Testament - The Formation Of Damnation
With a history as storied as Metallica and a sound more relevent, the Bay-Area Thrash monsters known as Testament are every bit as vital an entity now to their scene as they were when it originated. While their sound has come a long way over the years, it's those on-the-road experiences and all that priceless experience that's come together on their newest record, The Formation of Damnation. Their recent output has been nothing short of awesome, and somehow, Damnation takes it up a notch. The reasons why are few, but their impact is fierce.
Chuck Billy, the maniac vocalist who's wicked pipes have been a driving force of the band since forever, sounds absolutely sick across all tracks. It is his rather unique approach that keeps these monoliths of metal from toppling. And huge these songs are, with riffs and leads provided by the once-departed Alex Skolnick which give the album a deeper and more progressive edge. Former collaborator Paul Bostaph (Slayer) returns and provides a feast of tight beats, fills, blasts and crashes. His sense of timing is really underrated. The songs just jump out at you, one after another, especially the blazing title track and the superbly played "Dangers of the Faithless", or the lightning fast classic-thrash-nostalgia of "The Persecuted Won't Forget", or Bostaph firing away all over "Afterlife". There's just so much to love about this album.
I'm not even the biggest Testament fan, despite my reputation as a metalhead, I've had very little experience with the band and never really gave them a chance to hit me over the head with one great album. I think it says something when a band can do that on an album that's been in the mix since their last way back in 1999. More than Megadeth, more than Metallica, more than any other band I know of from that entire scene, maybe even more than any other thrash band, Testament have found a way to stay both totally relevent and totally unique, crafting a masterpiece of a metal album in The Formation of Damnation. The reviews everywhere are screaming "BUY IT", and so is this one, baby.
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