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Testament's Version Of The Black Album - 60%

Vaibhavjain, June 18th, 2008

After the lame duck release by thrash giants Death Angel earlier this year I personally thought that maybe just maybe 2008 wasn't exactly the year of thrash. I have never been happier to admit that I was wrong. Not just merely wrong but gargantuan wrong.
Well as I said that after the lame release by Death Angel earlier this year I was excited that one of my favourite thrash bands Testament was releasing their new album, but also scared of the fact that if they released something nearly as bad as Killing Season by Death Angel it would ruin their image as thrash giants and in today's music related environment lose a lot and I mean a LOT of respect. Now onto the actual review.

The album starts of with a small 2 minute long cool and sort of symphonic but blasts into the track "More Than Meets The Eye". This is simply put one hell of a song and one of the best on the album. Then comes "The Evil Has Landed" and while hearing the song I realize two things. Firstly, Chuck's vocals are much better and maybe his best. Secondly, unlike Chuck, Skolnick is not as his best. I mean he is not bad at all but he is not as good as before. The riffs are fine but after the image Skolnick has created for himself over the years one expects better. Also the solos are just ok. Nothing special here. Then comes "Dangers Of The Faithless" which is the only track on the album that can be labelled as bad but Testament immediately bounce back on track with their next track "The Persecuted Won't Forget". Alex is at his best on this album during this track as he plays out a nice guitar solo and surrounds the track with his riffs. The title track is also pretty much similar to the tracks before it. Good vocals and riffs. But it is after this track that the real fun begins.

Now comes "The Henchman Ride". This is my favourite track on the album and damn this song is catchy. The song starts of with a good quality drum intro and killer riffs by Alex follow. The best part about the song is the chorus and I am sure that this track will be a crowd favourite during live shows. With the chorus going, " Forward. Shifting Gears. In The Wind.The Henchman Ride." I personally won’t be surprised if this track makes it to the Original Soundtrack to same race or adventure flick. Also near the 3 minute mark on this track Alex produces some "Mustaine" type riffs and I think that they are the best on this album. The next track "Afterlife" has pretty much a similar song structure with a drum intro and good riffs. This is followed by "F.E.A.R" which too is one of the best tracks on the albums with a catchy chorus. The last track on the album is what makes the album perfect. It's a ballad by the name of "Leave Me Forever". I love it when thrash bands make ballads because sometimes the song is simply superb. Metallica's "Fade To Black" in their thrash release Ride The Lightning was great and so was Heathen's "Prisoners Of Fate" in their thrash Album Victims Of Deception. "Leave Me Forever" is a good song which must be heard to be believed.

This album is a must have for a Testament Fan but there is one major setback for the thrash phase fans of this band. This is their version of "The Black Album" and is not as thrashy as its previous releases, but on the other side Chuck is at his awesome best, Alex Skolnick has done a decent job and Paul Bostaph has done a great great job with the drums. Lay your hands on this album as quickly as possible as this is one of the best albums released in 2008 till now.

(Revised And Redone)