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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.
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.”