BravePicks 2020 - TESTAMENT's Titans Of Creation #4

December 28, 2020, 3 weeks ago

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BravePicks 2020 - TESTAMENT's Titans Of Creation #4

If there was any year that music was a true saviour, it was 2020. The ultimate diversion, as the world sits in virtual stagnation waiting anxiously for a fix. We will keep it brief here with the COVID commentary. Let’s let the music speak for itself. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2020 each day in December! 

Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2021? and Metal Predictions For 2021. Sadly no concerts. But all will be showcased come the New Year!

This virus can go to hell! Let’s let the Top 30 releases of 2020 rock your world!

BravePicks 2020

4) TESTAMENT - Titans Of Creation (Nuclear Blast)

Revolving around the elements, thrash icons Testament were on fire with their newest platter, Titans Of Creation. Guitar playing is the name of the game and ax masters Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick are a deadly combination with vicious riffs and brilliant leads aided by just enough melody to bring more vibrancy to the songs. Backed by the one of the most talented drummers Gene Hoglan and bassist Steve DiGiorgio, the charismatic Chuck Billy rounds out an impressive record with his sturdy vocal ability. Titans Of Creation not only stands as one of the best of 2020, but also one of the best of their career.

As Peterson explained in a BraveWords feature:

Looking back at the writing and recording of Titans Of Creation, “It was a lot like the last one (Brotherhood Of The Snake), but a little bit less pressure,” assesses Eric. “We kind of did things the same way. The things that were different… Gene (Hoglan, drummer) actually got to; Gene was home and not doing other projects. That’s the first thing I do, is work with the drummer on my riffs and ideas and put it together. I can do the drum machine thing, but I kind of get burnt out programming. Regarding how long it took, probably like three or four months, jamming every other weekend. Gene would come up and get another two or three songs done. Once they were all done, we did pre-production for 18 days in the studio, with me, Gene, and Steve (DiGiorgio, bassist). Alex came out later; Alex came out a couple times too and jammed with me, just going over riffs, trying stuff out. It was kind of the same way, but everybody was a little bit more involved in jamming on the stuff, which made for a better record I think. Being a fan of this style of music, it’s not like, ‘Ok, I’ve got to write a record. Here’s our formula, make it work.’ There’s a lot more love and care put into it. When I write a song, or when any of us write a song, it’s something that we would want to listen to. I’m pretty picky, I’m probably the pickiest one out of the band.”

Brilliant guitar solos are plentiful on Titans Of Creation, one that stands out in particular can be heard in “WW III”. “That’s Alex on that one. Although, I do pretty much half the solos on this record, for the first time,” admits Eric. “On the other ones, I kind of crept in, a little here and there. We do a lot of back to back stuff like ‘Dream Deceiver’, ‘City Of Angels’, ‘Gates Of Ishtar’ I have a couple of songs where I just do the solo myself, ‘The Healers’ and ‘Curse Of Osiris’.” “Dream Deceiver” is a little more melodic, there’s a bit of an uplift in the chorus on that song. “Yeah, that’s one of my favourites. It’s still really heavy, but it’s more of a singalong. Chuck sounds really good on that one.”

BravePicks 2020 Top 30

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2) 
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4) TESTAMENT - Titans Of Creation (Nuclear Blast)
5) INSIDIOUS DISEASE - After Death (Nuclear Blast)
6) NECROPHOBIC - Dawn Of The Damned (Century Media
7) ARMORED SAINT - Punching The Sky (Metal Blade)
8) ANNIHILATOR - Ballistic, Sadistic (Silver Lining)
9) ALCATRAZZ - Born Innocent (Silver Lining)
10) NAPALM DEATH - Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism (Century Media)
11) UNLEASH THE ARCHERS - Abyss (Napalm)
12) BLACK STONE CHERRY - The Human Condition (Mascot)
13) HAUNT - Mind Freeze (Shadow Kingdom)
14) ANAAL NATHRAKH - Endarkenment
15) AC/DC - PWRϟUP (Columbia/Sony)
16) BENEDICTION - Scriptures (Nuclear Blast)
17) KATAKLYSM - Unconquered (Nuclear Blast)
18) BLACKGUARD - Storm (Independent)
19) MEXICAN APE-LORD - Survival Cannibalism (Unable)
20) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - Verminous (Metal Blade)
21) ENSIFERUM - Thalassic (Metal Blade)
22) PROTEST THE HERO - Palimpsest (Spinefarm)
23) SODOM - Genesis XIX (Steamhammer)
24) INCANTATION - Sect Of Vile Divinities (Relapse)
25) MIDNIGHT - Rebirth By Blasphemy (Metal Blade)
26) NAGLFAR - Cerecloth (Century Media)
27) RAVEN - Metal City (SPV/Steamhammer)
28) KIRK WINDSTEIN - Dream In Motion (Entertainment One)
29) VANDEN PLAS - The Ghost Xperiment: Illumination (Frontiers)
30) GREEN CARNATION - Leaves of Yesteryear (Season of Mist)



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