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Testament
The Formation of Damnation

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Hail and Kill
Genre: Thrash
Rating
5



  • A return-to-form worthy of 'classic' status



  • Forsaking subtlety, 'For the Glory Of' is a smashing overture to announce Testament's masterful comeback. Beginning with the crash of percussion followed by an easy melody, it's a soundtrack for an army of angels emerging from the steel gray heavens to smite mankind. (That's the cover art)

    As its introduction fades, 'More Than Meets the Eye' barges in and starts with Chuck Billy's ear catching wails of 'Woahhhh-ooaaahh-oaaahhhhh' before a muscular gallop chugs along and eventually gives way to a delicious solo from Alex Skolnick. It's smartly titled follow up, 'The Evil Has Landed,' is a beefy ode to September 11 where Chuck Billy sings of deconstructed skylines and body counts. When the furious drumbeats of the title track hammer away as the song commences, it proves how incredible a singer Chuck is, as he uses a throaty growl that puts similar practitioners to shame. The awesomely titled 'Dangers of the Faithless' provides mid-tempo fare that could have come from the 'Low' album. In contrast, the frantic 'The Persecuted Won't Forget' displays the band's grasp of complexity. Never losing its momentum, 'Henchmen Ride' can be considered 'Formation's' best-and speediest cut before the chunky war anthem 'Killing Season' and its heartfelt successor, 'Afterlife,' about deceased parents and a very philosophical question, grants momentary anthemic reprieve. On its tail end the album unleashes a final wallop, 'FEAR,' until the whole sonic roller coaster unwinds with the schizophrenic mood swings of 'Leave Me Forever'.

    The pizzazz surrounding this record is partially hinged on a 'classic lineup,' which isn't entirely true because it's Paul Bostaph behind the kit. However, among the recent influx of new talent in the band, it's Skolnick who shines the most as he provides the juice to main songwriter Eric Petersen's rhythm. Taking its cue from their most recent work, 'The Formation of Damnation' marries 'The Gathering's left over energy with the nostalgic flavor of 'First Strike Still Deadly'. The final product is, for lack of a better metaphor, a formation of musical damnation. A return-to-form worthy of 'classic' status; the most perfect exercise in Thrash Metal in years; Testament have left their peers behind as they've raised the bar to levels previously unmatched. Listen to this album in its entirety and expect to cream your pants.



    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Dark Roots of EarthTestament
    2012
    Greg Watson8/18/2012
    Dark Roots of ThrashTestament
    2013
    Greg Watson10/31/2013
    Live In LondonTestament
    2005
    Ken Pierce11/8/2005
    Seen Between The LinesTestament
    2005
    Ken Pierce7/25/2005
    The Formation of DamnationTestament
    2008
    Hail and Kill8/22/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Brotherhood of the SnakeTestament
    2016
    Eric Compton1/19/2017
    Dark Roots of EarthTestament
    2012
    Chris Kincaid7/31/2012
    Dark Roots of ThrashTestament
    2013
    Vinaya Saksena10/18/2013


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: TESTAMENT
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
    Eric PetersonTestamentGreg Watson3/2/2012


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