In the genre of thrash metal, no other band is so misunderstood as San Francisco’s Testament. When conversations of which band could replace a member of the Big Four of Thrash Metal, Testament is always at the top of the list. Chuck Billy and the boys are full thrash metal composition, brutality, and techniques. They are definitely this reviewer’s favorite to replace Metallica in Big Four discussions, as their commitment to continuing to play and compose thrash out weight the former.
When I was given the opportunity by my editors to review the Testament remasters, I jumped at the opportunity. Having been a fan of Testament since the New Order days, this is, by all means, an aural delight, and also a trip down thrash memory lane. Featured in the reissues are 1995’s Live At The Fillmore, 1997’s Demonic, 1999’s The Gathering, 2001’s First Strike Still Deadly and 2009’s Live At Eindhoven ‘87.
The two original albums, Demonic and The Gathering, released in 1997 and 1999 respectively, are a different venture for the casual Testament fan. An Alex Skolnick-absent TESTAMENT, and featuring a darker and more brooding sound. Erik Peterson features predominantly in guitar duties on these two releases. Highlights from Demonic include, “Hatred’s Rise”, “John Doe”, and “Jun-Jun”. Highlights from The Gathering include “D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)”, “Fall Of Sipledome”, and “Hammer Of The Gods”.
The compilation album reissue, First Strike Still Deadly, is full of Testament classics “The New Order”, “Into The Pit”, and my personal favorite, “Practice What You Preach”.
The two live album reissues, Live At The Fillmore and Live At Eindhoven are full of the live Testament brutality we are accustomed to. From the crushing “Into the Pit” to “Souls Of Black”, Live At The Fillmore is classic Testament. On Live At Eindhoven, the Legacy (pun intended) continues. Opening with “Practice What You Preach”, and featuring classics “Burnt Offerings”, “First Strike”, and a stellar guitar solo from the most UNDERRATED guitarist in the genre, Alex Skolnick. The two live reissues are a must for any hardcore TESTAMENT fan.
In conclusion, any Testament fan needs these reissues in their personal collection. For hardcore fans such as myself, it’s a statement to the Big Four that Testament belongs more than some current members. Hey Lars? Are ya listening?