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San Francisco Bay Area (1983 – present)

Testament was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. Originally formed as ‘Legacy’ in 1983 by founding members Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar), Derrick Ramirez (guitar) and Louie Clemente (drums), the line-up included vocalist Steve Souza and Greg Christian (bass). Ramirez was later replaced by wunderkind Alex Skolnick (lead guitar). Souza soon departed to join Exodus and suggested that the towering Chuck Billy take over as frontman(and was later run over by a bus). The band became known as ‘Testament’ 3 years later, while recording their debut album in Ithaca, New York.

“The Legacy” was a brutal intro in 1987, putting Testament at the forefront of the flourishing thrash metal scene. Following “Live At Eindhoven”, an EP recorded at Holland’s Dynamo Festival, “The New Order” in 1988 was well received producing one of the band’s most memorable classics “Disciples Of The Watch”. Next came the highly successful “Practice What You Preach” in 1989, then the release of “Souls Of Black” in 1990, coinciding with the European ‘Clash Of The Titans’ tour with Slayer, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies.

After “The Ritual” in 1992, Skolnick, who was losing interest in pure metal, decided to pursue his interest in jazz and left the band. Clemente also departed. “Return To Apocalyptic City” in 1993 brought Glen Alvelais (guitar, ex- Forbidden) into the fold, and filling in temporarily for Clemente, Paul Bostaph (ex- Forbidden, Slayer).


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  • waarsnico

    Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax may be the Big 4. But Testament is THE Big 5.

    16 May 4:22pm Reply
  • HaohmaruRocks

    I own the gathering.

    12 May 12:44pm Reply
  • nekultura Agoraphobic News - Webzine dedicated to the heaviest music around!

    29 Apr 9:22pm Reply
  • Chopmeat_

    The Gathering BEST!!! [2]

    21 Apr 7:00pm Reply
  • salamatov_diman

    The Gathering BEST!!!

    21 Apr 6:38pm Reply
  • MegaDave89

    I like The Legacy and The World Order best.

    19 Apr 9:16am Reply
  • Mefistofelesu


    18 Apr 5:10pm Reply
  • sandrarichm

    Love it

    10 Apr 11:04pm Reply
  • HaohmaruRocks

    Souls of black and the ritual are great cds.

    27 Mar 3:10pm Reply
  • ReachDown

    "who made their two best albums without him" oh plz... Eric is Testament, but Testament without Alex is a less good band. Just like Megadeth without Friedman. Eric and Alex fit so well together, mixing brutality and virtuosity. That's what best thrash albums are mostly about.

    26 Mar 10:16pm Reply
  • thrasher86

    The 90's stuff is good, Low and The Gathering most of all, Demonic is alright but not one I listen to regularly. I think The Legacy and The New Order are probably my favourite from their 80's albums, though the others are also great too. Of their last two albums Dark Roots of the Earth is probably the one I listen to more, though Formation of Damnation has a handful of gems on it as well. Looking forward to their next album, I'm sure it will be just as brutal as their last one with more amazing solos

    22 Mar 3:56am Reply
  • Wacke666

    Their old stuff is very good, but I also think their 90's stuff is very good. I find myself listening more to Low these days than, for instance, The New Order. I have yet to really get into their two most recent albums, though. They just don't quite suck me in.

    18 Mar 3:13pm Reply
  • sizoxxx

    my gruop

    10 Mar 3:39pm Reply
  • alien_two

    классика трэша..слушать всем

    4 Mar 4:49pm Reply
  • HaohmaruRocks

    Bruce Dickinson has cancer

    24 Feb 4:12pm Reply
  • Exbitz

    Poland can't wait!

    16 Feb 1:11pm Reply
  • legendaryloner

    Hell yea Eric is the man.

    1 Feb 3:03pm Reply
  • lukaszrock

    @Amjan I agree, Eric Peterson is also a great! Alex and Eric - amazing guitar duo :)

    20 Jan 8:57am Reply
  • Amjan

    Alex Skolnick - the most OVERrated thrash guitarist. He doesn't even write songs for Testament, who made their two best albums without him. Eric Peterson - the most UNDERrated thrash guitarist. His riffs are legendary often on par with Hetfield's, but he gets no credit for that.

    17 Jan 11:32am Reply
  • ReachDown

    I think Skolnick is pretty much admired already

    7 Jan 6:32pm Reply
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