The Formation Of Damnation


TESTAMENT - The Formation Of Damnation

Veröffentlicht am: 25.04.2008

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TESTAMENT was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980's. Undoubtedly, they are the inventors of the thrash-metal wheel. Testament’s powerful sound, influence, and longevity make them one of the Top 5 All-Time Legendary Thrash Metal Bands, putting them in the company of SLAYER, MEGADETH, METALLICA, and ANTHRAX. For this record, "The Formation Of Damnation", the band brought their original line-up back together – vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson & Alex Skolnick, and bassist Greg Christian – and added friend and former member, Paul Bostaph. "It’s been a long time, but I’m glad we waited because we have pretty much the full lineup back,” says Peterson.

Originally formed as 'Legacy' in 1983 by founding members Peterson (rhythm guitar), Derrick Ramirez (guitar) and Louie Clemente (drums), the line-up included vocalist Steve Souza and Greg Christian (bass). Ramirez was later replaced by guitar prodigy Alex Skolnick (lead guitar). However, Souza left to join EXODUS and suggested that the towering Chuck Billy take over as frontman. While recording their first record, the band adopted the ‘Testament’ moniker. The band’s 1987 debut album, "The Legacy," thrust TESTAMENT to the front of the flourishing thrash metal scene. Following "Live At Eindhoven", an EP recorded at Holland's Dynamo Festival, "The New Order" in 1988 was well received, producing one of the band's most memorable classics "Disciples Of The Watch". Next came the highly successful "Practice What You Preach" in 1989, then the release of "Souls Of Black" in 1990.

After “The Ritual” in 1992, Testament saw many line-up changes. Clemente left, as well as Skolnick who left to pursue jazz music projects. The band persevered and continued to write and record new music. “Low” was released in 1994 with John Tempesta (ex- EXODUS) on drums, and “Demonic” followed in 1997, this time with Gene Hoglan (ex- DEATH, DEATH ANGEL, UNEARTH) replacing Tempesta. The album was recorded at TESTAMENT’s Driftwood Studios. “Signs of Chaos,” a collection of Testament’s best tracks, was released in 1997.

For their next major release, Dave Lombardo (ex- SLAYER, GRIP INC) was officially introduced into the band. James Murphy, who played guitar on “Low,” was brought back once again, along with the legendary Steve DiGiorgio (ex- DEATH, CONTROL DENIED, SADUS) on bass. "The Gathering" was born in 1999. Soon after, James Murphy abruptly departed, determined later to be the result of a serious illness. Steve Smyth (ex-VICIOUS RUMORS) jumped aboard as 'touring guitarist', later to be invited to stay on as a permanent member. Lombardo also left the band, not being able to commit because of other projects. In 2000, Jon Allen (drums, ex- SADUS) joined the band.

After the "Riding The Snake" world tour to promote "The Gathering", vocalist Billy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called 'germ cell seminoma' in March 2001. Despite his illness and gruelling cancer treatments, Billy offered his ground shaking vocals to the re-recording of Testament classics on "First Strike Still Deadly" which brought back Alex Skolnick and John Tempesta to record on the disc. Billy battled back from his sickness and has fully recovered. The band was incessantly touring from late 2002 up to a wildly successful South American tour in 2007.

Billy adds, “The new record is very heavy but very melodic at the same time. It’s an extension from “The Gathering”. We’re also incorporating solos ‘cause Alex is back and we haven’t had many on the last few records.”

“I’m real excited about the new record. There’s a lot of old-school/new-school ideas. It sounds very modern. I think all Testament fans will be pleased and more,” says Peterson. TESTAMENT is once again ready to attack the music world with their trademark brand of thrash metal, and the band is very optimistic about their future together. “It’s come full circle. We were together, moving strong, then we broke up and had several different lineups,” says Billy. “But now we got a new band, a new label, a new album, everything’s positive."

Tracklist Dauer
1 - For the Glory Of… 1:12
2 - More Than Meets the Eye 4:33
3 - The Evil Has Landed 4:44
4 - The Formation Of Damnation 5:09
5 - Dangers of the Faithless 5:47
6 - The Persecuted Won't Forget 5:49
7 - Henchmen Ride 4:00
8 - Killing Season 4:52
9 - Afterlife 4:13
10 - F.E.A.R. 4:46
11 - Leave Me Forever 4:28