Testament has been around since the heyday of the Thrash scene, yet they never achieved the same monetary altitude as some of their more recognisable peers such as Metallica or Slayer managed although even they’re in different leagues. Yet reforming over a decade ago and then releasing the seminal `Formation Of Damnation` in 2008, the band have been on the up after previous years of line up changes and horrendous health problems within the band however even since 2008 they’ve not escaped line up issues.
Back after a 4 year wait since `Dark Roots Of Earth` and back with the Andy Sneap whom is helming the Testament show for his 5th time as producer on the 10 tracks on this new album.
The title track opens the proceedings and from the relentless barrage of the double kick drum provided expertly by the atomic clock Gene Hoglan along with the perfectly synchronized riffs of Eric and Alex it’s a song that pretty much sets the feel for the album. Modern thrash production coupled with a group of guys who’ve been there, seen it all and done it all during the real heyday of the thrash scene and who really haven’t been influenced by much since Maiden, Priest and Motorhead and you can hear that through the guitar leads and on Chuck’s vocals that are more precised barks than grunted cookie monster vocals.
From `Stronghold` through to `Neptune’s Spear` to the final track `The Number Game`, Testament are on a full on rampage. Its Metal done properly, you’re not getting any ballads or even a slower track from the Bay Area titans. Each song is delivered with pure aggression and intelligence especially within the lyrical writing diving into secret societies and cults. The lead guitar work on the album is just perfect, not always like `hey look at me` but tasteful and fit the song perfectly just listen to `Stronghold` and `Born In A Rut` and you’ll hear why.
The album as a whole is 10 tracks of pure classic thrash metal, do not come to this party expecting a few ballads then brother you best keep on walking. Still what you get with Testament is a combination of old school thrash with modern production with Chuck’s vocals barked rather than the more death growl that has crept into Thrash over the past.
This is metal and its metal done extremely well, solid, punchy, and full of vigor this is pure Testament. If they carry on in this manner I can see these boys having a decent career ahead of them. Well worth picking up.
9/10- If you want thrash done properly, look no further.
Stand out tracks:
`Brotherhood Of The Snake`, `Stronghold` and
1. Brotherhood Of The Snake
2. The Pale King
4. Seven Seals
5. Born In A Rut
6. Centuries Of Suffering
7. Neptune’s Spear
8. Black Jack
9. Canna Business
10. The Number Game
Testament on the net: