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Rock - Released April 3, 2020 | Nuclear Blast

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Rock - Released April 26, 1988 | Atlantic Records

Not only did Testament not suffer from the infamous sophomore slump on its second album, The New Order, but the band delivered its best offering ever. Order is every bit as brutally forceful as The Legacy, but the songs are even more memorable. Testament's outlook was still far from cheerful. Taking no prisoners either musically or lyrically, the headbangers embrace morbid gothic themes on such bombastic treasures as "Trial by Fire," "Disciples of the Watch," and "Into the Pit." And Testament's cover of Aerosmith's "Nobody's Fault" is one of the band's finest accomplishments. For those purchasing their first Testament album, Order is the ideal choice. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 21, 1987 | Atlantic Records

Comparable to Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica, Testament is one of thrash metal's more accessible and best-known bands. Testament quickly earned respect in thrash circles with its debut album, The Legacy, a relentlessly heavy and promising effort focusing on such subjects as the occult, witchcraft, nuclear war, and global destruction. Though one can hear the influence of Judas Priest and Metallica on bonecrushing numbers like "Burnt Offerings," "Apocalyptic City," and "First Strike Is Deadly," there's no question that Testament had a collective personality and vision of its own. Alex Perialas' production is superb -- well respected in metal circles, he obviously encouraged Testament to play hard and let it rip. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 25, 1989 | Megaforce - Atlantic

The gothic and occult themes associated with The Legacy and The New Order aren't nearly as prevalent on Testament's third album, Practice What You Preach. Instead, the thrash metallers place more emphasis on subjects like freedom of choice, political corruption, hypocrisy, and the effects of greed and avarice. One of Testament's most informative songs, the disturbing "Greenhouse Effect" takes a painfully honest look at environmental destruction. But while the band shifts its focus lyrically, its musical approach is much the same -- under the direction of metal producer Alex Perialas, Testament takes no prisoners and remains unapologetically abrasive. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Metal - Released May 31, 2019 | Dynamo Concerts

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Rock - Released April 28, 1992 | Atlantic Records

Once on the verge of breaking the platinum sales barrier and transforming the "Big Four of Thrash" (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth) into the "Big Five," the members of Testament were trying to simply stay afloat by the time they released this, their fifth album. In fact, The Ritual is a microcosm of the entire thrash metal scene. Once seemingly indestructible, by 1992 the group was crumbling towards an ignominious end, and despite possessing the genre's most technically gifted guitarist in Alex Skolnick and one of its most fearsome growls in vocalist Chuck Billy, Testament was obviously going down with the ship. Yawn-inducing, production-line moshers like "Electric Crown," "So Many Lies," and "Deadline" dominate the album; brief flashes of inspiration, such as the intro riffs of the title track and "As the Seasons Grey" are few and far between. Ironically, the disc's most uncharacteristic track, "Return to Serenity" is also its best. With its beautifully ethereal melodies, the song is one of the band's greatest achievements. Alas, it was also one that arrived too little, too late to save Testament's classic lineup, which would splinter immediately after The Ritual's release. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Low

