Album Reviews

Testament – Titans of Creation Review

Released by Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: April 3rd, 2020

Genre: Thrash Metal

 

Lineup:

Alex Skolnick – Guitars

Eric Peterson – Guitars

Gene Hoglan – Drums

Chuck Billy – Vocals

Steve Di Giorgio – Bass

 

Tracklist:

Children Of The Next Level
WW III
Dream Deceiver
Night Of The Witch
City Of Angels
Ishtar’s Gate
Symptoms
False Prophet
The Healers
Code Of Hammurabi
Curse Of Osiris
Catacombs

 

 

Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California, formed in 1983 under the name Legacy by guitarist Eric Peterson. They are often credited as one of the most popular and influential bands of the thrash metal scene, as well as one of the leaders of the second wave of the genre in the late 1980’s. Testament have been through numerous lineup changes and they have released twelve studio albums, where frontman Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson are the only members that constantly appear on the recordings.

Even though Testament have started as an old school insane thrash metal force, it seems that they have modified their sound by abandoning their typical riff based approach of their earliest offerings and showing a tendency versus a groove-oriented modern style, which is particularly obvious since 1992’s “The Ritual”. Following the release of excellent works such as “The Gathering” and “The Formation Of Damnation”, it seems that the time for returning back to the classic thrash metal sound has arrived, even though the band show no intention of limiting  themselves into the standards of the genre.

The sequel of “Brotherhood Of The Snake” is released by Nuclear Blast Records and even though the production maintains the standards of modern thrashing, the elements of the classic old era of thrash are very intense as far as the execution of “Titans Of Creation” is concerned. The extremely precise technical approach by the rhythmic section duet composed by Gene Hoglan and Steve Di Giorgio in combination with the perfect guitar work by Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick is the secret of the impeccable material offered by Testament during their long successful career. Moreover, Chuck Billy, one of the most iconic frontmen in metal, offers another major thrash attack with his unique low and middle-ranged harsh vocals.

When a thrash metal giant’s fresh studio work is released, it’s a special occasion for the fans of the genre on one hand and a guarantee for the high quality of the new material on the other. This new album is not only based on speed and heavy riffs, hence lots of amazing groove and melodic segments are included in the compositions. The opening track “Children Of The Next Level” brings out the excellence of the guitar duet that steals the show from the first notes, even though Chuck Billy marks his presence with his personal vocal assault. “WWIII” sounds like a pure old school thrash metal anthem, while “Dream Deceiver” stands out as a melodic groove interval before the storm. What is coming next is a total game changer: the leading single “Night Of The Witch” consists in an absolute thrash smasher enriched with black metal elements at the guitar and drum parts along with shivering vocals particularly at the chorus. This track gives one of the most significant moments of the record, where Testament offer an amazing sample of the expansion of their sound. The experiment continues with “City Of Angels”, where the speed slows down, meanwhile melody and groove are brought to a new dimension. The same pattern is followed by “Ishtar’s Gate” with some oriental, mystical style of sound, hence it’s time for “Symptoms” and “False Prophet” to take the music to much heavier levels. These two tracks have a devastating effect which comes out of their pure old school thrash metal style.

Testament is a band that has always had death metal influences and this is confirmed by “The Healers”, where Gene Hoglan takes out some impressive blast beats and Chuck Billy has a leading role with his raw growling voice. The following “Code Of Hammurabi” starts off with amazing bass lines by Steve Di Giorgio which lead to some excellent heavy guitar riffing, even though the catchy chorus with the memorable hook is the real secret of this outstanding song. The eastern, occult feeling returns and it’s mostly evident at the guitar solo work. “Curse Of Osiris” gives more black metal elements to the record, where Eric Peterson has created some chilling guitar parts, but also takes the lead at the vocals’ section, mostly at the chorus. There is excellent work for what the rhythmic section is concerned, but unfortunately it’s time for the last tune, the aethereal “Catacombs”.

The Bay Area legends have released a fresh piece of excellent thrash metal, an authentic pleasure for the followers of the genre. This should not be a surprise, because Testament has always given birth to amazing thrash metal material through their long successful career, but on the other hand they have crossed the boundaries of the old school sound. Testament is a legendary band composed by outstanding musicians who never stop taking the path of modernity and experimentation, but they also compose excellent records characterized by extreme precision, perfect execution and production. “Titans Of Creation” is a top class album which confirms the fact that Testament keep on growing, expanding their music and they undoubtedly have more secret weapons in their arsenal for their forthcoming offerings.

 

Ratings: 10/10

Written by: Katerina Paisoglou

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

 

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