My HeadBangers welcome from Oakland, California; the Thrash Metal Band:
“Pol’and’Rock Festival 2019
OMG another band that I just found out about, yes I know sacrilege, for a band that’s been around since 1983, well we live and learn don’t we my HeadBangers. That’s why I’m here, finding my way through all the bands this planet has to offer. This Thrash Band has really gotten my attention. 38 years on the stage and I am totally captured by this band and the high energy performances they continue to give. These are some hard core men my HeadBangers. And I love my men hard core and rough around the edges, please what else is there FFS. Now let’s look at some bio on these guys.
Testament is an American Thrash band from Oakland, California. The band was formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band’s current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Testament has experienced many lineup changes over the years, with Peterson being the only remaining original member, though they have since been rejoined by one of its songwriters Skolnick, who was out of the band from 1992 to 2005. Billy replaced original singer Steve Souza who left the band in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament’s studio albums, with the latter being the only constant member overall.
Labeled as one of the “big six” of the 1980s Bay Area thrash metal scene, Testament is often credited as one of the most popular and influential bands of the thrash metal scene, as well as one of the leaders of the second wave of the genre in the late 1980s. They have also been referred to as one of the “big eight” of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Overkill and Death Angel.
The band has sold over 1.4 million albums in the United States since the beginning of the SoundScan era and over 14 million copies worldwide. To date, Testament has released thirteen studio albums (one of which is a Collection of re-recorded songs), four live albums, five compilation albums, twelve singles and three DVDs. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1986, and changing their name from Legacy to Testament, they released their debut album The Legacy in 1987, followed a year later by The New Order (1988); both albums were acclaimed by critics and the press, including heavy metal-related publications. The band achieved mainstream popularity with its third album Practice What You Preach (1989), which was Testament’s first album to climb up the Top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart.
A string of more successful albums were released during the early-to-mid-1990s, including Souls of Black (1990), The Ritual (1992) and Low (1994), with the first two also entering the Top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. After Atlantic dropped the band in 1995, Testament (who had at this point had begun to experiment with a death metal-influenced sound) continued to record and perform until their temporary hiatus in 2001, when Billy was diagnosed with cancer. By 2005, his cancer was in remission and Testament had resumed activity, which briefly saw a reunion of The Legacy lineup and member changes in the interim.
Since Skolnick’s return to the band, Testament has experienced a resurgence of popularity, with two of their studio albums—Dark Roots of Earth (2012) and Brotherhood of the Snake (2016)—entering the Top 20 on the Billboard 200, and they have continued to tour consistently. The band released their latest studio album, Titans of Creation, on April 3, 2020. They are working on new material for their next studio album as of 2021.
The band, along with Exodus and Death Angel, took part in The Bay Strikes Back tour of Europe in February and March 2020. Following the tour, Chuck Billy and his wife Tiffany tested positive for COVID-19, making him the third person to have contracted the virus during the tour following Will Carroll of Death Angel and Gary Holt of Exodus. Bassist Steve Di Giorgio was later diagnosed with COVID-19, becoming the second member of Testament to have tested positive for the condition.
So as you can see Covid can get anyone at anytime, and it is everywhere.
“Practice What You Preach – 1989”
Let’s meet the band:
Eric Peterson – guitars, backing vocals (1983-present)
Chuck Billy – lead vocals (1986-present)
Alex Skolnick – guitars, backing vocals (1983-1992, 2005-present)
Gene Hoglan – drums (1996-1997, 2011-present)
Steve Di Giorgio – bass (1998-2005, 2014-present), backing vocals (2014-present)
As a true metalhead, headbanger, hardrocker, do you ever hear a band for the first time and ask yourself “How the hell have I never heard this band before??” That’s how I feel about these guys. In my defense there’s no way I could listen to every band at once. Every band on the blog gets a week of my life, I breathe, eat, and sleep them. This is why I do what I do. It’s so interesting looking behind the scenes of a band. There’s always so much more than just the music, even though that’s all most people care about. There are good times, bad times, times they struggle with that one song to make it right, band mates leaving and new ones coming, struggles with money, and personalities just like the rest of us. However, they have the talent, drive, and desire to put all that emotion into a sound that sends us HeadBangers into the fire! That’s what this band does to me, I’m standing really close to the fire. The vocals, the energy and pure excitement on all their faces when they are on stage doing their thing, you can feel it. I’m so glad they have stuck with it over almost 4 decades, and they are still tearing that stage up. They really are the heart of Thrash and I absolutely love it. Keep banging it out guys and I’ll be listening.
That’s it for this week my HeadBangers. Join me next week for another band and another song. Until then don’t stand to close to the fire if you can’t handle the burn…..