The Formation of Damnation was an excellent album from Testament, this being their 9th album so far and they have been getting better throughout the years considering what singer Chuck Billy went through (he successfully recovered from throat cancer and is doing great) they only got heavier as the years progressed, it seems like Testament are still going strong and two old members have returned along with former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph. The classic Testament thrash sound still lives on in such tracks as the title track and The persecuted won’t forget and not to mention the brilliant More than meets the eye which has surprisingly thrashy tempos and blistering leads, it definitely sounds like a mix of the old thrash style found on Practice What You Preach along with the newer sound on The Gathering. I honestly couldn’t find a single bad track on this album, it was flawless and it was definetely a great comeback album. The album retains some speed when it gets going it has some of the best frantic,savage riffing I’ve ever heard along with some fantastic drumming and great soaring melodies while retaining that metal basis, the band is instrumentally proficient with Alex Skolnick providing some great solos check out the great solo on Henchmen Ride which is another favorite song of mine. The songs also have more of a political theme and deals with alot of current events like 9/11 on The evil has landed, Killing season and Fear which is about the dishonest and untrustworthy Bush administration both are great tracks off course, theres also the great song Afterlife which deals with alot of personal stuff that Chuck went through and has some great lyrics, when I first listened to this album I didn’t think that they would be as good as before since they were absent for so long but I was completely wrong, it was just amazing. Testament is one of the most respected groups in thrash metal and this album was their best next to Practice, The New Order and Low. Formation is a masterpiece and should be a part of any serious headbanger’s collection period so get this album now WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!! m/.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Ever since I completed my Testament collection a few years ago, by downloading the two songs from Demonic he doesn’t growl all the way through, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a new Testament album. I had high expectations going in because even my least favorite album of theirs, except Demonic, I still liked quite a bit. I’d say I like this one about as much as The ritual or Souls Of black. The album for the most part has a newer Testament sound with a mostly older style, with some new thrown in as well. I like that their original lead guitarist is back. One thing I missed on The Gathering was the great guitar solos. If you’re a Testament fan then you can’t go wrong with buying this album. Most of it is at least worth listening to, and there’s nothing really horrible.
More Than Meets The Eye – 9/10 A quick paced song, and a good opener, not counting the instrumental. I like the beat of the drums, and the guitar solo’s a good one. Nice mix of growls in the background during the last chorus.
The Evil Has Landed – 6/10 This one’s played quickly, but the verses have a slower pace to them. The chorus ismoves a little more. Musically this one’s ok. The vocal melodies are pretty good. There’s just something about this song that I don’t care for. Mostly I think it’s the lyrics. I’m not saying they couldn’t pull off a 911 song, but the lyrics seem a little too blunt for me.
The Formation Of Damnation – 3/10 No. Just no. I don’t care for songs where all of the vocals are growling, and Chuck doesn’t have good sounding growl anyway. Songs like this are why I don’t care for but two songs on Demonic. I don’t mind some growling, D.N.R. and Down For Life are great songs and I love how he uses his growl in those, I just can’t get into a whole song of it.
Dangers Of The Faithless – 5/10 I like the chorus, but I can’t get into the verses. I just really hate them. Mostly it’s the vocals, which are almost just talking.
The Persecuted Won’t Forget – 5/10 So we had a song with a good chorus, but crappy verses, now we get a song with good verses and no real chorus. This one’s a faster paced song. This one just doesn’t have anything after the verses that stick with me.
Henchman Ride – 9/10 Here we go. This is another quick-paced song. I like the beat, it’s different from that of the other songs on here. The music and vocals are all well done. This is easily one of my favorites on the album. This one’s becoming my favorite on the album. I tend to think of this one when I’m at work and I need to be pumped up.
Killing Season – 8/10 This is another good one. It’s a little slower, but not much, than the previous song. The beat of this one’s a little different as well. I like the chorus
Afterlife – 6/10 This one’s a step or so slower than most of the songs on here. It’s ok, but nothing really special. Untill I listen to it, I really don’t remember it.
Fear – 9/10 This is another faster one, and for a while was my favorite on here. I like how the verses and chorus have completely different beats to them, yet they flow together well. Someone should tell Disturbed that it’s ok to change things up, mid-song every now and again. I like towards the end of the song how he moves from his scream to his growl. Great tune. This one also pumps me up a bit.
Leave Me Forever 4/10 I just can’t get into this one. The first thought I had when I heard it was that the verses reminded me of the intro to a godsmack song. I can’t remember the name of it right now, it was on their Faceless album and it was a single. Testament should not be sounding like Godsmack at all. I also can’t get into the relationship lyrics. I remember being annoyed at Megadeth for doing it on the World Needs A hero album. I remember that song had one of the better melodies and music, but the lyrics were awful. The lyrics in this one are better, much better actually than that, but the song itself doesn’t do much for me. The vocals in the verses are ok, a bit different for Chuck, which is a good thing, but the song just doesn’t do anything for me.
