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 4.22 | 54 ratings
The Legacy
Thrash Metal 1987
TESTAMENT The New Order album cover 3.51 | 54 ratings
The New Order
Thrash Metal 1988
TESTAMENT Practice What You Preach album cover 3.82 | 46 ratings
Practice What You Preach
Thrash Metal 1989
TESTAMENT Souls of Black album cover 3.84 | 41 ratings
Souls of Black
Thrash Metal 1990
TESTAMENT The Ritual album cover 3.55 | 32 ratings
The Ritual
Thrash Metal 1992
TESTAMENT Low album cover 3.91 | 27 ratings
Low
Thrash Metal 1994
TESTAMENT Demonic album cover 3.71 | 23 ratings
Demonic
Thrash Metal 1997
TESTAMENT The Gathering album cover 4.02 | 31 ratings
The Gathering
Thrash Metal 1999
TESTAMENT The Formation Of Damnation album cover 3.99 | 38 ratings
The Formation Of Damnation
Thrash Metal 2008
TESTAMENT Dark Roots Of Earth album cover 4.22 | 35 ratings
Dark Roots Of Earth
Thrash Metal 2012
TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake album cover 3.79 | 14 ratings
Brotherhood of the Snake
Thrash Metal 2016
TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation album cover 4.31 | 5 ratings
Titans Of Creation
Thrash Metal 2020

TESTAMENT EPs & splits

TESTAMENT Live at Eindhoven album cover 3.90 | 5 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 4.31 | 8 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 3.77 | 9 ratings
Live at The Fillmore
Thrash Metal 1995
TESTAMENT Live in London album cover 4.50 | 4 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005
TESTAMENT Live at Eindhoven '87 album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Live at Eindhoven '87
Thrash Metal 2009
TESTAMENT Dark Roots of Thrash album cover 4.50 | 5 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)

.. 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
4.69 | 4 ratings
Live in London
Thrash Metal 2005

TESTAMENT Reviews

TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"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.

TESTAMENT Titans Of Creation

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
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.

TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
After many years of loving Testament’s (and many other Thrash bands’) ‘80s output but being suspicious of anything new, in 2008, Testament blew my mind with their superb The Formation Of Damnation album, it was a real game changer. In 2012 they followed it up with Dark Roots Of The Earth which was also amazing, real album-of-the-year stuff.

Could Testament keep up the hot-streak of superb modern albums, like Exodus have been able to? Or would they have ups and downs like Anthrax and Megadeth have?

2016 saw them release Brotherhood Of The Snake and match all expectations. Yet another winner! The album opens really strongly, with its best two songs ‘Brotherhood Of The Snake’ and ‘The Pale King’ but isn’t front-loaded. Side two contains perhaps the hardest tune ‘Centuries Of Suffering’ and the ridiculously catchy and memorable late-album highlight ‘Canna-Business’ (Side note: Not just a typical rock ’n’ roll excess druggy song, but about them de-criminalizing it and using it for medicine).

The production, as with the last two albums, is spot on. Even though Andy Sneap is the best producer for modern albums by ‘80s Metal bands, and isn’t in charge this time (choosing to self-produce instead), they seem to have learned a lot from working with him last time around, and capture much of the same sound and energy.

Unlike some other veteran bands still putting albums out nowadays, Testament don’t let this snake outstay its welcome. At just 10 songs, there’s no filler and no flab. It makes the album much better. There’s no point filling the disc up with more songs and diluting the impact when you can just use only what you need and have a better experience overall. All the songs here are necessary.

The performance out of the band is great. Its precise and technical without loosing the crunch and power. The riffs pummel you and the leads impress. This is not an album that finds you loosing attention or letting your mind wonder.

Expertly produced, savagely played, finely crafted. Brotherhood’ is a firing-on-all-cylinders gem that is everything a Testament album should be… fast, hard, concise, musical and catchy as hell.

TESTAMENT Souls of Black

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Souls of Black" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Atlantic/Megaforce Records in October 1990. "Souls of Black" is the fourth album release by Testament in little over 3 years, and it was alledgedly written and recorded a bit faster than the band had originally planned, but as Testament had been offered to be part of the European leg of the now legendary "Clash of the Titans" tour, which ran from September 1990 - October 1990 (and also featured Slayer, Megadeth, and Suicidal Tendencies), Testament wanted to have a new album out before the tour. They didn´t quite succeed in doing that, but "Souls of Black" was released on the day of the Stockholm show towards the end of the tour. Conincidently it was released on the exact same day as "Seasons in the Abyss (1990)" by Slayer.

The music on "Souls of Black" is Testament taking a step back to a harder edged sound after the rather sterile and powerless sounding "Practice What You Preach (1989)". That sound production sets the two albums miles apart. "Souls of Black" features a pretty raw guitar tone, and a relatively powerful production, but the songwriting is also generally of a harder edged nature. Except for the short acoustic intro track "Beginning of the End" and the effectful power ballad "The Legacy". Other than those two tracks the material on the 10 track, 39:16 minutes long album is hard edged and thrashy in nature. It´s not all tracks which stand out upon initial listen, but repeated listens reveal more hooks (although the relatively one-dimensional songwriting is a minor issue, and the word filler does come to mind a couple of times too). Some of the highligts include the above mentioned "The Legacy", the heavy and groove laden title track, and the closing track "Seven Days of May".

The musicianship is generally on a high level (drummer Louie Clemente is as usual the weak link though), but I feel I need to give a special mention to Alex Skolnick, who plays one blistering guitar solo after another throughout the album. The musical foundation is alright, but he provides the icing on the cake. That little extra which makes the album stand out a bit more. Upon conclusion "Souls of Black" to my ears sounds like a slight return to form, and while it was alledgedly written and recorded in more of a hurry than the band had wished for, I personally think the more raw and immediate material works really well. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

TESTAMENT Practice What You Preach

Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Practice What You Preach" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Atlantic/Megaforce Records in August 1989. The band enjoyed great success with their first two albums, and they were on a roll at this point in their career, which they took full advantage of by releasing their third album in little over two years.

"Practice What You Preach" is what I´d call a natural progression from the first two albums. Stylistically it´s slightly less raw sounding, a little more melodic, features a cleaner sounding production, and overall just sounds a bit more professional. The music style is still thrash metal with the distinct sound that Testament were known for in those days, but they´ve incorporated a few more traditional heavy metal elements here than they did on the two predecessors. The opening title track is one of the highlights, but the material is generally well written, although not as immediately catchy as much of the material on the two predecessors. The quality does drop a bit the longer you get into the album though, and to my ears the first five tracks (Side 1 of the vinyl version) are the strongest. After that the songwriting becomes a bit more patchy.

The cleaner sound production (and especially the clicky kick drums) has the effect that the music sometimes lacks a bit of punch and rawness though. It´s almost as if the cleaner and more professional sounding production isn´t doing the music any favors.

The lineup is still the same as the lineup who recorded the two predecessors, and therefore we are treated to the same highly skilled lead guitar playing by Alex Skolnick, the powerful and distinct sounding vocals by Chuck Billy (a little more melodic oriented this time around), but unfortunately also the clumsy and one-dimensional drumming by Louie Clemente. So no surprises there. Overall "Practice What You Preach" is another quality thrash metal release by Testament, but to my ears it´s a slight step down in songwriting quality from the two more immediate and raw sounding predecessors. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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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