First Strike Still Deadly
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Bursting out of the Bay Area as Legacy in 1983 and later molding into the classic line-up that would be remembered for years, Testament was birthed in 1986 at a time when Thrash Metal was just beginning to change the American musical landscape. With a handful of timeless classics released throughout the 80s and 90s, Testament was one of the few bands that seemed to get angrier, thrashier and more intense with each release. 11 tracks.
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Top Customer Reviews
As soon as the album begins I was blown away by the production. Every thing has such clarity but still retains the power the music calls for. The songs have been slowed down a slight bit...just enough to add more power and intensity...for example, the middle section of "Burnt Offerings" which used to be a massive speed fest has been slowed to a chugging gallop groove that if not for the speed of the original...is still quite fast. The lower tuning (down one whole step) really adds to the sound of the album giving it a much more brutal vibe than the originals.
The vocals are by far the most improved aspect of the disc. Lower and more intense, they are the icing on the cake. The two things that thrash metal was always lacking were groove and good vocals...sure speed is all good but you gotta slow down sometimes and just groove...and while there were good/memorable vocalists in the thrash genre (araya,hetfield,mustaine,etc) Chuck Billy has always been leagues above them and he proves it on this disc.
Now for the complaints...Skolnick's leads...while technically sound...seem less edgy because of his even more pronounced jazz style and tone. Also, the two tracks with Steve Souza on vocals are less than spectacular...the music is fine but Souza shows that it was a blessing that he left to join Exodus. The album would have been perfect if they would have replaced the last two tracks with Apocalyptic City and Eerie Inhabitants but....oh well.
In closing, if youre a Testament fan....this is a must have. If youre new to Testament...this is a great introduction to one of the finest metal bands of all time.
Maybe you've heard, but Chuck is currently battling throat cancer. Let's hope he and that mighty voice pull through. Why do all the bad things happen to guys like Chuck Billy and Dave Mustaine, and yet guys like Lars Ulrich and Fred Durst are in good health? The world we live in. Well, buy this, and you'll see that metal is still going strong.