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Re-stoking the furnace - 85%

autothrall, November 2nd, 2009

Numerous bands have issued new albums this year that were 'returns to form', after numerous years of hiatus. Metallica would be the most glaring example, but I'm surprised people have already forgotten about Testament's latest offering, the first in many years to have Alex back on the guitars. I'm even more surprised, because not only is it the best album these guys have released since The Ritual, but it's also one of the best pure thrashings we've had this year.

Things get heated immediately with the instrumental "For the Glory of..." and suddenly you are back in 1988, The New Order, but with a more modern sound, and what an excellent production. "More Than Meets the Eye" rages forward with an epoch of Chuck Billy whoah-oh-ohs and then a thrashing beat down. What the fuck? Where has this beloved Testament been all these years? Because this. is. AWESOME. Alright, alright, to be fair a lot of their 90s material was decent, but not nearly as consistent as this. Billy's voice is insane, Alex fits right back in as if he'd never left (the last full-length he was on with these guys was The Ritual, an amazing album and personal favorite, if a bit more mellow than most of their work). The next track "The Evil Has Landed" is more pure old school Testament, like it literally could have appeared on any of their first four albums.

But I haven't even arrived at "Henchman Ride" one of the best songs this band has ever produced in their entire career, with some inspirational, awesome lyrics. The song is called "Henchman Ride", and when you hear it you want to fucking obey. Get on your hog or your horse or whatever century you come from and ride into battle for your dark lords and masters.

Wait, have I made a mistake here, Watson? Is this a kinda pro-American song in an age of bitter, two faced media brainwashed liberal irony and dour condescension? I do believe it is, Dr. Holmes. This is a seriously amazing re-stoking of the furnace that was/is the prime of Testament. Energy, aggression, sick riffing, amazing tone, no apologies. And thank every god you praise for it, in 2008. Thrash until death, brothers.