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Testament @ Sirius Satellite Radio Studios (8/2009)

Metal Loyalists of the world don’t need me to educate them about the importance or relevance to the genre when it comes to Testament.  The proof is in the pudding they might say when it comes to the extensive body of work that has always managed to not only stay true to the band’s original vibe, but also managed to continue to raise their own personal bar and inspire any Metal fan and band who wisely choose to listen to them.  PiercingMetal.com had been keeping up with the adventures of the band since the reunion of the original lineup and how the crushed the senses with numerous live appearances on events like the Metal Masters tour and the appearance with Children Of Bodom as they continued to support the stunning “Formation Of Damnation” CD that came courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records.   Moving like a freight train on greased tracks, the adventure continues and brings us to this evenings most stellar of events.

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Testament @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/6/2008)

Testament are legends in the world of Thrash Metal and they would be releasing a magnum opus with “The Formation Of Damnation” just around the time of this performance. The show was at B.B. King Blues Club and to see more just scroll past the logo below.

Logo - Testament

Artist: Testament
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Nethereal, Martyrd
Date: 4/6/2008
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

When you are looking for a good solid thrashing there is nothing like a little Testament to set you right and this craving need was what drew over 1000 Metal maniacs to New York’s home for Metal – B.B. King Blues Club tonight. It was only a couple of years ago that the Bay Area Thrash Metal juggernauts had reunited with their full compliment of original members and delivered the CD and DVD “Live In London”. So great was the response to this release that new music would be planned for the not too distant future. The only difference in the lineup roster would be in terms of drummers as original member Louie Clemente would be replaced by Nick Barker who in turn would be replaced by Paul Bostaph. Testament music has always held a special place in the hearts and minds of Metal heads and while they never achieved the status of Metallica or Anthrax, their sound has never really suffered over the years nor did the band stray from its original course purely for the sake of commercial acceptance like some other bands had done over the years. They would bring with them two unsigned openers tonight and the task of gearing up the crowd fell to both Martyrd and Nethereal. I had never seen Martyrd perform before and tonight would not change this for me, and while I enjoyed some of what Nethereal had done when I caught them at another show, this evening was all about Testament for me and no one else would have managed to keep my interest. Based on the faces in the crowd when I walked in, I could tell that no one was left bored before Testament was set to come out. The show itself had been sold out for weeks and this was one of those events where you saw the audience filing in early to get a preferential spot either up front or at the bar. The best way to describe the mood and flowing energy around the club was best left at electric. It was a feeling that you had to be in the room to best appreciate but I am sure you can trust me on this.
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“Live In London” (CD) by Testament

Artist: Testament
Title: Live In London
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 11/1/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

Metal fans certainly got a good amount of music in 2005 as it seemed to be a great year for Metal Reunion releases. We first saw Judas Priest as a fully reunited with Halford lineup tour the world and not long after that word came down that the 1985 lineup of Anthrax would reunite and tour as well. It was only a matter of time before we would find the original lineup of Testament doing the same thing. That’s right you would now be able to own a new recorded concert of the classic Testament members: Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Greg Christian, Eric Peterson and Louie Clemente (also joined by John Tempesta a veteran of Testament and White Zombie). The CD documents a concert performed to a sold out crowd in London from early in 2005. Believe me this CD kicks some serious ass and offers no lag time or hesitation as the band belts out hit after hit. I was only a fan of the first three records and can attest that all of my favorites are included here to enjoy. The sound is clear and works well with the levels of the audience whose cheering is mixed in well. I enjoyed hearing Alex Skolnick play this kind of stuff on guitar again, as he was always one of the best the business had. Chuck Billy sounds great and his growls have not suffered over time. Louie Clemente’s drumming is solid and he comes in for the last 6 songs of the CD. All of the other songs are played by John Tempesta to a vote of approval. As you listen you can find that the band does not miss a trick and sound like they had not moved apart but instead remained together. This is especially apparent in the twin guitar work of Peterson and Skolnick.
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“Live In London” (DVD) by Testament

Artist: Testament
Title: “Live In London”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 11/1/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 8/10

This DVD was released on the same day as the CD and both of them feature the performance of the reunited Testament “classic” lineup. Once again you can see Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick, Eric Peterson, Greg Christian and Louie Clemente on one stage. You don’t have to be a Testament fan to enjoy the video but of course it certainly helps you get a lot more out of it. Filmed in London as the title denotes the video captures the guys smashing through a selection of their greatest songs for a Metal hungry audience. While it is strictly a live performance shoot of the band you can actually sense the excitement as it all goes down. Lead singer Chuck Billy seems in top-notch form after dealing with cancer and his voice comes through if anything a little rougher than the old days. That’s good for Testament material to be most certain. I enjoyed being able to see this DVD as I missed the performances when they did them in the area as the shows were few and far between. I have always been a fan of the playing of Alex Skolnick and while I enjoy his jazz adventures of late and his work with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, it was fantastic to see him doing these classic numbers. Everyone in the band performs admirably and I even referenced in the CD review that you would not think they had been on different avenues for so long. It sounds on point on the CD and when you watch it on the DVD the band shows you that they are true to the music and capable of still delivering it with the intensity that it merited. Veteran drummer John Tempesta handles the beginning half of the DVD and then Louie comes out to give the crowd the rest of the set. Everyone in the audience is going berserk and rightly so. These Bay-Area Thrashers gave some anthems back in the day and you can see the audience eager to receive more and more.
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