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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.

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Chuck Billy: Testament Touring With Diverse Lineups Is ‘Great for Metal’ [Interview]

Testament's Chuck Billy spoke with Full Metal Jackie about the band's newest album, 'Brotherhood of the Snake,' touring with diverse lineups and more.

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Megaforce / Atlantic
Megaforce / Atlantic

Metallica vs. Testament – Metal Madness 2017, Round 2

It's Metallica vs. Testament in Round 2 of Metal Madness to determine the Best Debut Metal Album of All Time. Vote now!

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Megaforce / Atlantic
Megaforce / Atlantic

Anthrax vs. Testament – Metal Madness 2017, Round 1

It's Anthrax vs. Testament in Round 1 of March Metal Madness to determine the Best Debut Metal Album of All Time. Vote now!

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Category: Metal, Metal Madness Tags: ,
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Testament’s Alex Skolnick Ponders His Longevity Playing Metal: ‘Right Now It’s Working’

Testament's Alex Skolnick doesn't want to be an 'aging metal guy,' pondering how long he will play heavy metal, adding that 'right now it's working.'

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Category: Metal, News Tags: ,
Ethan Miller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Testament’s Alex Skolnick Defends Metallica + Lady Gaga Grammys Performance

Along with defending Lady Gaga, Skolnick expressed bewilderment at the show’s choice of 'Zumba class' dancers onstage.

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Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise 2017: Day 3 and 4 – DevilDriver, Overkill, Testament + More

See our photos and a review of days 3 and 4 from the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise.

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Larry Busacca / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Larry Busacca / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Kanye West Spotted Wearing Testament Shirt, Alex Skolnick Offers Greatest Response Ever

Kanye West was recently spotted on the town wearing a Testament tee and this resulted in Alex Skolnick offering one of the most hysterical responses ever.

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Charles Epting, Loudwire / Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Mark Davis, Getty Images
Charles Epting, Loudwire / Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Mark Davis, Getty Images

Testament, Sabaton, Sepultura + More Announced for 2017 New England Metal and Hardcore Fest

The New England Metal and Hardcore Fest has announced the first wave of bands for 2017, which includes Testament, Sabaton, Sepultura and many more.

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Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images
Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images

Phil Campbell Talks Bastard Sons EP, Lemmy Kilmister + Epic Testament Prank

Speaking with Full Metal Jackie, Motorhead's Phill Campbell discussed the debut Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons EP and an epic prank played on Testament.

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Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Nuclear Blast / SPV
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography.com / Nuclear Blast / SPV

Testament Announce 2017 North American Tour With Sepultura + Prong

Testament will hit the road with Sepultura and Prong in the spring of 2017 for a North American tour. See the full list of stops inside.

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Category: Concerts, Metal, News Tags: , ,

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