Dragonlord Rapture

Dragonlord is the baby of Eric Peterson (Testament), with a little help from his friends, namely Jon Allen (Sadus), Steve Smythe (Testament) and Steve Digiorgio (most good metal bands from the past ten years). It isn't quite what one would expect from someone who's been pumping out consistently excellent thrash metal for 14 years, rather a quick left turn into the questionable realm of black metal awaits the listener on Dragonlord's debut. Peterson is just too talented to hand us a flop, though, so what we get is classy, well played, atmospheric black metal. Many of the riffs are classic Peterson, sure to please any avid thrash-head out there, but Eric's vocals are a bit too "scraggly gnome" for my liking, and the keyboards seem to distract rather than add to the atmosphere. Still, this album is put together well enough to please both purist thrash types and snarky black metal weirdoes. (Spitfire)