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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TESTAMENT Discography

TESTAMENT albums / top albums

TESTAMENT The Legacy album cover 4.23 | 61 ratings
The Legacy
Thrash Metal 1987
TESTAMENT The New Order album cover 3.54 | 61 ratings
The New Order
Thrash Metal 1988
TESTAMENT Practice What You Preach album cover 3.85 | 52 ratings
Practice What You Preach
Thrash Metal 1989
TESTAMENT Souls of Black album cover 3.79 | 47 ratings
Souls of Black
Thrash Metal 1990
TESTAMENT The Ritual album cover 3.54 | 36 ratings
The Ritual
Thrash Metal 1992
TESTAMENT Low album cover 3.81 | 31 ratings
Low
Thrash Metal 1994
TESTAMENT Demonic album cover 3.61 | 27 ratings
Demonic
Thrash Metal 1997
TESTAMENT The Gathering album cover 4.03 | 35 ratings
The Gathering
Thrash Metal 1999
TESTAMENT The Formation Of Damnation album cover 3.95 | 43 ratings
The Formation Of Damnation
Thrash Metal 2008
TESTAMENT Dark Roots Of Earth album cover 4.20 | 40 ratings
Dark Roots Of Earth
Thrash Metal 2012
TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake album cover 3.72 | 20 ratings
Brotherhood of the Snake
Thrash Metal 2016
TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation album cover 4.16 | 17 ratings
Titans Of Creation
Thrash Metal 2020

TESTAMENT EPs & splits

TESTAMENT Live at Eindhoven album cover 3.75 | 6 ratings
Live at Eindhoven
Thrash Metal 1987
TESTAMENT Trial by Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trial by Fire
Thrash Metal 1988
TESTAMENT Return to the Apocalyptic City album cover 4.15 | 10 ratings
Return to the Apocalyptic City
Thrash Metal 1993
TESTAMENT Nuclear Blast Presents Thrash Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nuclear Blast Presents Thrash Metal
Thrash Metal 2008

TESTAMENT live albums

TESTAMENT Live at The Fillmore album cover 3.71 | 10 ratings
Live at The Fillmore
Thrash Metal 1995
TESTAMENT Live in London album cover 4.10 | 6 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005
TESTAMENT Live at Eindhoven '87 album cover 4.33 | 3 ratings
Live at Eindhoven '87
Thrash Metal 2009
TESTAMENT Dark Roots of Thrash album cover 4.50 | 7 ratings
Dark Roots of Thrash
Thrash Metal 2013

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

TESTAMENT Electric Crown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Crown
Thrash Metal 1992

TESTAMENT re-issues & compilations

TESTAMENT The Best of Testament album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 1996
TESTAMENT Signs of Chaos: The Best of Testament album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Signs of Chaos: The Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 1997
TESTAMENT The Very Best of Testament album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best of Testament
Thrash Metal 2001
TESTAMENT First Strike Still Deadly album cover 4.32 | 11 ratings
First Strike Still Deadly
Thrash Metal 2001
TESTAMENT Days of Darkness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Days of Darkness
Thrash Metal 2004
TESTAMENT The Spitfire Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Spitfire Collection
Thrash Metal 2007

TESTAMENT singles (4)

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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)

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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
4.69 | 4 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005

TESTAMENT Reviews

TESTAMENT Low

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Low" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, California based thrash/heavy metal act Testament. The album was released through Atlantic Records in September 1994. It´s the successor to "The Ritual" from 1992 and features a couple of lineup changes compared to the lineup who recorded the predecessor. Drummer Louise Clemente was replaced by John Tempesta and guitarist Alex Skolnick was replaced by James Murphy. Tempesta was known for his work with Exodus while Murphy had played on albums by Death, Obituary, Cancer, and Disincarnate. Both are skilled and worthy replacements (although I personally prefer Skolnick over Murphy).

"The Ritual (1992)" introduced a new and more accessible heavy metal sound with only occasional thrash metal leanings, but with "Low", Testament are back in thrash metal mode. This time around with more focus on groove, which is audible already from the opening title track. It´s not as such groove metal, but there certainly is a strong emphasis on groove throughout the album. The music features hard edged and sharp thrash metal riffs, powerful rhythms, well played leads, and Chuck Billy´s powerful vocals in front. His singing on the album is relatively varied, and he sings both semi-clean, raw, and even occasionally brutal growling vocals.

The material on the 12 track, 47:19 minutes long album are generally well written, although not all tracks are equally remarkable. Some of the highlights include the title track and "Hail Mary", while a track like the fusion influenced instrumental "Urotsukidôji" may be a standout track, but not in a positive sense. It´s the kind of track which disrupts the album flow, and overall sounds more like the band had fun in the studio playing something different, than a track which was written specifically for the album.

"Low" features a powerful and detailed sound production and strong musical performances, but it´s not the strongest Testament album in their discography. So while it signals a (for many) welcome return to a more thrash metal oriented sound after the "softer" "The Ritual (1992)", I dare say it´s a slightly less interesting release compared to the predecessor. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

TESTAMENT Live in London

Live album · 2005 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Live in London" is a live album release by US, California based thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Spitfire Records in November 2005. The album features a recording of one full show from May 2005 in London. The show was also released on DVD. It marks the first time since 1992 that the "classic" lineup of Chuck Billy (Vocals), Alex Skolnick (Lead Guitar), Eric Peterson (Rhythm Guitar), Greg Christian (Bass), and Louie Clemente (Drums) played together. The latter only performs on about half of the 14 tracks on the 71:13 minutes long album though. John Tempesta, who originally replaced Clemente when the latter left Testament in 1992, plays on the remaining tracks. The show in London was a one-off and while both Skolnick and Christian stayed with the band for a number of years after the reunion show (Christian left Testament again in early 2014), Clemente has not played with Testament since.

