Titans of Creation



by PsychicChris USER (353 Reviews)
April 16th, 2020 | 7 replies

Release Date: 04/03/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For better and for worse, another serviceable Testament album

With Testament releasing albums at consistent four-year internals since 2008’s The Formation of Damnation (On election years too, no less), it’s only natural for them to stick with a reliable thrash style. Their twelfth full-length doesn’t deviate too far from that formula, riding on the defining core of Eric Peterson’s chunky guitar work and Chuck Billy’s gruff versatility. But at the same time, Titans of Creation manages to put in its share of distinct quirks.

Coming off the direct pummeling on Brotherhood of the Snake, this album feels closer to Dark Roots of Earth with its broader influences at play. Lead guitarist Alex Skolnick and bassist Steve DiGiorgio have heightened presences this time around, most notably contributing the angularly intricate rhythms of “Symptoms” and “Code of Hammurabi” and the Eastern tinges on “Ishtar’s Gate.” “Night of the Witch” and “Curse of Osiris” also see the band experimenting with black metal influences complete with more extreme drumming and Peterson’s supplementary shrieks, instantly triggering Dragonlord associations.

But with these factors in mind, the songwriting doesn’t quite stick the landing. “Dream Deceiver” and “City of Angels” come out strong thanks to their memorable choruses and more melodic touch, but neither quite reaches the height of a true staple. The album’s near hour runtime doesn’t help either; there aren’t any bad tracks on here but a song or two like “The Healers” could’ve been cut without too much trouble.

The inclusion and placement of “Catacombs” as an outro is another minor but very noticeable nitpick. It definitely should’ve been the album’s intro as its swelling symphonics build up to something that isn’t actually there. It also doesn’t help that the guitar chugs are nearly identical to those on “Legions (In Hiding).” When I listened to this album for the first time, I thought that I had somehow switched over to Low by mistake.

For better and for worse, Titans of Creation is another serviceable Testament album. It offers the tropes that fans have come to love with a few extra spices but seems to be holding back in certain regards. The hooks aren’t as effective as the 80s albums and the incorporation of extreme influences isn’t as innovative as it’d been in the 90s. Those who’ve appreciated the other albums of Testament’s comeback era should enjoy this one just as much, but I admit that Dark Roots of Earth is starting to feel like a fluke.

“Dream Deceiver”
“City of Angels”
“Gates of Ishtar”
“Curse of Osiris”

Originally published at http://psychicshorts.blogspot.com

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Testament have released another excellent thrasher that proves they’re still the most reliable ban...

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 16th 2020


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Great review. Perfectly sums up how I felt about it. Already the last one started feeling a bit stale, and this one just kept it really similar albeit with a somewhat heavier sound. I also thought it was about 20 minutes longer than necessary, especially given the lack of variation.

April 17th 2020


Album Rating: 2.0

i have a feeling my thoughts will align much more with yours once i finally get around to this one

Digging: Afflicted - Prodigal Sun

April 17th 2020


You summarized my thoughts perfectly.

Great musical ideas and real ferocity in the performances, but in true bay area fashion it lacks self-editing to keep the pace moving through the full run-time.

April 17th 2020


Good review, can anyone tell me what album is best to start off with for these guys? Trying to get into more bay area thrash

April 17th 2020


Album Rating: 2.0

the first two are their best for sure

Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2020


if PsychicChris gives an album a 3.5, you know it sucks

if he gives it a 3, then it's a big disappointment

June 28th 2020


Album Rating: 2.0

that seems kinda rude

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