The Rise & Fall of Thrash Metal: Part the Second – Smaller Fry
Part II: Testament ~ The Legacy
Another lesser known but interesting band from the mid-80’s thrash scene are Testament
, originally formed as Legacy by guitarists Eric Peterson and Derrick Ramirez. In ’87, they released their debut The Legacy
, named after their original band name. The album became an underground hit and still has some fame in thrash circles.
The Legacy’s Testament was:
- Charles ‘Chuck’ Billy ~ Lead Vocals
- Alexander Nathan Skolnick ~ Lead Guitar
- Eric Peterson ~ Rhythm Guitar
- Gregory Christian ~ Bass Guitar
- Louie Clemente ~ Drums
Testament’s appeal lies in an intensive, brutal assault on everyone’s part. Guitarists Skolnick and Peterson are both technically skilled and deliver infectious riffs and solos, Clemente’s adrenaline throughout the album, and vocalist Chucky Billy is a beast. He actually has something Dave Mustaine-ish in his tone, which may get annoying, but chooses to shout instead of snarl, something that works out in his favour. The Legacy
is a 38-minute sonic full-scale assault, and you’re bound to like it.
Add to that the typical classic metul themes as aggression, destruction and sorcery-related ideas, and you’ve got the basis for a great though cheesy album. With great tunes in the ferocious tone-setter Over the Wall
, the most brutal moment First Strike is Deadly
, but also excellent melodic achievement with Alone in the Dark
, The Legacy
seems indeed destined to become a classic album.
It is a shame then, that Testament didn’t keep it all up. Some tracks, such as Raging Waters
and Burnt Offerings
definitely need some spicing up to create some more punch, C.O.T.L.O.D.
(Curse of the Legions of Death
) tries to be a menacing 2 and a half minutes, but lacks proper hooks, and Apocalyptic City
tends to drag a bit.
Aside from that, The Legacy
still remains a great all-round album. It is brutal and melodic at the same time, and Testament had a solid sound that provided some very good moments. With a slightly better effort in the song writing department, the boys could have gotten more out of the album’s potential, but overall, The Legacy
comes out as a very satisfying debut, and can be picked up by anyone into thrash metal.
Over the Wall
First Strike is Deadly
Alone in the Dark