TESTAMENT – The Formation of Damnation

It’s been a whopping nine years since we last heard new music from TESTAMENT, but Chuck Billy and co. faced a hefty series of obstacles from cancer to a seemingly endless revolving door of lineup and record company changes that would have crippled a lesser act. But these Bay Area legends persevered, and in the process unleashed one of the best albums of the year thus far with The Formation of Damnation. Back for the thrash metal extravaganza for the first time in years are o.g. shredder Alex Skolnick and bassist Greg Christian along with Return to Apocalyptic City-alum Paul Bostaph on drums. The band’s enthusiasm is clearly evident as the playing throughout the album is inspired and energetic. Elements of the band’s past are evenly distributed throughout the proceedings from the galloping “More Than Meets the Eye” to the driving mid-tempo “Afterlife” to the relentless speed of “The Persecuted won’t Forget” and the blistering title cut. 2008 TESTAMENT offers something for everyone. Chuck‘s roar is as furious and triumphant as the horde of angels gracing the album cover, and the guitar tandem of Skolnick and Petersen sees the duo effectively compliment each other despite contrasting styles. Greg Christian‘s bass grooves make a welcome return particularly on “Leave Me Forever,” while Bostaph unleashes a variety of killer fills and beats displaying why he’s been the drummer of choice for four of thrash metal’s biggest names: SLAYER, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, and FORBIDDEN (for those of you still unaware). As an entry into the TESTAMENT catalog, The Formation of Damnation sees the band firing on all levels – from the songwriting,performances, to the production, the band leaves no stone unturned showing why these seasoned veterans are still the kings. Welcome back! (Nuclear Blast Records)

114 thoughts on “TESTAMENT – The Formation of Damnation

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