1987 - The Legacy.
1988 - The New Order.
1989 - Practice What You Preach.
1990 - Souls Of Black.
1994 - Low.
1997 - Demonic.
1999 - The Gathering.
way more Helter Skelter.

April 21, 1987 - 2022: 35 years of: The Legacy.

Welcome to The Bay.

The Second Wave Of US Thrash-Metal. The Bay-Area: Ground Zero for scene-leaders EXODUS and arena-fillers METALLICA. The glorious Class of '87 includes the technical HEATHEN, a very young DEATH ANGEL and the eventual gigantic TESTAMENT.

This LEGACY of demonic low tones, that used to include the to-be EXODUS frontmen Steve Zetro Souza, shall make a metal-ritual, a gathering of brotherhood of the snakes ...the ultimate souls of black. From the fertile bedrock of thrashmetal, arises TESTAMENT.

You won't get away from the four-wall Alcatraz rock-solid opener of "Over The Wall". World, welcome on lead-guitar, the new prodigy with the soft hands: Alex Skolnick. The moshing continues with "The Haunting" and the fast and fat "Curse Of The Legions Of Death". The dark finale of "Apocalyptic City" is another riff-raff explosion of dictated aggression of the highest level.

The record also includes the to-be crowd favorites, the devastating "Raging Waters" and the immortal sacrifices of "Burnt Offerings". TESTAMENT are the new-school of thrashmetal.

The Live At Eindhoven EP displays brute energy, from this hungry metal-machine, on tour for the first time, getting a taste of the land of heavymetal: Germany. The Californian West-Coast, origins of hard-music's most celebrated antipodes: glamrock and thrashmetal. The next summoning shall arise from above, in the form of 1988's The New Order LP.

Over The Wall = video
The Legacy = full LP
Live At Eindhoven = full EP
Live at the Club Dynamo in 1987

May 5, 1988 - 2023: 35 years of: The New Order.

Round Two !

One of thrashmetal's strongest follow-up LP. 1988: the Bay-Area takeover is at full swing, a pivotal year for thrashmetal. Smoking murder in the front-row hot releases by DEATH ANGEL, VIO-LENCE, FORBIDDEN ...and TESTAMENT did not disappoint.

Up here in Space, they're looking down on you, the mood is set to evil as "Eerie Inhabitants" blasts out of orbit. At high pace, the vicious attack peels us dry. The riff-o-rama bites again on the massive title-track "The New Order" were a new level of brutality is unlocked.

The speed is real as the RPMs are rolling up the I5 ...worship "The Preacher" "Into The Pit". The fuller production and creations are wiser, as displayed on the MTV-cut "Trial By Fire", from melodic-intro to eloquent raging thrash: "This is the price you have to pay - Won't get away !"

Not only fast, punchy and aggressive, but the LP also features not only one but two, well crafted instrumental-interludes that displays their intrigue towards a more progressive approach and superior musical craftsmanship. For cool-factor, they included an AEROSMITH cover in "Nobody's Fault" as an added bonus.

From San Jose to San Francisco, the Bay was now fully engulfed in Thrash Metal's Second Wave. This genre was the crude-metal the underground had brewed to perfection ...all hoping for the big stages, firmly opened by METALLICA.

Fostering from the Old to New Testament, this thrash legacy would reach peak-point on 1989's pristine smart metal assault Practice What You Preach LP.

Trial By Fire = video
Nobody's Fault = video
The New Order = full LP
MTV interview in 1988
Live in Germany in 1988

Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach = full LP

October 9, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: Souls Of Black.

After the Big Four, comes the Other Big Four.

Commercially way behind METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX and SLAYER, the collective union of LEGACY, their previous moniker, have been practicing what they preach since the new order. From the Old to the New, this is the thrashmetal TESTAMENT.

Record #4, the pressure was on, but the San Francisco quintet were locked and loaded. Hypothetically, the following Big Four could've been: TESTAMENT, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DEATH ANGEL and the New-York hate-pushers OVER KILL. Many matured records under their collective belts, fan approved and ready for action, they were thrashmetal's next big thing ...but some black-album changed all of that.

A quiet classical-guitar intro opens up and the freightrain that is "Face In The Sky" hits were it hurts. Louder and meaner, this time they take no prisoners. Thrashmetal riff abound on "Falling Fast" where monster Chuck Billy even tries the almost deathmetal grunts. Menacing and foreshadowing of deadly things to come.

In this new era of intelligent-thrash, more political cynicism is infused within on the swingin' track "Souls Of Black", the massive mastodon "Seven Days Of May" and the social inequities of "Malpractice".

And now the obligatory powerballad. No not hardrock love-songs from The Strip, but once again, a powerful roller-coaster of melodramatic powermetal. Alex Skolnick shines on the lead-guitar and leaves no untouched-frets behind. Thrashmetal powerballad, a TESTAMENT signature-move now firmly part of their "Legacy"

On tour with the Metal Gods of JUDAS PRIEST for their brilliant Painkiller album and later with the European-edition of the Clash Of The Titans along SLAYER, MEGADETH and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, the Bay-Area boys were in good company, and on the last step before metal-stardom. Yet in late-1991, the rock-landscape and music-industry had other ideas, take the I-5 North, look up, way up, way up pass Tacoma.

A living proof that our society is filled with souls of black.

Souls Of Black = video
The Legacy = video
Souls Of Black = full CD
Interview in 1990
Live in Toronto in 1990
Clash Of The Titans show in Stockholm in 1990
Seen Between The Lines DVD
Some kids

October 4, 1994 - 2019: 25 years of: Low.

A brutal legacy.

