Testament Demonic / The Gathering

Testament Demonic / The Gathering
To herald their first studio album in almost a decade, this late ’90s deuce of out-of-print Testament albums have been remastered and re-released with new artwork and liner notes. 1997’s Demonic came out after the group had been dropped by major label Atlantic, and when the musical climate wasn’t forgiving for metal bands, aside from Metallica and Pantera. Making sure this album was their most brutal, front-man Chuck Billy hired drum dynamo Gene Hoglan and used his growliest death vocals, so much that his regular singing voice isn’t easily recognisable in the first four tracks. "The Burning Times” and "Together as One” are this line-up’s finest moments, including every wailing guitar break that made Testament the thrash titans that they are today. 1999’s The Gathering was just that, assembling the band’s most legendary line-up of Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Sadus/Death bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and Obituary/Disincarnate axeman James Murphy. The galloping "D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate),” "Legions of the Dead” and "Fall of Sipledome” are ruthlessly vicious, while "3 Days in Darkness,” "Careful What You Wish For” and "Riding the Snake” retain classic Bay Area thrash formulas. With the tide of today’s metal currently cresting, these albums fit better into Testament’s canon than ever before. (Prosthetic)