Overall it’s an ok album. It’s certainly one of the better purchases you can make this year.
This is Testament. Formed in 1983 with Steve Souza singing originally known as The Legacy. Since the birth of American thrash back in the 80’s Testament has been cranking out metal that was fast, intense and heavy yet melodic. 25 years later We are blessed with this masterpiece of an album. From the very get-go this album gets in the mood to rock. With crushing metal anthems like “More Than Meets the Eye” we see a brand new old band resurge with awesome crafted guitar riffs that seem to punch the ear drums as if to say, “Don’t call it a comeback!” Alex Scholnick and Eric Petereson’s chops cannot be matched by many. They shine on this album as if they never missed a beat. “The Evil Has Landed’ displays a sort of Practice What you Preach era. One of my favorite solos is on this song. The title track is probably the most intense song I’ve heard since “Of Dog Faced Gods” off Low. Killer breakdown and double-bass by Bostaph(a far better drummer than Tempesta). Do yourself a favor and don’t drive listening to “The Persecuted Won’t Forget”. Your bound to want to get a speeding ticket and possibly a bad case of road rage. “F.E.A.R. is one the most old-school songs I’ve heard them do in years. Sounds like maybe something off of The New Order. Very 80’s type rock chorus with a fat solo break and dueling leads. All in all kiddies this band help influence and pave the way for bands like Shadows Fall, Avenged Sevenfold, The Absence,Trivium. So put this record and school yourself with some old-school metal
For once it’s refreshing to see a band’s promise about a forthcoming release actually live up to how they hype that it will sound like.
Testament’s 1st album of all new material in 9 years was billed by the band of having the songwriting style of their classic 80’s material while featuring the much more aggressive playing style/production of 1999’s The Gathering (which is still a most amazing album.) Well, that’s what we got with The Formation of Damnation.
To be honest, this isn’t as great of an album as The Gathering was, and this is coming from a long time fan who has been listening to the band since 1987. I still greatly appreciate their classic material but I felt that with The Gathering the band really reached their apex (depsite the fact that Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson were the only 2 original members left in the group by that point). But The Formation of Damnation is still a very good release that will please long time fans (of Bay Area thrash in particular) while not being quite as earth shattering as it needed to be to convert current audiences into new fans.
Song wise the album isn’t as thrashy or as brutal as the Gathering with maybe the exception of the crushing title track. Writing wise a lot of this sounds like The New Order and Practice What you Preach styles with a more brutal guitar/drum attack. Chuck Billy still occasionally dips into his 90’s death metal growl at times, but he doesn’t do it nearly as much as he did during that period. He sings here much more in his older style and while his range isn’t what it used to be he still turns in a tremendous performance. Returning original lead guitarist Alex Skolnick does his usual brilliant guitar work and drummer Paul Bostaph (who played on their Return to Apocalyptic City E.P.) does his always solid and fantastic drum work. Original bass player Greg Christian returns and I was a bit disappointed by how root oriented his playing was on this album, but it still does fit, just don’t expect some of his memorable bass lines from yesteryear (with the exception being the final track Leave Me Forever which features a fantastic bass line throughout and was co-written by Greg Christian ironically enough). Eric Peterson still remains one of the most criminally underrated rhythm guitarists (who also can rip great leads) in all of metal and his riff work here is great as always.
Seeing as this is basically a new fresh start for this band, it should be interesting to see how they are able to build on this release as while not being their best work is still much better than a lot of people are probably expecting out of it.
With The Formation of Damnation, Testament delivers the thrash album of the year, hands down. Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy are rejoined by Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian and drummer Paul Bostaph to bring us the metal. Along side Slayer and Exodus, no other band has been as consistent and downright dedicated to give the fans what they want. Eric and Chuck, the heart and soul of this band, and as sadly underrated as they are portrayed, completely shine here. Old school, new school, it doesn’t matter. Coming up with an album of this magnitude, takes some skill. And how Eric comes up with some of his riffs(heavy and hooky) is just amazing. Chuck, considering the past couple of years have been pretty rough, turns in an amazing performance as well. Its also really good to have Alex and Greg back in the fold. Having said that, both seem to have a renewed spirit on this one, considering Alex has not been on an album of new material since The Ritual in ‘92 and Greg since Low in’94. And finally, they could not have picked a better replacement than Paul Bostaph. Considered by many as just a fill in, he owns the drums here, and fits the band like a glove. I received my copy a day early, which was an additional bonus to my already anticipated excitement. In conclusion, I was eagerly awaiting this release and it lived up to my expectations ten fold. Thrash metal fans, check it out, raise the horns, and bang til your dead.