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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Original Album SeriesOriginal Album Series
Box set
Warner Bros Uk 2013
$16.54 (used)
Dark Roots of Thrash (dvd(PAL)/2-cd)Dark Roots of Thrash (dvd(PAL)/2-cd)
Nuclear Blast America 2013
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First Strike Still DeadlyFirst Strike Still Deadly
Nuclear Blast Americ 2018
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Practice What You PreachPractice What You Preach
Megaforce Worldwide / Atlantic 1989
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Brotherhood of the SnakeBrotherhood of the Snake
Nuclear Blast America 2016
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Dark Roots of Earth (Deluxe Edition)Dark Roots of Earth (Deluxe Edition)
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Nuclear Blast America 2012
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The New OrderThe New Order
Megaforce Worldwide/ Atlantic 1988
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Nuclear Blast Americ 2018
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Atlantic 1992
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Souls Of BlackSouls Of Black
Megaforce Worldwide/ Atlantic 1990
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TESTAMENT Discography

TESTAMENT albums / top albums

TESTAMENT The Legacy album cover 4.21 | 50 ratings
The Legacy
Thrash Metal 1987
TESTAMENT The New Order album cover 3.47 | 52 ratings
The New Order
Thrash Metal 1988
TESTAMENT Practice What You Preach album cover 3.80 | 43 ratings
Practice What You Preach
Thrash Metal 1989
TESTAMENT Souls of Black album cover 3.83 | 38 ratings
Souls of Black
Thrash Metal 1990
TESTAMENT The Ritual album cover 3.55 | 30 ratings
The Ritual
Thrash Metal 1992
TESTAMENT Low album cover 3.90 | 26 ratings
Thrash Metal 1994
TESTAMENT Demonic album cover 3.71 | 23 ratings
Thrash Metal 1997
TESTAMENT The Gathering album cover 4.02 | 31 ratings
The Gathering
Thrash Metal 1999
TESTAMENT The Formation Of Damnation album cover 3.98 | 37 ratings
The Formation Of Damnation
Thrash Metal 2008
TESTAMENT Dark Roots Of Earth album cover 4.22 | 33 ratings
Dark Roots Of Earth
Thrash Metal 2012
TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake album cover 3.67 | 10 ratings
Brotherhood of the Snake
Thrash Metal 2016

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)

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


TESTAMENT Souls of Black

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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"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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"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.


Album · 1988 · Thrash Metal
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"The New Order" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Testament. The album was released through Atlantic/Megaforce Records in May 1988. "The Legacy (1987)" instantly put Testament on the thrash metal map and riding on that wave of success "The New Order" was recorded and released less than a year after the release of "The Legacy (1987)" (which was released in July 1987). Add to that a lot of touring and the release of the "Live at Eindhoven" EP in October 1987, and you have a very busy band.

It´s not exactly audible on "The New Order" though, which is a well composed, detailed, and generally well played release. Stylistically it´s the natural successor to the debut, featuring more sophisticated compositions, while still maintaining some of the rawness and aggression of it´s predecessor. The 10 track, 39:20 minutes long album is a pretty varied release, showing new sides of Testament that the debut didn´t. It´s especially the very skillfully executed guitar leads and solos by Alex Skolnick, which provide the music with something extra, but quite a few of the basic tracks themselves are also very catchy and feature powerful and memorable thrashy riffs and vocals. Highligths include "Trial by Fire", "Into the Pit", and "Disciples of the Watch", but there´s nothing sub par on the album. Even the Aerosmith cover "Nobody's Fault" is delivered in a convincing manner, that also shows that Chuck Billy is pretty good at performing more melodic oriented vocals.

The sound production is decent, but could definitely have been better sounding. For a 1988 thrash metal production it´s alright though. As mentioned above the musicianship is generally very strong on the album (and in the case of Skolnick it´s absolutely brilliant), but if I have to mention a minor issue it would be the drumming by Louie Clemente. The man has absolutely no groove and his drumming style is often one-dimensional and lacking innovative playing ideas. With a better drummer "The New Order" could have been an absolute beast of an album, but Clemente´s playing style and general lack of groove drag my rating down a bit. I still think "The New Order" is one of Testament´s strongest albums though, and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

TESTAMENT Brotherhood of the Snake

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
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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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"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 Movies Reviews

TESTAMENT Live in London

Movie · 2005 · Thrash Metal
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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.


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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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