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Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica …Testament? It’s not as insane as you think. Their last three albums have been a renaissance for the band, much like Helloween or Judas Priest. Titans of Creation doesn’t ease the foot off the gas either; not one bit.
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Children of the Next Level is strident, galloping thrash; using a beefy guitar tone that jams your earholes full of crunchy goodness. Vocalist Chuck Billy provides counterpoint to the tireless leads of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson. They just don’t stop, which is the closest we men will ever get to multiple orgasms. WWIII pairs Megadeth style fire and brimstone with runaway train riffing that their Deutsches Brüder Kreator are so renowned for; let’s not forget the half-time headbang section as their imaginary armies cross the frontier and unleash hell on Earth.
If their last three albums didn’t sell them that vacant seat on the Big Four of American Thrash, Titans of Creation makes their most solid case yet
A lot of the material on this album could have slipped into their groovier albums like The Ritual, such as Ishtar’s Gate or Symptoms. The prime example is Dream Deceiver, equal parts American thrash and Euro speed metal ala Accept; melodic refrains and leads gently dusted with that touch of cheesy glam. Night of the Witch takes a turn into Castlevania-style black metal, Billy injecting some shrieking amid foreboding riffs. Songs like False Prophet and Curse of Osiris feel like tributes to Slayer, trying their hand at breakway speeds and beatdown rhythms as made famous by Hanneman (RIP) and King. Billy’s vocals run a stylistic gamut from shrieks, to bellows, to cleans, to death metal. Gene Hoglan on drums can do no wrong, adding tasty little fills that dazzle as much as his two fret-brothers standing in front.
Since Alex Skolnick returned in 2007 for The Formation of Damnation, it seems like Testament are once again complete; and that makes them an unstoppable thrash metal unit. If their last three albums didn’t sell them that vacant seat on the Big Four of American Thrash, Titans of Creation makes their most solid case yet.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Children of the Next Level, WW III, Dream Deceiver
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Megadeth, Kreator, Anthrax