Review Summary: Testament expands on the sound of their debut with stunning results.
1988 was a big year for thrash, with the big four of thrash all releasing material and many new bands finding moderate success. On of those bands were Testament. No holds barred thrash is what Testament has always specialized in, and this album was no exception. Recorded during the bands creative peak, "The New Order" shows the band expanding on the sound of their debut, with tight songwriting and clear focus. Testament is considered part of the second wave of thrash, and is one of the most popular bands to come up from that time period.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of this album is the crystal clear production. The album sounds extremely good thanks to producer Alex Perialas. The production allows each instrument to be heard clearly and does a good job of making the music very heavy and fun to listen to. The music found here still deals with the occult and global destruction, with many songs sounding gloomy and aggressive. Testament comes off as a force to reckoned with, playing loud and fast thrash with a take no prisoners attitude. The majority of songs are heavy and follow the basic thrash formula such as "Into The Pit" and "Disciples Of The Watch", but a couple of the songs such as "Hypnosis" and "Musical Death (A Dirge)" are incredibly melodic and aren't out of place, but instead make the music varied and unique from other thrash.
The band retained its previous lineup and therefore, the skill of each member is unchallenged. The Vocalist Chuck Billy still sounds as menacing as ever, but this time around he contributes his own idea to the songwriting process, making for a more band oriented experience. The Guitars are also heavy and in your face, with many amazing solos and countless riffs. The album really showcases guitarist Alex Skolnick's incredibly melodic abilities. And of course the rhythm section sounds great thanks in part to the production, with audible bass and nice sounding drums courtesy of a solid mixing process.
"The New Order" shows Testament finding mainstream success, and it also exhibits some of the band's most memorable material too. A fan favorite and a classic in it's own right, "The New Order" is the ideal starting point for anyone looking to give this band a listen.
- Trial By Fire
- Into The Pit
- Disciples Of The Watch
- Musical Death (A Dirge)
Chuck Billy - vocals
Alex Skolnick - lead guitar
Erik Peterson - rhythm guitar, cover art concept
Greg Christian - bass guitar
Louie Clemente - drums
Produced engineered and mixed by Alex Perialas
Released: May 10, 1988