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Moving up - 66%

meedley_meedley, December 28th, 2004

In 1987, Testament released The Legacy, a thrash-fest of songs with good musicianship making cameos but had a problem with tempo and production. The following year they released The New Order, though it looked like a step up, it actually was a fall into the depths of hell. Production was BARELY better than The Legacy and some of the songs were really boring.

Then in 1989 the band released Practice What You Preach. Production is 20 times better than the previous two efforts, and the songs are a little catchier. The negative side is that a lot of the agression shown on TL and TNO is missing. This makes the songs seem like average thrash metal, and it kinda is. One thing though, the drums are not like meat patties here like on the past 2 albums.

Then there's the actual music itself. The band seems to have taken a more progressive approach to their brand of thrash. Much to the likings of some tech-thrash (ex. Watchtower, Spiral Architect) the bass and bass drum are really pushed to the front, to the point where you can hear the clicking. And the bassist mustve turned up the treble all the way, for you can hear it clicking along to the songs, giving nothing to add to the music. This becomes distracting when trying to enjoy the music. The music itself is less agressive, as stated above, and there are many time and tempo changes. There will be a fast part, then a fast part, then a mid-tempo part, and then an all out balls fest! The riffs arent the heaviest things in the world, just plain ol' thrash riffs. To be honest, not much of it is as memorable as their other songs.

If there's one thing that must be said, it's Alex Skolnick never dissapoints. His leads are not as furious as it usually is, or on the First Strike Still Deadly release, but rather they are more towards that neo-classical sound more.

And the songs are really not that bad anyway. Lead track, and title track is probably the best along with Perilous Nation. They do have some energy within them. There's many riffs but none really stand out much.

Envy Life is kinda boring and doesnt really go anywhere. A problem most of the songs had on The New Order. Basic, boring thrash...

Time is Coming shows Chuck Billy at his most intense on the album. The chorus is fast and memorable to boot, especially with the low key chant of "Time is coming!"

Blessed in Contempt is the first real THRASH!!!! song on the album. Fast, powerful, relentless leads, and top notch vocal delivery. Unfortunately, the clicking of the bass drum really pulls this back. I guess the best comparison that can be made is the bass drum sound on Metallica's ...And Justice For All, and the only time is was cool was on "One".

Greenhouse Effect and Sins of Ommision is like Envy Life. More boring thrash that goes nowhere. Not one riff here is memorable. And that double bass is so annoying you'll wanna punch someone in the chest until it's crushed.

The Ballad is... Well... A ballad. BUT IT SUCKS! It has no real direction, and seems to be trying to copy Metallica's Fade to Black. There's no emotion and Chuck's vocals are boring as hell.

The last two tracks Nightmare (Coming Back to You) and the instrumental Confusion Fusion are decent tracks. The latter being a real weird song, probably the most progressive song here, or that Testament has ever done. It's an ok to end a so-so album.

The next album will show Testament at their early career height. As for this, although underrated, is really that much. I still say get it, it's not that bad.