TESTAMENT

(UNITED STATES)

THE LEGACY

(1987)
LABEL:

ATLANTIC RECORDS

GENRE:

THRASH

TAGS:
Growl, Low vocals, Screaming vocals
"Testament's "The Legacy" is now worth more for the atmosphere it gives off and its value as a testimony of the golden era of Thrash than for its ability to go through the years while still remaining relevant."
NESTOR (20.10.2009)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s) (1) Biography + (3)
If Thrash music needed a definition, 'The Legacy' could be the yardstick to put next to the first Slayer. Whether it's Chuck Billy's very particular voice, all in aggressiveness and roughness, Alex Skolnick's technical guitar parts, or Clemente's double pedal festival, everything is a reference of the genre. Let's leave aside the endless controversy about the Californians not belonging to the Big Four of Thrash (Metallica, Salyer, Anthrax and Megadeth) to present the music of Testament.

From the first track, 'Over The Wall' everything is said: the tempo is very fast, carried by a syncopated rhythmic and mixed very forward. The drums and the rhythmic guitars really form the heart and the skeleton of the track. The vocals contribute greatly to the setting of a violent atmosphere, and yet, referring to the current patterns, we are dealing with a clear and not without melody.

The changes of rhythm and the musical arrangements are very numerous. They often lead to superb soli by Alex Skolnick who happens to be a former student of Joe Satriani. It would be more correct to speak about lead guitar part because the soli are supported in a very present and successful way by the drums. This recipe, less basic than the genre could let it think, is reproduced everywhere on this album. Thus, whether it is with 'The Haunting', 'Burnt Offerings' or 'Do Or Die', the modus operandi is the same: a succession of changes of rhythms and atmospheres, sharp riffs and a quality of interpretation of very high level. With 'Raging Waters' and 'C.O.T.L.O.D' the band even pushes the cursor of the violence even further by adopting however a structure of pieces a little more linear.

There is little or no downtime on this album. Even the most melodic 'Alone In The Dark' flirts with savagery and remains a powerful and intense track. Testament succeeds there in making coexist in a very beautiful way the brutality and the roughness of the Thrash with a sense of the melody and a rather remarkable instrumental control.

Obviously, compared to the current productions, this opus has a sound which lacks a little of power and the big voice of Chuck Billy does not appear any more as demonic as it could seem it at that time. As far as the drums are concerned, the evolution is even more ruthless, as every black metal drummer seems to have two or three extra pairs of legs. Even Alex Skolnick, who used to be a little gifted of the 6 strings, delivers a performance which, if it is still very honorable and pleasant, has nothing exceptional anymore.

In fact, "The Legacy" is now worth more for the atmosphere it gives off and for its value as a testimony of the golden era of this musical style than for its capacity to go through the years while still remaining relevant. Indeed, the application by the group of the same recipe throughout this album can have for consequence to make this one a little indigestible. If we leave the quartet of flagship songs, the single 'Over The Wall', the unleashed 'C.O.T.L.O.D. (Curse Of The Legions Of Death)', 'Burnt Offerings' and 'First Strick Still Deadly', the rest may seem a bit messy and redundant. Nevertheless, it's really good to dive back into these explosions of thrash.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Over The Wall - 04:07
02. The Haunting - 04:17
03. Burnt Offerings - 05:07
04. Raging Waters - 04:32
05. C.o.t.l.o.d. (curse Of The Legions Of Death) - 03:43
06. First Strike Is Deadly - 03:43
07. Do Or Die - 04:39
08. Alone In The Dark - 04:05

LINEUP:
Alex Skolnick: Guitares
Chuck Billy: Chant
Eric Peterson: Guitares
Greg Christian: Basse
Louis Clemente: Batterie
   
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