Rock - Released September 13, 1994 | Atlantic Records

If Testament's 1992 record The Ritual was met with lukewarm critical and commercial response, by the time the band released its excellent 1994 return to form, Low, the hard rock panorama had changed beyond recognition. Testament's sixth studio album literally saw the boys from the Bay Area fighting for their lives in the unfriendly surroundings of the alternative nation. Wisely, the band decided to try something completely different and join forces with Rage Against the Machine/Melvins producer GGGarth Richardson. With temporary drummer John Tempesta in place behind the skins, the band began tracking at A&M studios in Los Angeles. Wanting to return to the no-holds-barred yet musically challenging sounds of works past, the GGGarth teaming proved to be the perfect fodder necessary for Testament to regain their confidence. Surprisingly, the dark, raging sounds that would emerge from these sessions represent some of the band's most lucid work since the classic Practice What You Preach. Impeccably mixed by hard rock warrior Michael Wagner, Low gets off to a tumultuous start with the album's title track. A bludgeoning start-stop-start-stop exercise in monster guitar crunch, "Low" showcases everything that is great and yet sometimes limiting about Testament's attack: huge guitar riffs, Chuck Billy's bowel-liquefying growl, and a classic Bay Area thrash sound spearheaded by rhythm ace Eric Peterson. Unfortunately, the song (like many others on the band's post Preach records) never takes off the way older tracks like "Practice What You Preach" or "Over the Wall" did. And with their backs against the wall, good, in this case, just isn't good enough. Still, all is not lost. Track number two, "Legions in Hiding," is the perfect platform for Tempesta's massive drumming. As he leads the band into battle, the guitar duo of Peterson and ex-Death guitarist James Murphy effortlessly peel off one guitar harmony after the other. In Murphy, Testament had finally found a solid replacement for the departed guitar wiz Alex Skolnick. Also on offer is the token power ballad (a department in which Testament never really excelled) in the form of "Trail of Tears." With references to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, circa "Victim of Changes," "Trail of Tears" only gradually takes flight towards a predictable guitar crescendo. Steeped deep in old-school Bay Area thrash and death metal vocals, "Dog Faced Gods" is an absolute scorcher, and undeniably the album's highlight. In the vein of old band classics like "Apocalyptic City" and "Eerie Inhabitants," "Dog Faced Dogs" will have fans of the classic chugga-chugga Bay Area guitar sound headbanging their necks off. At the end of the day, even though it rekindles memories of glories past, Low ultimately falls short of a full return to form. And like many later day thrash metal albums (see Anthrax's Volume 8: The Threat is Real), for all its merits Low would remain unheralded and unappreciated for arriving just plain too late. In the meantime, a little band by the name of Korn was about to reinvent the wheel that same year and do to Testament what Nirvana did to hair rock. Kill 'em dead. © John Franck /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 28, 2016 | Nuclear Blast

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Rock - Released January 26, 2018 | Nuclear Blast

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Now here is an aptly named title for the veteran thrash band, as this is truly the definitive "gathering" of musicians for Testament's lineup. Joining the ranks of vocalist Chuck Billy and guitarist Eric Peterson is guitarist aficionado James Murphy (Death, Cancer, Obituary), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Death and Sadus), and the human drumming machine himself, Dave Lombardo (Slayer and Fantomas). Testament, for the first time in many a full moon, is a complete, well-oiled musical machine. Sounding tighter then the previous four releases combined, Testament has used Demonic as the foundation from which they will once again build their metal legacy. The riffs are faster, heavier, and tighter, while the drumming is simple, but at the same time extraordinary (would you expect anything less from Lombardo?). Billy is one of thrash metal's most gifted vocalists. Continuing to expand upon his over the top performance from the last album, Billy demonstrates an aggressive versatility that is unheard of in this genre, as his voice fluctuates from angry to more angry to downright snarling. Demonic suffered because it lacked vision, however, The Gathering is pure focused aggression, which is why it is such a monumental release for Testament. Songs like "Eyes of Wrath," "True Believer," and "Careful What You Wish For" demonstrate a catchy, uncanny songwriting ability previously unseen in this band. While "Legions of the Dead" is bar none the heaviest song Testament has ever written. Nevertheless, it is "Riding the Snake" that takes the cake on this album. Here the entire band pulls out their finest arsenal. Lombardo pounds away at his kit with equal precision and intensity, while Murphy and Peterson's guitar interplay is playful and masterful. The real gem is DiGiorgio's four-stringed feats, which consist of a Tony Choy-esque solo that is nothing short of extraordinary. Testament will be unconquerable if they can maintain this lineup, but for the time being, The Gathering serves to quench anyone's parched metal thirst. Maybe you'll find it equally refreshing. © Jason Hundey /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 27, 2012 | Nuclear Blast

