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This is probably the best thing they've put out since when?. Souls of black?. No. This is their best album since "The Legacy" itself. Let's face it, After they released their first album in 1987, They quickly changed their approach to making music, They even released a pop-thrash MTV friendly 'Practice what you preach'. I wonder if people here are old enough?. Testament are underrated?. Absolutely not, There was a time when the music video for 'practice what you preach' and 'souls of black' was heavily circulated on MTV and other TV channels, almost as much as the big 4 themselves.
They tried every trick in the book, Music videos, and this false claim that they're "Underground metal legends". They never were that big in the underground scene and they failed breaking into the mainstream because their lack of charisma wouldn't let them. They're overall a pretty decent band who've made some good songs and one really great album.
This isn't nearly as bad as the terrible 'Demonic'. Let's start off with the vocals, Chuck billy is a good vocalist but i can't help but feel as if he just lets out this mix of high pitched screams and death growls just to sound impressive. "You know why i do this?, because i can!". His voice feels so unfitting sometimes that it takes the focus away from the pretty decent instrumental work behind him.
A new guitarist makes his way into Testament, But it's still the same old story, It's the same heavy-ish fast riffs which feel very much inspired by bands like Metallica, Exodus and Megadeth in their prime. The solos are decent but strangely feel unconnected with the rest. The drumming for the most part is solid, The production is honestly, Great. Everything sounds pretty sharp. If Testament's first album had this kind of production, Maybe more people would've taken it seriously. Who knows?. Their popularity could've sky-rocketed.
There are a bit too many Mid-paced sections which progress to absolutely nowhere. Chuck Billy lets out his screams every now and then to make sure we're not asleep. "Low" is a pretty good opener, probably their best since "New world order". The 2nd and 3rd tracks feature really funny choruses, It isn't southern enough and it's not metal enough. They're just weird. "Dog faced gods" is a pretty solid track, This kind of energy translates well into live performances. The guitarists do a lot of pit pleasing crunchy guitar riffs on this one. "Urotsukidoji" is a decent instrumental track. For those people who don't know, The voice samples are taken from the anime called "Urotsukidoji". They are played in reverse over the riffs.
The album seems to lack any kind of progression, It just feels like a series of unconnected songs, 12 songs which basically could've made their way on any other Testament album. Overall This is only for the Die-hard Testament fans, It should please them. After this, They'd hit Serious lows with "Demonic". "The gathering" is a pretty solid offering, If you're looking for a good Testament album, I suggest you skip this and try "The Gathering".