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Constantly considered the most delayed debut inside the first wave of Bay Area Thrash, but equally a jewel as the other ones (especially Bonded by Blood & Show No Mercy). The main difference between Testament and the other guys is their extraordinary technique since the very early days: And The Legacy is the first proof of that. In each song there is an unmistakeable seal of virtuosism and intelligence, mixed with the permanent insanity and brutality in lyrics and music, which unfortunately never would be so intense in any later Testament record (but several of them are very enjoyable too).
This album demonstrates Skolnick as a worth disciple of Satriani, 'cause his work here is simply perfect, 10/10 (11/10 if I could). Every solo in this album deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. Skolnick's style has something more than speed and technique, Skolnick's style has an uncomparable feeling, a rarity within tharsh metal, and a big highlight of Testament's trade mark. He can play fast stuff like the insanely perfect solo in "Over the Wall" and make you drool, but also he can play slow stuff like the intro on "Alone in The Dark" without losing a bit of epicness and glory. Definitively a fucking magician, there's nothing we can do.
But if you think that Skolnick's the most versatile, wait for talking about Billy. This guy can be melodic or brutal, this guy can growl, grunt or scream, and this guy can do all perfectly. Look him performing "Burnt Offerings", "Alone in the Dark" or "Do or Die", Could it be catchier? I don't think so. Then look him spitting words in "C.O.T.L.O.D.", Could it be faster? I neither think so. And wait for hearing his screams on "The Haunting " and "First Strike is Deadly"... Simply insane. His wide range gives more and more brutality and versatility to this record. Lyrically we have dark themes (witchery, satan, darkness, rites, infernal battles...), that were taken in a very intelligent way. It runs very well for Testament, given the big contrast between it and the political lyrics on late 80's Thrash Metal. Is very remarkable the work in "Over the Wall" or "Burnt Offerings", 'cause you'll some philosophy hidden behind the wall of brutality. But if you want true thrash lyrics, look for "C.O.T.L.O.D." or "Apocalyptic City".
The riffage is hard to believe. They kidnap your soul and you can't escape till the song finishes. You'll find insanely catchy riffs like the crunchy intro of "The Haunting", "Over the Wall", "Alone in the Dark", and, as the biggest stand out, the main riff of "Burnt Offerings". Shit, is addictive, a vice maybe. You also have very intense (but, unfortunately, less memorable) things like "Do or Die", "Raining Waters" and the unstoppable "C.O.T.L.O.D.". Every song have any special touch that makes magic. Drumming is also good, is strong, intense and not too complicated, but never mediocre or offside.
The production could be a bit better. The bass turns sometimes hard of hear and the volume of the tracks is too low. You can realize it when you're listening other stuff and then you play songs from this album. The production's not sloppy or dirt and neither make the record less enjoyable, but is not perfect.
Either way, is a crime don't to take it as a classic, because it have several unique elements that you only can find in posterior bands obviously influenced by Testament. I think The Legacy could be taken more seriously, because is a true masterpiece of Thrash Metal, and is an obligatory record for anybody that wanna be called a Metalhead, and undoubtely their best, the first stike is the deadliest (For Testament).
See you in Hell guys!!