Live at the Fillmore



by forkliftjones USER (3 Reviews)
February 7th, 2016 | 2 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A Live Testament

The thrash metal quintet Testament put on an exhibit of high quality and vibrant ferocity on Live at the Fillmore recorded in 1995 in their old stomping ground of the San Francisco Bay Area. A sturdy setlist, an ideal amount of crowd interaction, a powerful production, and a few supplementary goodies combine for an appetizing live recording. Without guitarist Alex Skolnick and drummer Louie Clemente, Testament defied the doubters and proved they were still a thrash tribe in the ‘90’s who claimed a high, blackened throne in the metal hierarchy.

14 tasty songs are thrown to the metal hungry audience and the band does not disappoint in their presentation. 8 songs are played from the band’s first two albums and another 4 from their most recent album of the time Low. This leaves only 2 songs left; the title track of Practice What You Preach and Souls of Black. Just one song from those two albums is a weakness here. No songs performed from the band’s Ritual album is a confusing disappointment. But picking from the early classics of The Legacy and The New Order brings a sense of remembrance of the glory days of thrash in the ‘80’s and pleases the fans.

If you profoundly concentrate while listening, you truly feel like a part of this dedicated crowd of San Francisco worshipers. Chuck Billy has some interaction with the audience, but not to a point of annoyance. There is never a time when you will be thinking in your tortured cranium, “Chuck, stop ordering the crowd to put their hands in the air and stop your ranting!” He only introduces the songs, the band members, keeps his side blabbing to a minimal, and the band gets down to business thrashing your balls off. His masculine vocals have a death metal edge to them. The guitar sound is hefty, chunky, lucid, and nothing short of fabulous. 2 minutes of beautiful soloing is contained in “A Dirge.” The bass is clear, not obscured by the guitar sound, and given special prominence in the instrumental track “Urotsukidoji.” The drumming brings a thick, rich sound, but nothing that would knock the headphones off your ears. The vocals or guitars are more likely to accomplish that.

After the live concert, 3 acoustic recordings of previously released numbers appear at the coda. “Return to Serenity,” “The Legacy,” and “Trail of Tears” are the chosen ones and the tracks reveal an unusual angle to Testament. A delightful, surprising addition to this live album. In total, the album is 17 tracks and approximately 75 minutes long and some might grumble these 3 extra tracks are unnecessary. In no way do these acoustic ballads distract from the overall content. They carry a semi mellow, warm sound after the previous 14 live songs of chaos.

All Testament fans and any thrash metal fan should give this a listen. I was never a dedicated fan of live albums, but I was impressed by Testament’s heaviness, skill, and the live context of their hometown. Oh, nice cover art too Testament.

user ratings (60)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 7th 2016


A headlining Testament show is as good as metal can get. This particular tour was in support of Low which I was in attendance for and was definitely one of the better shows I've been to.

February 8th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

Wow nice I can only imagine what that experience would have been like.

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