later career, from the late 1990s and beyond, the band found a consistency not present when thrash was in the ascendancy. ‘The New Order’ was a weak album, which was oddly always heaped with praise. This may well be a hangover from the response to the band’s debut album, the stunning ‘The Legacy’. Testament had been around for a good few years before the release of ‘The Legacy’, in fact changing their name from Legacy to Testament. The years in the wilderness allowed the band to sharpen and perfect the songs on this album.

A fair whack of the lyrics on ‘The Legacy’ had been written by original vocalist Steve Souza, replaced by Chuck Billy before the album was recorded. Billy’s vocals are more melodic than Souza’s, meshing strongly with the Peterson/Skolnick guitar team. The lyrics don’t stand up to close examination, “Raging Waters” being a song about sailing into Hell for example, but this is old school thrash, a genre not particularly noted for its lyrical genius anyway. An escaping prisoner, in “Over The Wall”, a paratrooper preparing to jump in “Do Or Die”, and Satanic hordes in pretty much the rest of the album round out the subject matter up for discussion. It’s love it or hate it type stuff.

Rate the lyrics how you like, because the main reason thrash fans loved Testament was the guitars, and let’s face it, guitars are what make metal metal. The guitar combination of Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick was one of the most creative and productive in the Bay Area. Pick any song here and you’ll find a handful of Peterson’s massive riffs and Skolnick’s innovative solos. The riff accompanying the chorus to “Alone In The Dark” is as melodic as Chuck Billy’s vocals, but it is still a hard edged song. “Do Or Die” has some very catchy leads following the chorus. There are many other special metal moments other than these too.

1987 might seem like a long time ago now, but this album has an almost timeless quality. The passage of time has hardly dulled the edge of these songs. A thrash classic in every sense.

TESTAMENT Movies Reviews

TESTAMENT Live in London

Movie · 2005 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Testament’s excellent 2005 Live In London DVD is simply one of the best live DVDs that a metal band has ever put out, and even now both sounds and looks terrific.

In terms of visuals the digital camera look presents a great true to life image which makes the footage seem higher definition than it actually is. Elsewhere, the camera work and editing is all top notch and the whole concert is just fantastic to watch.

This combined with the audio mix, which suits the material and the gig perfectly results in a all round great viewer experience.

As for the concert itself, it simply couldn’t be better. The band reunite the classic 1980s line up of Chuck Billy on vocals, Greg Christian on bass, Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick on guitar with Louie Clemente on drums (for half the set, with the first half being handled by Low-era drummer John Tempesta)

The band play a set list devoted entirely to their classic thrash-era material, with all the songs coming from the band’s first five albums. The band play many of their best songs like ‘Disciples Of The Watch,’ ‘Practice What You Preach,’ and ‘The Legacy.’

Even with all the fan service that the line up and set list represents, a concert is only as strong as the band’s performance and could still be terrible if the band are sloppy or their hearts aren’t in it. Luckily, the band are absolutely on fire and deliver one of the most energetic performances I’ve ever seen in a live DVD.

They seem so pleased to on stage and genuinely in to what they are doing and it subsequently comes across in the music, what you get is the electrifying sound of a band genuinely playing the absolute hell out of their instruments, with Chuck Billy engaging with the crowd at every opportunity, commanding the stage like an absolute master, so into the performance that he is playing air guitar (in a cynicism free way) and headbanging like a fan. This is the sort of performance that will win over non fans.

To conclude, Live In London is one of the best metal DVDs on the market, and I say that without hyperbole, even after all this time has passed since its release. Superb Audio Visual quality, Superb idea in the first place and finally a beyond-superb performance.

TESTAMENT Shouts

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jose carlos wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The fifth of the Big Four?
NorseGangsta wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Surprising but Demonic is actually a death metal album.

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