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Testament seems to always be one step behind the big four of thrash. Being one of the bigger of the second wave of thrash bands, they put out “The Legacy” which I’m sure is considered by most people to be amazing. Their second album, “The New Order” seemed to be less praised and was accused of recycling riffs. Their third album, “Practice What You Preach” is different from both of those albums.
I think this is the Testament album what almost got rid of the thrash all together. Their first two albums, while flawed, were thrashy as hell. This album has a few thrash moments. “Blessed in Contempt”, I’m sure every review you read for this album mentions this song and how amazing it is. This is a song I would expect to hear off their first album. It is fast, heavy, and has amazing riffs. The title track is decent; it is a mid paced song that stays one speed the whole time. “Perilous Nation” has some thrashy parts but still relies heavily on the slow pace that is so apparent on this album. “Time is Coming” has some pretty good riffs, has a speedy part, and is one of the better songs on here. “Nightmare (Coming Back to You” is a pretty fast song. This song is thrash but it’s just not that good. “Greenhouse Effect” is might just be the best song on here besides “Blessed in Contempt”. The riffs are awesome and the chorus is awesome. “The Ballad” is exactly what is says, a ballad. It’s just not a good ballad. The whole song is boring except for when it speeds up at the end, overall a forgettable song. “Confusion Fusion” is a song that says, “Hey! Look how good we are at our instruments.” It’s pretty boring and doesn’t really contribute anything to the album, the bass is amazing though.
Production on this album is near perfect. I think Testament tried to go mainstream with this album. Softer, mid-paced thrash with a spot on production seemed to work for a lot of other bands at the time. The guitars are heavy but could be much heavier. The drums sound amazing except for the bass drum, its way too triggered. It sounds like it’s covered in mud and is hit really hard. The bass is pretty much perfect. It’s loud in the mix and it sounds awesome, very clicky. The vocals are almost the same as before, except the best part is gone. Chuck Billy’s awesome highs are completely gone and replaced by some half-attempt to go really deep and tough. I guess they sound decent but I miss the highs like in “The Preacher”.
Overall, this is a pretty good album. I just wish there was more thrash incorporated in here. Some significant flaws but still a good album to listen to every now and then. If you are a diehard Testament fan, buy this. If you like thrash, you could still enjoy some of it.
Best tracks – “Blessed in Contempt”, “Sins of Omission”, and “Greenhouse Effect”