The Formation Of Damnation
Nuclear Blast Records
The gods of thrash metal have returned! Testament are back with their best album in years entitled "The Formation Of Damnation". With almost the entire original line-up restored (with the exception of Paul Bostaph replacing Louie Clemete on drums) these guys are force to be reckoned with! The guitar team of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson sound tighter than ever and vocalist Chuck Billy is a force to be reckoned with. He moves from his edgy, aggressive singing style to the voice from the bowels of hell with terrifying ease. (Not to shabby for a guy who had to battle throat cancer not that long ago). Greg Christian's bass lines thunder along side Bostaph's skin bashing mayhem bringing a massive, bottom-end assault.
Testament have had their share of up's and down's over the years, and at times it was only Chuck and Eric trudging onward with various musicians filling the other original members slots until now. Granted, the album's they did with these other players were still great, but this new release is what it's all about. "Formation" is a return to the glory days of "The New Order" or "Practice What You Preach". This line-up is like a well oiled machine; no matter how long these guys are apart, when they get back together it's like they never left. Lyrically it's very diverse; covering topics such as 911 (The Evil Has Landed), the evil of religion (Dangers Of The Faithless) and the loss of loved ones and what lies beyond (Afterlife). Ok, so they won't win any awards for originality in the lyric writing department, but so what? It's well thought out and when Chuck sings it, you better believe he's feeling it.
I can't say enough good things about this album. What I can say is; if you love thrash metal, you seriously do not want to miss out on this release.They are the ultimate icons of thrash that lay waste to bands half their age. Testament have fought long and hard to make it back to this point in time and on "Formation" they will prove once again that they have no equals.
- Craig Harvey