Booklet
Forget Metallica, forget Megadeth, Anthrax, and even Slayer! The most formidable on-stage thrash metal powerhouse of 2011 was arguably the (mostly) reconstituted classic lineup of Testament: singer Chuck Billy, guitarists Alex Skolnick, and Eric Peterson, plus returning bass badass Greg Christian and occasional drummer Gene Hoglan, who probably tops most predecessors on the stool, most would agree. This fearsome ensemble spent several months tearing up concert halls worldwide, consistently putting the "mosh" back in the "pit," before invading Oakland, California's Driftwood Studios to record their tenth album Dark Roots of Earth, which, though not quite as timeless as Testament's late-'80s triumphs, sure comes as close as anything they've done over the past 20 years. Savagely lucid thrashers like "Rise Up," "True American Hatred," and "Last Stand for Independence" highlight everything that made Testament special from day one and their failure to achieve stardom so perplexing: the homegrown Bay Area violence rivaled only by Exodus and a versatile musicality on par with Metallica. A simplistic analysis could chalk up the former to rhythm guitarist Peterson's brute-fist force, the latter to lead shredder Skolnick's Satriani-caliber virtuosity, but they are both just pieces of the band's alchemical musical puzzle, complemented by Billy's unique penchant for growling in tune, Christian's inventive and athletic bass contributions, and Hoglan's devastating percussive propulsion (if anything, he holds some of his death metal tricks in check here). Returning to the music itself, the more melodically driven title track and pummeling anti-ballad "Cold Embrace" raise fond memories of the Souls of Black and Practice What You Preach eras, respectively; and in the particularly memorable "A Day in the Death," fans get a polished-off ancient outtake co-written by original vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza! Finally, though the songs named above largely see Testament reaping nostalgia's rewards, the multifaceted "Throne of Thorns" reveals new sounds, ideas, and a willingness to experiment more aggressively in years to come. For now, Dark Roots of Earth improves upon 2008's comeback The Formation of Damnation and, in tandem with those rejuvenated live performances, promises a well-deserved second act for a band that so narrowly missed grasping the golden ring its first time around. Who knows, the best may be yet to come for Testament. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 18, 1990 | Megaforce - Atlantic

The first album Testament recorded without producer Alex Perialas, Souls of Black unites the thrashers with the better-known Michael Rosen. With Perialas having served Testament so well, many headbangers wondered how great an impact this change would have on the unit. But they needn't have worried -- Testament sounds very much like it did on its three previous albums and is as heavy as ever. The band's outlook was still far from cheerful. While it had moved away from gothic and occult themes, Testament still sees the world as a hellish, insufferable place plagued by evil governments and the threat of another world war. Like Practice What You Preach, Souls isn't in a class with The New Order, but is nonetheless a welcome addition to Testament's generally rewarding catalog. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Metal - Released September 4, 2001 | Rhino Atlantic

There's a very weird thing about thrash metal -- when it gets to a certain velocity and technical prowess, the guitars no longer sound like guitars, they sound like processed metallic machines. Which, of course, is part of the point, but it will often be slightly strange to listeners, even if they're hearing a band as acclaimed as thrash metal titans Testament. And that may be off-putting if they're coming in cold to Rhino's The Very Best of Testament. Regardless, this 2001 collection does an excellent job of summarizing their albums, featuring three cuts apiece from their first two albums, The Legacy and The New Order, two from Practice What You Preach, five from their 1992 crossover attempt, The Ritual, and a cut apiece from the live Return to the Apocalyptic City and 1994's Low. Not much here for collectors or the dedicated, outside of good sound, notes from Martin Popoff, and track-by-track analysis from guitarist Eric Peterson, but this does summarize their career quite well, even if it leans a little too heavily on The Ritual for some tastes -- and even with that crossover material in tow, the band's music still remains a daunting taste to acquire for outsiders. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 25, 2008 | Nuclear Blast

Testament has endured just about every single calamity a rock band can during their lengthy history: bandmembers coming and going, label switches, and most seriously, a bandmember's successful battle against cancer (singer Chuck Billy). But after all these years, Testament is still going strong, and to celebrate their 25th year anniversary since their initial formation, four-fifths of the group's definitive, best-known lineup have reunited for their first appearance on a studio album in 16 years, for 2008's Formation of Damnation. With drummer Louie Clemente being the only no-show (former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, who had briefly played in Testament, takes his spot here), the classic Testament thrash sound lives on in such tracks as the title track and "The Persecuted Won't Forget" (the latter of which puts the speedy drum skills Bostaph perfected in Slayer to good use). The group also offers a song that focuses on the horrors that unfolded in New York City on 9/11 ("The Evil Has Landed"), albeit nearly seven years after the fact. As one of the '80s-era thrash bands who never strayed far from their original path (if anything, they only got heavier as the years progressed), Testament's trademark thrash is, expectedly, all over Formation of Damnation. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 24, 2001 | Nuclear Blast

Booklet
"The idea was to remix some of the older material off of The Legacy and the New Order recordings," state the liner notes penned by the band. "In short, politically this could not happen." The result is one of the dreaded "re-recordings" that several artists have unfortunately opted to do. It is not a coincidence that the bands that embark on these attempts to rewrite history often have several new members, and are frequently washed up. The songs all sound pretty much the same, with the marginal increase in recording quality offset by the lack of spontaneity and passion that came with the young band anxious to show the world what they were made of. Re-recording one's hits is worse than live albums because it tries to be something it never can be, and this disc is no exception. Get the originals, or even the two Testament hits compilations, for the real deal; check this out if karaoke is your idea of contemporary entertainment. © Brian O'Neill /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 9, 1997 | Nuclear Blast

