Testament - The Legacy
Atlantic Recording Company
Thrash Metal
9 songs (36:55)
Release year: 1987
Reviewed by Phil

Testament’s The Legacy…ahhh hell, now we’re talking my language. Testament’s New World Order was the first tape I ever bought, and Testament’s “First Tour Is Deadly” shirt was the first concert tee I ever mail ordered. I was a Testament superfan. I memorized the band member’s names, I cut their pictures out of metal magazines and I drew their logo on my school notebooks. So yeah, I’m biased. I’m biased as hell. But to me, this album shreds just hard now as it did over two decades ago.

Over the Wall is one of the most energetic thrash album openers of all time. The speedy riff is pure energy, and Chuck Billy’s screams are sharp as a razor. The headbang slowdown/guitar solo section in the middle will have any thrasher, old school or new, smiling in milliseconds. The Haunting is a little more involved. The guitar line is more complex, and the speedy verses are absolutely lethal. Chuck’s vocals are once again on point, and the band seems intent on channeling their inner King Diamond. Burnt Offerings is a shorter song that starts off with a moody guitar intro. The song revolves around a quasi-Maiden guitar lick and near-singable vocals. Next is Raging Water – holy shit what a tune. Tell me you don’t get a chill when Chuck screams, “The triangle…the devil’s triangle!!” Louie Clemente plays two tempos in the song, fast and faster. And the riffage…even in the days of treble overload production, these guitars still have a unique thickness. Skolnick’s note blitzkrieg of a guitar solo at the three-minute mark will have you pinching yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming the perfect thrash solo.

C.O.T.L.O.D. is another killer. Two minutes and 34 seconds of primal, pure metal fury. Testament may have out Slayered Slayer with this track. This song is so brutish it should be illegal. First Strike is Deadly is just that…deadly. Clemente outdoes himself on the drum kit, and the duo of Skolnick and Eric Peterson completely crush on guitar. If I were ever a vocalist in a band, I would want my voice to sound just like Chuck’s when he screeches, “First strike is deadly!” during this chorus. There’s another notable Skolnick solo here as well. Do or Die features speedy verses and a downright catchy chorus. Clemente is drumming like a madman here, and the rhythm guitars are absolutely flying. Alone in the Dark is another complete classic. A technical guitar intro leads us into a meaty riff. Here, I gotta say, thrash metal isn’t supposed to be this catchy. Chuck sticks with clean vocals a good bit, including the memorable, sing-a-long chorus. Once again, Skolnick kills a solo in this track. The album closes with Apocalyptic City, a thrash metal classic. A short but moody guitar intro kicks the track off in style. The verses are dense, and the chorus is killer. It’s impossible not to get caught up and catch yourself screaming, “Burn!” along with Chuck. Skolnick and Peterson once again crank the guitar pyrotechnics up to 11. They trade solos and play harmonious guitar parts galore. Even though this track is almost six minutes long, I find myself wishing it were longer.

Whew…what a friggin album. Sure, there are a few things I could pick at to avoid giving this album a CLASSIC designation. And honestly, I considered doing that. But, in the end, this album is too influential and too important – especially with a new wave of thrash sweeping the globe. You hear me nu-thrashers? Before you invest in retro puffy hightops and skinny spiked jeans, you should buy this album. It would definitely be first day, required listening if I taught Thrash Metal 101.

Killing Songs :
Over the Wall, Raging Water, Alone in the Dark, Apocalyptic City
Phil quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Testament that we have reviewed:
Testament - Souls of Black reviewed by Bar and quoted 80 / 100
Testament - Demonic reviewed by Bar and quoted 68 / 100
Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Testament - The Ritual reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Testament - The New Order reviewed by Tyler and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 10 reviews click here
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