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“First Strike Still Deadly” (reissue) by Testament

Artist: Testament
Title: “First Strike Still Deadly” (reissue)
Label: Prosthetic Records
Release Date: 3/18/2008
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 4/5

You have to admire a band when they set out to re-release classic tracks from early in their career but instead of delivering something which you are long familiar with on a compilation release decide to go through the painstaking process of re-recording and producing the songs with today’s available technology. I say this with a wry sense of sarcasm because it’s all too often when bands choose to do something of this type and the listener ends up receiving stuff that sounds so far off the mark of what you once knew and loved. One such example was with the dreadful “re-do” of Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” where the guys re-recorded the classic album and delivered it to their fans as “the way it should have sounded” – spare me guys, that was not necessary. Fortunately this would not be the case with the release of Testament’s “First Strike Still Deadly”, a 2001 album that has been picked up and re-issued by Prosthetic Records for us all to enjoy in 2008. “FSSD” offers the diehard Testament loyalist the best of the tracks from their first two albums as far as its band members were concerned. The tunes while re-recorded using the technology of the time come off as not having one ounce of over-cleaning done, nor being too produced to be able to enjoy the rawness and brutality that Testament so often delivered during this time. From beginning to end this is a powerful listening experience that makes a Metal fan wonder how this band took a little longer in reaching some of the heights enjoyed by the first wave Thrash Metal bands.
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