Booklet
As the 1990s progressed, Testament didn't soften their attack a bit -- in fact, the Bay Area band grew even more extreme and intense. Testament's Megaforce output of the late '80s and early '90s reached a lot of rockers who weren't necessarily seasoned thrash fans, much like albums by Anthrax and Megadeth. But Demonic is hardly an album that's meant for the casual thrash fan. The title is most appropriate -- Demonic actually sounds demonic. Testament had turned to more of a grindcore-influenced style and incorporated industrial touches, and the result is the heaviest, most evil-sounding album of their career. Even if you don't pay attention to the CD's dark lyrics, its sound alone will scare you. Compare ferocious gems like "John Doe," "The Burning Times," and "Hatreds Rise" to "Trial by Fire" from The New Order, and you'll see how much heavier Testament had become. As brutal as The New Order and Practice What You Preach were, they weren't this brutal. Or, to put it another way: Demonic rivals even Slayer's Reign in Blood in terms of heaviness. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 18, 2013 | Nuclear Blast

Recorded live at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York on February 15, 2013, Dark Roots of Thrash, a riff on the name of the thrash legends' 2011 tenth studio album Dark Roots of Earth, offers up 18 blistering live cuts spread over two discs, including longstanding Testament classics like “Burnt Offerings,” “Apocalyptic City,” “Disciples of the Watch,” and “Into the Pit,” and current fan favorites such as “DNR (Do Not Resuscitate),” “True American Hate,” and “Native Blood.” © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 7, 1987 | Nuclear Blast

Bay Area thrashers Testament arrived at the 1987 Dynamo Open Air Festival as relative unknowns, bolstered only by a startlingly mature debut album named The Legacy and boatloads of promise; they left conquering heroes, having handily converted the European masses assembled there with their accomplished musicianship and ferocious live show. So successful was the band's performance, in fact, that their label Megaforce rush-released the Live at Eindhoven EP in Europe -- thereby perpetuating four of the band's most potent melodic thrashers -- "Over the Wall," "Burnt Offerings," "Do or Die," and "Apocalyptic City" -- in all their vicious on-stage glory, and often at even faster speeds than were managed in the studio. A final, fifth track, named "Reign of Terror," was also tacked onto the end, as though it too had been performed live, but was in fact a rare outtake from The Legacy sessions, which helped make the original Live at Eindhoven EP a high-selling import in America over the next few years. Fast forward some 20 years, though, and Testament's complete, uniquely inspired set from that day was finally released in its entirety by Prosthetic Records; bringing the song count to nine, plus a guitar solo from teen wizard Alex Skolnick and arguably doubling the overall excitement in the bargain. Among the additions, there's the surprise of an as-yet unreleased "Disciples of the Watch" -- soon to become the centerpiece of Testament's massive sophomore studio effort, The New Order -- and three more classics from The Legacy, in "The Haunting," "First Strike Is Deadly," and an almost impossibly fast-and-heavy tornado-de-force through "Curse of the Legions of Death." In the end, the only measure of misfortune afflicting Live at Eindhoven's well-deserved upgrade and reissue may be the sense of irrelevance with which the music-buying public views live albums, in general, a decade into the third millennium. Testament's Live at Eindhoven flies too far away from the mainstream to change that, but it sure as hell might help. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 6, 1993 | Rhino Atlantic

Whether it was intended as a stop-gap between albums, or as a way to fulfill contractual obligation with Atlantic Records, this six-track EP will interest serious Testament fans only. Intense live versions of Testament classics like "Over the Wall," "Disciples of the Watch" and "The Haunting" are on offer here, as is the single-edit version of "Return to Serenity" -- one of the band's finest songs. But it is "Reign of Terror," an early non-album cut, which is the only real collectible gem here. © Eduardo Rivadavia /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Nuclear Blast

Combining longtime favorites with then-new material from Low, Live at the Fillmore proved beyond a doubt that Testament without Alex Skolnick was a more than viable proposition. The band sounds powerful and invigorated on the live material, while the three bonus studio cuts -- acoustic renditions of the ballads "The Legacy," "Trail of Tears," and "Return to Serenity" -- shed new light on the compositions. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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House - Released November 1, 1999 | Afterhours