Testament - The Legacy
Label: Atlantic Records
Reviewer: Anas Disi - 2012-09-11
Highlights: Pretty much everything.
Inspiration; that was the main force behind the creation of Testament as a persistent thrash metal juggernaut. A band that had started with humble beginnings fed by the sheer power of inspiration, Testament slowly grew as it gathered the right musicians one by one and perfected its sound to become the ruthless musical act they are today. As I slowly suffocate myself with high anticipation for their next opus, I will put some of my remaining strength to use by reviewing their debut, keeping myself keen on not losing the ability to breathe by the time I hear their future offering.
The Legacy, released in 1987, powers its engines with a riff that is ironically bloated with power itself, starting off the first gem from the album; "Over the Wall". Peterson shreds the riffs with impressive power, Louie challenges the sound of thunder with his immense amount of physical stamina and sense of technical precision, while Greg and Chuck add their own touches with good taste and make this album even more beautifully perplexing. Alex Skolnick, meanwhile, shines as a god in the pantheon that I'd like to call the Satrianiyad. Surpassing fellow guitarmates Hunolt and Hammett in applying what their famed mentor gave them and leaning more to the prowess of legends such as Steve Vai, Skolnick offers a solo that even in his jazzy days, the fans managed to piss him off by telling him to play this and forget about whatever he was trying to prove.
After the first track had concluded, the album begins to set grounds for more moments that leave you opening your jaw, caring not about you embarrassing boner as you stand in awe and check your ears every once in a while. "The Haunting" comes with its gloomy intro and its mixture of thrashing brutality and horror-driven melancholia, "Burnt Offerings" adds more to the mixture with Skolnick's impressive guitar work, "Raging Waters" delivers with its ever-memorable riff and Chuck's amazing power as he howls along to the brain-tearing speed of the song, while "C.O.T.L.O.D."'s galloping speed and catchy chorus ("CURSE OF THE LEGIONS OF DEAAAAAAAAATH!") makes you look like a lunatic attempting to emulate Chuck's disturbingly vigorous throat.
But the show has just begun when the first of the last four tracks of the album (two of them the namesake of two compilation albums) kicks off. "First Strike Is Deadly" is perhaps one of the best thrash songs ever made, having all the components of a good thrash song: the mindfucking speed, the creativity in songwriting, the awesome solo and a multi-ranged voice; Chuck Billy literally makes Tom Araya and his army of "inspired vocalists" look like little pussies near the end of the song. "Do Or Die" continues the power with catchiness, "Alone In The Dark" shows why Testament stands with loyal support from its fans, while "Apocalyptic City" is an epic ending to an album that will be hard to ever match in thrash metal history.
As for all the little details such as production, Testament had taken care of that quite impressively, as well. The album takes good advantage of its record deal with Atlantic Records, as Perialas makes the album pretty much well connected and makes every instrument audible, much to the listener's delight.
This album is a total masterpiece and must be heard by anyone who values thrash metal, lead guitar or music in general. It carries on with a unique sound of the band rarely heard in later records, and is strong from start to finish.