So much attention is paid to “The Big Four” (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer). But this designation leaves out many important and influential bands from the two waves of thrash metal that swept through the country (Metal Church, Exodus, Overkill, and Death Angel, etc.). Testament is one of these bands, which had a huge effect on metal in the 80s and 90s, and are a major influence in much of the sound in many differing genres of metal today.
In 1987, the San Francisco Bay area band released their debut album, The Legacy (Megaforce). May of ’88 saw the release of The New Order and in August of ’89 the band’s breakthrough record, Practice What You Preach was released. Though the band has seen more than its share of musicians pass in and out, and despite the fact of two members being diagnosed with cancer (both, now, fully recovered), Testament has steadily released new music (12 studio albums through 2019).
On April 3, 2020 Testament’s 13th studio album saw the light of day. Titans of Creation (Nuclear Blast) brings great thrash/Death Metal/Hardcore sound, as you’ve come to expect from these… well, titans! And that great sound is brought to you on this record by nothing less than a literal “super group!”
Chuck Billy, with his powerful voice and equally powerful presence (he literally looks like a titan!) has been the “voice” of Testament on every single record – spanning 33 years. Eric Peterson (founding member, guitars) and Alex Skolnick (longtime member, guitars) weave some incredibly masterful riffs, leads, and pure groovy/crunchy licks on this album. Ladies and gentlemen, playing bass is the great Steve Di Giorgio (Death, Obituary, Autopsy, Control Denied, Iced Earth, Sadus, and no less than 20 other bands!!). Another legend, Gene “the Atomic Clock” Hoglan (Death, Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory, Dethklok, and more than as dozen others) drives this record with his patented creative arrangements of machine-like double base, symbol work, and snare/tom combinations.
Testament recorded their last record, Brotherhood of the Snake (2016) with this same lineup, so this new record doesn’t break new ground but delivers on the full force sound that you’ve come to expect from these longtime heroes. Like every Testament album some songs stand out:
Favorite Songs: Night of the Witch ; City of Angels; The Healers
Bonus: Favorite songs through the Testament Years: Into the Pit ; The New Order ; Disciples of the Watch ; Practice What You Preach ; Souls of Black ; Over the Wall ; Electric Crown.