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This album demonstrates that the old Bay Area 80’s thrash spirit returned to Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy’s veins and after all, they never forgot their early heavy roots even after some years of perfect experiments of death metal mixture with some 90’s progressive thrash as superbly seen and executed on the fantastic “Low” being followed up by the ferocious “Demonic” and next by the technically killing “The Gathering”.
Well, this, although being a re-recording based of songs that featured in the band’s first two albums “The Legacy” and “The New Order”, rightfully earns the spot for being one of Testament’s best albums, alongside “The Gathering” and “Low”.
And how is this possible being a re-recording album? You ask? Well, just put together the evil thrash rhythm god Eric Peterson with one of the best thrash vocalists ever, Chuck Billy and mix them with the fearless, fretless and unique style of Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Sadus, Control Denied, Iced Earth, want more?? Fuck …the list is never ending!!!!), the incredible thunder cracking drumming of Johnny Tempesta (drummer for “Low”, although not credited) and the incredible and frightening shredding skills of the now returned for this album, walking guitar god on this world, Alex Skolnick!!
The result of this mixing? 11 blasting killer cuts, starting off with the speed maniac riffage and double bass attack of “First Strike is Deadly” and going through some of the best Testament classics like the thrashing anthem madness of “Into the Pit”, the ruthless bass/guitar strike of “Trial By Fire”, the Arabic metal fusion masterpiece “Burnt Offerings” which has a brilliantly executed solo by Peterson (and this is for the ones who think Peterson can do nothing more than rhythm!!) and the evil riffs of “The Haunting”, among certain other classics…
The other peculiar situation of this one is the return of the original singer Steve “Zetro” Sousa for the re-recording of two of Legacy (Testament)’s ancient tracks. One of them is “Alone In The Dark” that figured in the first Testament album and the other is which I consider to be one of their best tracks, the amazing “Reign of Terror”, and I mean, this is absolute fuckin’ thrash, if you don’t headbang to the sound of this tune…something is definitively wrong with you!!!!
As for Sousa’s performance, he has a suitable voice for the songs, but nothing really compared to the aggressive power of Billy’s vocal chords.
This album also has a perfect production, making the songs have a cleaner and tighter sound than the originals and some of them had some speed decreasing, actually making these rearranged versions in some ways better than the first cuts. Peterson has decreased the guitar tones a little bit making the songs have a heavier, better and darker sound.
No negative points are to be found in this record. It’s a re-recording masterpiece, what are you still waiting for?? GET IT NOW!!!