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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.

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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Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Testament’s Chuck Billy Suggests Title of New Album + Single

Testament frontman Chuck Billy has revealed the title of the first single off the upcoming album and suggested what the band might call the record.

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Category: Metal, News, Rock Tags: ,
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Anthrax, Testament, Exodus Members + More To Play on Brian Posehn’s New Comedy Metal Album

Exodus / Slayer guitarist Gary Holt, Testament shredder Alex Skolnick, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil and others will guest on Posehn's latest comedy / metal release.

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Nuclear Blast / HerFitzPr
Nuclear Blast / HerFitzPr

Slayer Announce 2016 North American Tour With Testament + Carcass

The tour begins Feb. 19 in Chicago and finishes up in Las Vegas on March 26.

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Alex Skolnick Shred

Testament’s Alex Skolnick: Exclusive Shred

During Skolnick's visit to our studio with Metal Allegiance, we got the guitarist to bust out his custom axe for an exclusive shred.

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Alex Skolnick (Testament)
David Livingston, Getty Images

Alex Skolnick Discusses Metal Allegiance’s Debut Album, Testament + More

Alex Skolnick was a guest on Full Metal Jackie's radio show. Check out his conversation about Metal Allegiance, Testament and more.

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