Testament – “Titans Of Creation” (Nuclear Blast)
Returning in what must be their best line up ever, Testament prove that while others may be flagging or retiring, this band is even stronger than before!!! “Titans Of Creation” truly lives up to its name in being heavier, faster and with some of the best musicianship this band has ever put out before. Hardly a surprise when you consider that joining core members Eric Peterson, Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick are veteran legends in their own right, Steve Di Giorgio (Iced Earth, Obituary, Death, Sadus, Autopsy, Sebastian Bach, Charred Walls Of The Damned etc etc) and ‘human drum machine’ Gene Hoglan (Fear Factory, Devin Townsend, Death, Dark Angel, Forbidden, Unearth etc etc). Needless to say, be prepared to have your breath taken away on the 12 tracks making up this astounding release through ultra tight performances of fearsome speed and technical wizardry, all captured in an absolutely massive surround sound. And if you way back with this band, then you’ll remember that Testament are long famed for their gigantic, catchy thrash riffs and brother, “Titans Of Creation” is chocked full of them! Shredding on ‘Night Of The Witch’, Billy’s bear roars match the blistering double kick pedal speed of Hoglan, although its the slow, massive chorus riff that sinks its whale hook in deep and sends you into a headbanging devil sign throwing frenzy before Skolnick hits you straight between the eyes with his virtuoso solo – wow man, absolutely wow. Pounding in on ‘False Prophet’ the razor thrash riffs take off from the start sending you instantaneously into circle pit insanity as Billy’s singing with its hypnotic edge adds to the possession, made all the more intense through the fast tempo changes adding even more catchiness and made even wilder when the screaming and wailing guitars of Peterson and Skolnick come into play – total delirium! But don’t be expecting a break, cos ‘The Healers’ continues straight after with Hoglan hammering his drums and cymbals as Billy sings out his catchy rhyming lyrics of ‘…the force of mother earth, brings power in birth…’ to the whirring driller riffs of the guitars – man, it’s like a tornado going on inside your head – before Skolnick kicks in some very stylish and funky work until homing in with Peterson to the fiery riff finish – awesome. Prominent with his bass lines on ‘Code of Hammurabi’, Di Giorgio leads another enormously epic riff as Billy sings ‘…eye for an eye, for an eye, for an eye…the shepherd will gather his sheep…’ before Skolnick explodes in a virtuosic blossom that is truly jaw dropping. Going for broke on ‘Curse Of Osiris’, the speed of Hoglans double bass pedals is incredible as the guitars and bass machine gun you straight through as Billy screams his throat raw before slowing mid song to allow you to savor the song’s exotic, eastern flavor before rocketing off again until its blistering end. On this album, Testament have captured the eye of the tiger that made Metallica into world class metal monsters during the 80s – and now it’s time for them in turn to take the thrash throne.