Music: Testament

Testament is a Thrash Metal band from San Francisco. Formed under the name Legacy in 1983, they took on their current name in 1986. They are generally held as one of the leading bands of the thrash scene, although they've never achieved the same mainstream recognition as the famous Big Four.

Discography:
  • The Legacy (1987)
  • The New Order (1988)
  • Practice What You Preach (1989)
  • Souls of Black (1990)
  • The Ritual (1992)
  • Low (1994)
  • Demonic (1997)
  • The Gathering (1998)
  • First Strike Still Deadly (2001)
  • The Formation of Damnation (2008)
  • Dark Roots of Earth (2012)

Members:
  • Current:
    • Chuck Billy (Vocals; 1986-present)
    • Alex Skolnick (Guitar; 1983-1993, 2001, 2005-present)
    • Eric Peterson (Guitar; 1983-present)
    • Steve DiGiorgio (Bass; 1998-2004, 2014-present)
    • Gene Hoglan (Drums; 1997, 2011-present

  • Former:note 
    • Derrick Ramirez (Vocals and Guitar; 1983)(Bass; 1997)
    • Steve Souza (Vocals; 1983-1986)note 
    • Louie Clemente (Drums; 1983-1993, 2005)
    • Greg Christian (Bass; 1983-1996; 2004-2014)
    • Glen Alvelais (Guitar; 1993, 1997-1998)
    • Paul Bostaph (Drums; 1993, 2007-2011)
    • James Murphy (Guitar; 1994-1996, 1998-2000)
    • Dave Lombardo (Drums; 1998-1999)

This band provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse Wow: "Three Days In Darkness".
  • Badass Native: "Native Blood".
  • Big Fun / Fat Bastard: Chuck, especially in his latter years.
  • Cassandra Truth: "The Preacher" is about someone who frequently tells these.
  • Cover Version: Aerosmith’s "Nobody's Fault" on The New Order.
  • Darker and Edgier: During The Nineties, they got much heavier and Chuck started experimenting with harsher vocal techniques.
  • Driven to Suicide: "Falling Fast" from Souls of Black.
  • Epic Rocking: Not always, but The Ritual and Dark Roots of Earth sometimes delve into this.
  • Evil Overlooker: The cover of The New Order.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Genre Shift: From standard thrash to a more Death Metal sound during the 90's. Their recent material has fused the sounds of both eras.
  • Green Aesop: "Greenhouse Effect" on Practice What You Preach.
  • Groove Metal: Most of Low. Demonic was also inspired by this genre.
  • Guttural Growler: Chuck Billy, although not to the usual extent. While he's more than capable of the traditional death metal growl, he usually uses a very distinctive roar.
  • Heavy Meta: Averted by "Into the Pit". It's hard to say what it is about, but the lyrics certainly have nothing to do with moshing.
    • Subverted during the band's live performances, as it's usually dedicated to the people participating in the mosh pit.
  • He's Back: The Formation of Damnation served as this for Chuck and Alex - Chuck had recovered from cancer, and Alex had rejoined the band. True to this trope, the album kicks ass.
  • Iconic Item: Chuck's light-up, jeweled mic stand.
  • Jerk Ass: If Greg Christian's account of the circumstances leading to his departure is to be believed, Billy and Peterson are pretty shitty people.
  • Lead Drummer: Dave Lombardo arguably (not only due to his reputation with Slayer, but his performance on The Gathering being incredibly highly lauded), and more definitely Gene Hoglan seeing the massive number of bands he's been in.
  • Metal Band Mascot: The nameless demon...thing with an Overly Long Tongue often seen in an inverted pentagram, found on The Legacy, the corner of Low and First Strike Still Deadly, among other places, probably counts.
  • Metal Scream: One of Chuck's trademarks, especially on their earliest albums on songs like "Burnt Offerings" and "The Preacher".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of their stuff (practically all of their The Legacy to Souls of Black material namely) is about 8. The Ritual varies from about 6-8, while starting from Low they have recorded several songs ("Dog Faced Gods", most of the songs on Demonic, "D.N.R (Do Not Resuscitate)", "The Formation Of Damnation", "True American Hate", etc.) that go into 9. "Legions Of The Dead" borders on a soft 10, while the band drops to a 4 with "Return To Serenity".
  • New Sound Album: Most of their albums starting with The Ritual have toyed with their sound somewhat. More info on the main page.
  • The Remake: First Strike Still Deadly is a rerecording of some of their most well liked tracks from their first two albums. YMMV on whether the originals or the new versions are better.
  • Renaissance Man: Alex Skolnick has also found the time to play with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and create his own jazz fusion group.
  • Revolving Door Band: Eric Peterson is the only consistent member, and him and Chuck Billy are the only ones who have been present on all their albums. From The Ritual onwards (the last album with their "classic" Billy/Peterson/Skolnick/Christian/Clemente lineup), every subsequent album has been recorded with a different lineup as the previous album.
  • Self-Titled Album: A variation - their first album, The Legacy, is named for the original band name and in fact was recorded while still going under the name Legacy.
  • Skunk Stripe: Alex has a natural one. Also doubles as Anime Hair.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Somewhat unusually for a Thrash Metal band, they have a number of these, or at least moments of it.
    • The New Order has several spacey and acoustic passages in it sprinkled throughout the album.
    • "The Ballad" from Practice What You Preach was their first definite example. "The Legacy" on Souls of Black, "Return to Serenity" on The Ritual (which sticks out for being on a Surprisingly Gentle Album) and "Trail of Tears" on Low would follow suit. The Live at the Fillmore Live Album even included acoustic rerecordings of the latter three with backing female vocals.
    • Later made a comeback on Dark Roots of Earth with "Cold Embrace", although that song has moments of aggression.
  • Title Track: Most of their albums have straight examples of these, exceptions of varying amounts being The Legacy (although a song called "The Legacy" would later appear on Souls of Black, and "Burnt Offerings" contains the line "Making the legacy known"), Demonic (which opens up with a song called "Demonic Refusal", with the word "demonic" showing up in the song) and The Gathering (where the album title is nowhere to be found).
  • Vocal Evolution: Chuck, to a degree.
  • We Are The Band: Billy and Peterson are the only constant members, and even then Peterson is the only founding member who never left.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Most of The Gathering seems to consist of this. While there are a few songs with obvious themes ("Three Days Of Darkness" is, for example, about The Rapture), most of the lyrics are utterly ridiculous.