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(48 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I’ve been aware of Testament since their very beginning and I’m agree with almost everyone that their three (or perhaps four?) first releases are all classics. Also, no doubt about the skills of Alex Scholnick, who arguably was (IS, after the recent reunion) the main attraction of this band. However, in spite of all that, I have terribly felt in love with “Low” and now it is my preferred Testament album. But… why?

    Well, perhaps the first thing to notice is the sharp production. Killer sound, you find no better in the Testament’s catalogue! Other element would be the downtuned guitars. They give a darker feeling to their music. The death metal influences integrate well with the proggish edge Testament always had, and still the final product sounds coherent and very solid from the songwriting point of view. Additionally, Chuck Billy shows some new vocal influences, which is far from being disappointing. In fact, the more divergent from the Bay Area archetypical voice his vocals are, the more I like him!

    Some words now dedicated to the amazing shredder James Murphy is. I must confess that he was almost unknown to me when I picked this album up. I must say now: for those of you who are worrying about the absence of Alex Scholnick (like I was too), I can safely tell you that James Murphy is an axeman of the same calibre. “Low” is a safe buy for sure, but an even safer one if all you want is a shredding guitar fest. His work on the superb ballad “Trail Of Tears” is of the finest around, but every guitar riff and solo on this album finds the perfect balance between taste, spontaneity and technicality — that’s guaranteed! I dare to say: even if you loved Scholnick I don’t think you’ll miss him here!

    So, this album has changed it all for me. Before “Low” I thought Annihilator had produced the two most magical thrash masterpieces ever (“Alison Hell” and “Never Neverland”), but now “Low” has also entered in my own temple of sacred metal records. “Low” maybe is slightly less progressive, but it has a lot of “charm” — that weird impalpable thing emanating from true works of art! In few words, if you are looking for a greatly-produced, written and performed thrash metal opus with all the heavy ingredients you wanted, from growling vocals to a true blast of GREAT guitar riffs, solos and power drumming, search no more: this is it! FIVE freakin’ BIG stars!

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Testament is one of my favorite bands. Having consistently released quality work throughout their career. And low is no exception never straying to far from their bay area thrash sound but being far from generic sounding. Low is the first cd to feature chuck billy using death metal vocals found on the song dog faced gods. Which would dominate their future demonic release. The high points of the cd are what has made testament so highly respected in metal circles since the 80’s. Great guitar work,solos,lyrics,vocals, and drumming. Hail mary is one of my favorite songs possesing great guitar work,vocals and a killer chorus. Trail of tears is one of my favorite songs a slower number great guitar and vocals keep interest throughout. P.C.,chsing fear,low,legions in hiding are other highlights keeping the thrash quotient high. The only low points would be the song ride as it has a mediocre riff and goes nowhere. And the instrumentals just take up space. Overall low is another great release by a band sticking proudly to their bay area thrash roots.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • this was the first cd with unoriginal menbers james murphy and john tempesta?at first thought I was unsure but after listening this is brutally heavy.this made many people reconsider 80 thrash bands the set forth new standards in that realm of music. james has alway chosen to work with the cream of the crop(obituary,death,teastamen ect.)but this was put him in a hard spot replacing alex sckolnick(guitar god)but james stomped on alex’s place out.James to thing to a higher level and could do anything alex did before ( you want proof live at the filmore listen to it)john tempesta (replaced louie )with surprisingly great referances(anthrax tech,exodus,slayer temp. then to white zombie)and did a great job better than I thought he would do but left just after recording to be replaced by paul bostiph(formerly of forbidden/next move slayer 13 years+)with chuck,Eric,greg still there these two new guy with the 10 years in the sceane produced one of the memorible cds of the era and broke major new ground with this cd.this is a must have!

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • not to often does a band get better as time goes on,but that`s what you get with low.10 or so years after their prime, testament has given to the world a great gift,to me this is the best testament cd,with props to earlier efforts,the new order and practice what you preach,low surpasses these other classic testament cd`s.crushing guitar,pounding drums,and chuck billy`s growls come together to make metal magic,(black magic)get this,you won`t regret it if you like heavy music

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • When I find myself seething and in the need for something that manifesting these feelings externally, I sometimes find myself tuning into Testament’s Low. Why? Because it has the right combinations of metal to make something digestible for the anger-ridden stomach, plus it provides commentary on every portion of society that is, in some right, sacred and therefore questionable. From the manifestations of the family and the building blocks of internal scarification that it sometimes is to the ritualism we deem social responsibility, it all finds itself looked upon and, in some way, frowned at. Personally, this is what I expect from Testament, the driven sounds and the aggressive vocals that sometimes bleed and sometimes growl anger into existence, and is a step back in the right direct that The Ritual – a good listen but not a Testament album – didn’t provide. Of the songs on the album, I find myself fond of “Of Dog Faced Gods” the most, with its growling stylization of vocals meshing well with messages about the Egypt of yore and the thunderous pulse within its temponic heartbeat. It, by far, is the most driven piece on the album and shows a band that has, in some rights, matured over time and learned their craft while not sacrificing the heaviness that sometimes goes with age. I’m also taken by the track, “P.C.,” which angrily questions the role of our leaders in a dysfunctional society and encourages the people under those thumbs not to be complacent, and “Legions (In Hiding), which throws lights onto the shadowy role of family and the manifestation of horrors that children oftentimes find themselves barraged by. There is also one slower track with a message that I found sorrowfully enjoyable, with its notations of suffering in “Trail of Tears” and the release that will finally lead to the end of the pain that was suffered by a nation of people. There are other notables on the album as well, lending themselves to a return to form that I found myself sorely missing. Fans of the older Testament will find pieces here that sing songs of the beast of “once before,” and people that enjoyed the growth that the band has shown over the years will find this something worth picking up. Recommended to fans of the heavy genres dancing in the sardonic veins of the sound spectrum.

    Posted on November 19, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now