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Testament

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Biography

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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  • nikidaki

    awesome band! The Ritual is so f....ing good!

    20 Jul 10:12am Reply
  • pedro_henrique3

    Riding The Snake!!

    1 Jul 11:52pm Reply
  • Satanave

    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialFoM

    28 Jun 9:40am Reply
  • Woodgod

    The Legacy is alright, but it's not something I rate highly. I definitely don't think it's anywhere near as good as early Metallica. Apart from a couple of songs from the next album, they don't really have anything else worth listening to (though I haven't heard all of their material).

    18 Jun 10:34pm Reply
  • Brunoeggert

    "In fairness Zach, no wonder you didn't like the black album if you're listening to it for the first time at 24 years old with an already developed taste in music. It's a great album if you're just getting into rock and metal though." That's exactly what I was thinking about it the other day. Holy shit, this guy just described how musical taste evolves. Kudos for him. I am not being sarcastic.

    7 Jun 5:48pm Reply
  • Emannikcufesin

    Chuck Billy contributed vocals to the song 'Touching The Earth' on James Murphy's solo album Convergence from 1996. The song is very similiar in style to the track 'The Legacy' from Souls of Black. Very beautiful and excellent guitar work. http://www.last.fm/music/James+Murphy/Convergence

    1 Jun 2:52am Reply
  • i_woke_up_dead

    This band is sooooooo underrated

    21 May 8:41pm Reply
  • DARKZSOU7

    Crap-stament

    8 May 5:07am Reply
  • bloody72

    pozdrowienia ze Śląska dla fanów Testament

    5 May 5:05pm Reply
  • Wacke666

    "In fairness Zach, no wonder you didn't like the black album if you're listening to it for the first time at 24 years old with an already developed taste in music. It's a great album if you're just getting into rock and metal though." That's exactly what I was thinking about it the other day.

    29 Apr 10:53am Reply
  • wicked-mystic

    In fairness Zach, no wonder you didn't like the black album if you're listening to it for the first time at 24 years old with an already developed taste in music. It's a great album if you're just getting into rock and metal though.

    15 Apr 4:02pm Reply
  • BloodDiner

    This Powerslave cover is PHENOMENAL (2)

    5 Apr 1:42pm Reply
  • Agnazar

    Very good album. Thrashy with some 'progressive roots' at the same time. First 'modern' Testament album

    1 Apr 6:01am Reply
  • Zach216

    as far as metallica is concerned, I think everything past "and justice for all" is crap [2] Oh without a doubt... I tried listening to some of the Black album just about a week ago and I just thought it was abysmal, so contrived, so predictable, so overdone, so everything a band shouldn't want to achieve on a record. The complete and ultimate sellout album, quite possibly the biggest in the history of music! Testament put out "LOW" when Atlantic put their backs up against the wall and expected a commercial release... Haha!

    31 Mar 4:00am Reply
  • divrsit

    i agree with you, MG0rdo. although in the spirit of honesty as far as metallica is concerned, i think everything past "and justice for all" is crap.

    23 Mar 7:56pm Reply
  • MG0rdo

    Still releasing better albums than Metallica has in the last 26 years. [4] (i prefer Metallica, but...)

    19 Mar 6:33am Reply
  • Sanity_Theorist

    This Powerslave cover is PHENOMENAL

    8 Mar 7:32pm Reply
  • nlventura93

    Nothing beats The Gathering but all their albums are good. Probably the most consistent thrash band ever.

    8 Mar 8:14am Reply
  • lukkaturi

    Still releasing better albums than Metallica has in the last 26 years. [3]

    25 Feb 4:06am Reply
  • matliber2

    (-_ -) \m/

    23 Feb 8:50pm Reply
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