TESTAMENT - Titans Of Creation
March 13, 2020, 5 months ago
Man, I know there is the Big 4, but I’ll be damned if the last ten years (same for Overkill), and recent four albums have not put Testament in the same conversation as equals. Not that Testament’s ‘80s albums aren’t classics, but to be on the same level in quality; power, aggression, melody, hooks, 33 years after the debut is a…testament to their abilities. Singer Chuck Billy with original guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick still have powerhouses Steve DiGiorgio (bass) and Gene Hoglan (drums) on the team.
“Children Of The Next Level” opens the album settling in a classic thrash gallop, nice tempo, beat, and riff changes with complimenting solos, and twin harmonies. It reminds me of moments on Practice What You Preach. Just brilliant, Alex and Eric have really outdone themselves on this album. Kind of a black metal-ish riffing begins “WW III” with also working in a couple those Gathering brash grooves and Chuck’s gruff vocal accent. Nice build and punch to “Dream Deceiver” with a melodic chorus section (The Ritual), tempo shifts (busy drum patterns) and riffing leaves space for the leads. At times Chuck’s deeper vocal (and Eric’s black metal screams) on “Night Of The Witch” is like a wicked mashup of Dark Roots or Formation Of Damnation. Again, more evil lead work for the song, and a great rollicking solo ride out. “City Of Angels” is different, slower, a tad reminiscent of Demonic (minus the death metal), a dose of a funky Low bass, and Billy’s vocal tone experimenting with mood. Bass begun “Ishtar’s Gate” sees leads at the start, another strong mid-pace rocker, and guitars drop out during the verse. Chuck again shining where he takes his voice’s texture accenting certain words and sections. Really enjoy this one’s peaks and valleys that spotlight’s Testament’s creativity. Guitars and bass do a short progressive piece in “Symptoms”, “False Prophet” rebounds back to more recent albums raging thrash. “Curse Of Osiris” increases the speed with black metal blasts. And an odd choice, keys/vocal choir on “Catacombs” instrumental wraps up the album on a theatrical note, but just seems out of place given the previous eleven. Would have worked better elsewhere in the track list.