TESTAMENT – The Gathering (reissue)

As the world waits in anticipation of the next assault from these Bay Area thrash kings, the folks at Prosthetic have made their previous album, originally released almost ten years ago, available again. To the uninitiated, The Gathering saw Chuck Billy and Eric Petersen retain the death metal excursions they explored on Demonic, but also saw them bring back the catchy melodic elements of Practice What You Preach and The New Order back in to the fold. Joining the duo for this album was an all-star cast of thrash metal’s finest: Dave Lombardo of SLAYER, Steve DiGiorgio of SADUS and James Murphy (ex-AGENT STEEL, OBITUARY, DEATH) returned after skipping the Demonic album as well. In what could possibly be TESTAMENT‘s most well-rounded album, The Gathering unleashed everything from the fast and furious “D.N.R.,” “Legions of the Damned,” and “Fall of Sipledome” (all fueled by Lombardo‘s explosive drumming), to more straight forward anthems such as “Down for Life” and “True Believer.” Groove heavy shuffles such as “3 Days of Darkness” and “Careful What You Wish For” co-existed fluidly with the Eastern-influenced mystery of “Eyes of Wrath” all of which displayed a wide range of weapons in the TESTAMENT arsenal, helping transform The Gathering in to the classic it is today. As far as reissues go, fans receive the bare minimum here, with a few liner notes that read more like a bio. But on the plus side, there’s at least a bonus track in the form of “Hammer of the Gods.” Unfortunately, more of an afterthought than an actual song, the instrumental is laid back and low-key with the band members keeping things straight-forward and simple, and although not a detriment at all to the album, it does little to elevate the material at hand. But it’s better nothing. Without listing every song on The Gathering the album, it stands as one of their finest hours, and is vital to any metal collection. So if you missed it the first time around, or have been living in a cave, or are new to the world of metal, pick up a copy ASAP! (Prosthetic Records)

1,030 thoughts on “TESTAMENT – The Gathering (reissue)

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