Not surprisingly all tracks on the tracklist are culled from the first five albums by Testament. Predominantly (8 out of 14 tracks) from the first two albums "The Legacy (1987)" and "The New Order (1988)", while the remaining three albums are represented by two tracks each. There really aren´t that many surprises on the tracklist and we´re pretty much treated to the "hit-parade" of the early years of Testament. "Over the Wall", "Disciples of the Watch", "Practice What You Preach", and other classic Testament tracks.

The band are well playing and deliver the tracks with great passion and conviction. The audience sound a bit restrained, but it´s probably a matter of where they are placed in the mix. Other than that the sound production is of a good quality considering that this is a live album. So upon conclusion "Live in London" is a quality live release by Testament documenting a very special event in the band´s career. For fans of the band´s early material this is more or less a mandatory listen and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

TESTAMENT The Ritual

Album · 1992 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"The Ritual" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, California based thrash/heavy metal act Testament. The album was released through Atlantic/Megaforce Records in May 1992. It´s the successor to "Souls of Black" from 1990 and it´s the last Testament release to feature the "classic" lineup of Chuck Billy (Vocals), Alex Skolnick (Lead Guitar), Eric Peterson (Rhythm Guitar), Greg Christian (Bass), and Louie Clemente (Drums).

"The Ritual" is Testament´s most commercially successful album. The musical changes that the band made resulted in a more mainstream oriented and accessible heavy metal effort, although they haven´t completely left their thrash metal roots behind. Other contemporary artists like Metallica, Overkill, and Anthrax were also toying with more accessible musical directions, so it wasn´t unusual for the time for thrash metal artists to evolve and try something new. So the change in musical direction was definitely a conscious decision. If it was a desire for commercial success or it just felt like the right time to try something new I don´t know, but my guess is probably a bit of both.

The change in musical style is audible right from opening of the album. After the short intro track "Signs of Chaos", we´re treated to "Electric Crown", which pretty much sets the tone and pace for the rest of the 11 track, 54:34 minutes long album. Melodic (though still relatively hard-edged) mid-paced heavy metal with the occasional more thrashy riff thrown in. While the four preceding album releases all have a different sound there is still a clear stylistic red thread throughout that period of Testament´s career, so listening to "The Ritual" was probably a bit of a shock to a part of the band´s regular fanbase. The power ballad "Return to Serenity" earned Testament a charting single though, so it would appear that new fans were added to the ranks. Fans who either embraced the stylistic change or didn´t know Testament´s back catalogue enough to care.

It wasn´t just the musical style which was changed between "Souls of Black (1990)" and "The Ritual". The latter features a much less heavy and hard edged sound production to its predecessor, and although there are several thrashy riffs on the album, even those parts don´t really sound much like thrash metal, because the sound production just isn´t heavy enough to bring out the thrashy aggression (examples are otherwise pretty thrashy tracks like "Let Go of My World" and "The Sermon"). "The Ritual" has other things that are interesting though, and especially the lead guitar work by Alex Skolnick is stunning. He has always been an incredible guitarist and his contributions to the preceding releases by the band are considerable, but it´s like he is more at ease with the material on "The Ritual". There is a natural tone to his performance that oozes enjoyment with what he is playing. The rest of the band are also well playing, although Louie Clemente´s drumming sounds a bit "stiff". The restraint he has to put on his playing isn´t doing anything good for the final output.

So upon conclusion "The Ritual" is a bit of the "odd one out" in Testament´s discography, and they would soon return to more thrash metal oriented material on "Low (1994)". Despite the mixed reception among fans of the band, the band did enjoy some commercial success, and in that regard "The Ritual" must be regarded as a success. To my ears the material could have been more varied and hook laden, because not enough tracks stand out and the mid-paced rhythms and lack of aggression also quickly become a bit tedious (tracks like "Deadline" and "Agony" are downright unremarkable). It is an album which wins with repeated spins though, and if you leave behind your preconceived notions of what a Testament album should sound like, "The Ritual" is actually a relatively good quality heavy metal album and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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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?

TESTAMENT The Legacy

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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SilentScream213
Take run of the mill 80’s Thrash and then take away pretty much any weaknesses you could find in the genre. That’s really Testament’s debut, which added absolutely nothing new to the realm of Thrash, but did everything just about as well as anyone could have. Crunchy riffs, wild solos, and a precise, speedy rhythm section played some of the tightest standard Thrash put to record. Every single song is top quality.

The most interesting factor about this album is actually Chuck’s vocals, which have surprising versatility especially for a Thrash vocalist. He can yell with the best, but he can also shift his pitch quite a bit, and carry melodies when he has to, and even throws in a couple death growls for good measure. The production is also as good as 80’s metal got, which is especially surprising for a debut. They didn’t invent anything new here, but at step one they had already mastered the craft.

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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