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Chuck Billy - vocals
Eric Peterson - guitars
Alex Skolnick - guitars
Greg Christian - bass
Paul Bostaph - drums
Prophecy is a territory explored only by brave men and warriors. The two are not necessarily mutual but the differences between them are certainly marginal. And truly, the best prophecies come from those who aren't necessarily seeking to be prophetic, but who simply step forward into those dark, uncomfortable places because their need for honest expression is total, no pre-determination, no intent, just pure, raw gut delivery of truths as seen.
Testament have found themselves in the prophecy business before during their 25 year career, and with "The Formation Of Damnation" they have delivered their sharpest, leanest, heaviest and most prophetic set of songs for two decades. The quintessential modern heavy metal band, the undisputedly enormous influence over a whole nu generation of aural aggressors. With "The Formation Of Damnation" Testament have deliciously served up 'old school' without the old, a crushingly heavy album without the weight of oppression, all crisp and lively like a ball-pin hammer-wielding maniac intent on bashing your brains to a pulp. It crackles with the type of vibrant energy that comes from an umbilically connected creative core writing together for the first time in over ten years, their reserves of residual anger, aggro and raw visceral riffery greater than ever. Recorded at Driftwood Studios in Oakland, CA (except for the drums which were done at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley) and mixed at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, UK, "The Formation Of Damnation" is a worthy sibling of previously lauded Test-efforts such as "The Gathering" whilst behaving very much like the older, wiser brother of 1988's "The New Order."
Reaching this lushest of creative fields has been quite a journey for Testament, the sort that tests, stretches and ultimately breaks most bands. Formed in the Bay Area of Northern California in 1983 under the moniker of Legacy (the change to Testament came when Billy arrived to take over from Steve Souza on vocals and Derrick Ramirez was replaced by Skolnick), they grew up at the same time as Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth, being one of the five bands forming the core of what would become the world famous thrash metal scene. But from the beginning Testament trod a unique path, making sure that their extraordinary musicianship, intuitive feel for harmonies amidst the savagery established itself as a stand alone sound.