After the departure of guitar-wiz Alex Skolnick, most of us though it was the end for the San Franciscan souls of black. Yet the apocalyptic return was set in stone: toying in the deathmetal field with their new found sound, vibe and lead-player in Mr. Deathmetal himself James Murphy (from DEATH, OBITUARY, CANCER and DISINCARNATE fame) ...TESTAMENT were back for another ritual !

1994-95 not stellar years for thrashmetal. The hate and aggression was now mostly power-chords and melodies for some. A handful of CDs had grit and took a stand: GZR's Plastic Planet, MACHINE HEAD's Burn My Eyes, PRONG's Cleansing and KREATOR's Cause For Conflict to name a few.

Low is an impressive release, for a major-label for 1994, the other 2 heavies at the time were PANTERA and the unholy SLAYER. Although the 80s were clearly over by that point, the Big Four should've been the Big Five, along with TESTAMENT being at the pole-position for this coveted spot.

The title-track opens-up the CD and sweeps the floor with a monolithic start-stop riff. The massive incendiary statement "Fuel the fire for war, it's man against mankind" is one of the band's now most recognizable verse. Downtuned and down to business, "Low", the track and the album is a metal-monster of the 90s. The onslaught continues on "Legions (In Hiding)" and "Hail Mary" were we get some of Murphy's goods.

The wall-breaking "Shades Of War" and "All I Could Bleed" are massive TESTAMENT 2.0 moshing monsters. Never did the Billy + Peterson creative duo got so lethal: dangerous thrash with a deathmetal feel and production. The explosive "Dog Faced Gods" and "Ride" incorporates hints of MESHUGGAH while the instrumental "Urotsukidôji" displays clever bass-lines and prog tempo changes.

The 1995 companion-CD Live At The Fillmore is a first full-length feature concert that displays catalog classics from the holy book of thrash: the Old and New Testament. Kudos for the 3 acoustic bonus-tracks of their fan-favorite power-ballads, because yes the thrash-titans were also a genuine power-ballad generator, ever since 1989's Practice What You Preach LP.

25 long years later, TESTAMENT are still active and Low clearly highlights a rebirth in the band's career. This new death-thrashmetal trajectory shall be cemented with 1997's Demonic and the all-star union of 1999's The Gathering.

Low ...a high point in TESTAMENT's discography.

Low = video
Low = full CD
Interview in 1995
Live in Argentina in 1995
Live At The Fillmore = full CD

June 9, 1997 - 2022: 25 years of: Demonic.

How low, how low can they, goooooooooooo !!!

During the dreaded mid 90s, after the fall of deathmetal and thrashmetal seemed from another century, where to go for old-schooled Americanized extreme ? After the 1994 mega-heavy Low CD, the aggression now caps to eleven. If there's one thrashmetal band from the Bay-Area that did became heavier in those tormented times and embraced the deathmetal-signature ...it is the power and might of TESTAMENT !

10-9-8-7-6-6-6: we launch into Armageddon, as "Demonic Refusal" destroys everything above sea-level. Screamer Chuck Billy is the alternative to actual low-grunt deathmetal vocals, the might and power is here, he does practices what he preaches.

Mosh-monster "Jun-Jun", "Distorted Lives" and the fast cut "Murky Waters" are modern piledrivers that provides more horse-power than the actual Big Four combined. "Hatred's Rise" and "Together As One" keeps on chewing the scene alive, into a lifeless pulp. None shall defy.

Thrashmetal, done the deathmetal way. Massive modern high-gain guitar tones and the magic of drum-God Gene Holgan. TESTAMENT saved thrashmetal in the later-part of the 90s ...along OVER KILL and the trio of VOIVOD, these bands re-invented themselves, to new heights of aggressiveness to fulfill the thrashmetal-drought.

The new order of TESTAMENT shall ascend again with another all-star lineup, including: Murphy, DiGiorgio and some Lombardo guy, on 1999's The Gathering CD

Demonic = full CD
Live in Houston in 1997

June 8, 1999 - 2024: 25 years of: The Gathering.

A summit of souls of black.

Late 90s thrashmetal was a lukewarm strip of failures, thankfully TESTAMENT did practice what they preached. Following the downtuned 1997 Demonic CD, we would be blessed by a new order of the highest stature, Ladies and Gentlemen:
    - on vocals: Chuck Billy
    - on rhythm-guitar: Eric Peterson
    - on lead-guitar: James Murphy
    - on bass: Steve DiGiorgo
    - on drums: Dave Lombardo
    ...this is a thrashmetal black sabbath, the ultimate gathering.
The giant as awaken, either you want it or not. Back from beyond, the band's casket reads: "D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)". Modern muscle thrash cracks skulls in half, as they go from low to "Down For Life". Mammoth-metal stomps in awe with "Careful What You Wish For" and the equally sick "3 Days In Darkness".

Morbid melodies of "True Believers" are matched by both speedmetals "Fall Of Sipledome" and the cursed "Legions Of The Dead" ...a fuckin' AK-47 spree.

What started on 1994's Low and subsequent Demonic CD, TESTAMENT's neo thrash / almost deathmetal hybrid is crowned by cutting-edge Earth-shaking production, courtesy of Andy Sneap. Don't call it a revival, but yet a union of raw power of metal's strongest assets ...a true reign of terror !

The Bay-Area might not be fully re-energized yet, as this event would later spring in 2004, but the seed is planted for some serious riffing and serious circle-pitting.

In 2001, TESTAMENT would lay low while Billy would battle cancer, leaving room for Peterson to launch his blackmetal project: DRAGONLORD. The band would later reunite the classic line-up in the new thrash-hungry millennium and propose 2008's The Formation Of Damnation CD.

D !
N !
R !

The Gathering = full CD
Interview in 1999
Live in San Francisco in 1999


Bay-Area 87-88

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