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Testament

Testament

Testament

Whenever music fans discuss thrash metal bands, beyond the style’s long established “Big Four” of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, the first name that almost inevitably comes up is that of Testament. More so than any other group except (even influential Bay Area colleagues, Exodus), Testament was thrash’s most successful commercial proposition during the genre’s original, 1980s heyday — stalling just shy of the platinum sales benchmark on numerous occasions. Originally formed in 1983, as Legacy, the future Testament honed their talents for several years in the same, bustling, San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area music scene as Metallica, Exodus, and other second wave bands like Death Angel, Forbidden, and Vio-lence, to name but a few. By 1987, Testament members Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar), Alex Skonick (lead guitar), Greg Christian (bass) and Louie Clemente (drums) had replaced original vocalist Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza (off to join Exodus) with Chuck Billy, signed to Johnny Zazula’s Megaforce Records, and finished recording their acclaimed debut, The Legacy (named in homage to their old moniker). The album’s reliably aggressive, yet still melodic template, instantly singled out Testament as Metallica’s potential heirs apparent, and provided the blueprint for subsequent albums, The New Order (1988) and Practice What You Preach(1989). But Testament’s inexorable career growth sputtered on 1990’s rush-recorded Souls of Black, and by the release of 1992’s The Ritual and ’94’s Low, the original lineup had begun splintering, with Skolnick first to exit, followed by Clemente and then Christian. 1997’s Demonic and ’99’s The Gathering, though generally well received by critics and loyal fans, found Peterson and Billy fighting to negotiate ever-changing lineups and the period’s very metal-unfriendly, alternative rock-dominated musical environment. But, the duo’s persistence was eventually rewarded in the new millennium, after Chuck’s sobering brush with cancer ironically helped reunite the original Testament lineup (minus Clemente, replaced, first by Paul Bostaph and then Gene Hoglan) for an eventual pair of enthusiastically received new albums: 2008’s The Formation of Damnation and 2012’s Dark Roots of Earth. Both LPs were supported by extensive touring until the 2014 departure of bassist Christian, but there’s every indication that Testament will still be thrashing, in one shape or form, for years to come.

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

Testament’s Alex Skolnick Plays ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?’

In this episode, legendary Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick clears up the truths and falsehoods written about him on Wikipedia.

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Testament
Charles Epting for Loudwire

Chuck Billy: New Testament Album Is ‘One of the Most Creative Ones'; Band Reveals Artwork

Testament frontman Chuck Billy has said the new album is one of the band's 'most creative ones' and the stunning album artwork has been revealed.

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Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

Testament Announce 2016 Release Date for ‘The Brotherhood of the Snake’ Album

Legendary Bay Area thrashers Testament have set a 2016 release date for their 11th studio album, 'The Brotherhood of the Snake.'

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Category: Metal, New Albums, News Tags:
Loudwire
Loudwire

Testament Albums Ranked

See how we ranked Testament's albums from weakest to strongest.

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Chuck Billy Testament
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com

Testament’s Chuck Billy Performs Johnny Cash-Inspired Rendition of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’

The Johnny Cash-inspired cover wasn’t done in the studio or in front of thousands of spinning thrash fans; it was at a family birthday party.

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Alex Skolnick / Randy Blythe
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and Testament’s Alex Skolnick Launch New Magazine

Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and Testament's Alex Skolnick have joined with Tom Bejgrowicz to launch a new magazine called 'Unbuilt.'

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Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Slayer + Testament Members Cover Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ During Soundcheck

Members of Slayer and Testament enjoyed a soundcheck jam of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' before a show in San Francisco.

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Category: Metal, News, Rock, Videos Tags: ,
Spencer Kaufman / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman / Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Slayer + Testament Members Cuddle Puppies at Animal Rescue Shelter

Members of Slayer and Testament visited an animal shelter to cuddle some puppies while they were in Washington. Photos inside.

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Category: Metal, News Tags: ,
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

Slayer Crush Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre With Testament and Carcass

Don't let the smile on Slayer frontman Tom Araya's face fool you. The iconic band brought power and intensity to the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., on March 2.

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Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Testament’s Chuck Billy Talks Tour, Recording New Disc + More

Testament frontman Chuck Billy was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's radio show, discussing the band's touring and the progress on their next album.

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