Testament (thrash metal band)

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The band were formed in 1983 under the name Legacy. After frontman Chuck Billy joined, they changed their name to Testament in 1986.

Annotation last modified on 2009-03-21 04:14 UTC.


Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band consists of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and drummer Gene Hoglan. In the 32 years since its inception, Testament has had numerous lineup changes, and Peterson has been the only constant member. Billy replaced former singer Steve Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. Billy and Peterson are the only band members to appear on every album.

Testament is often credited as one of the most popular bands of the thrash metal scene, having sold over 1.4 million albums in the United States since the beginning of the SoundScan era and 14 million albums worldwide. To date, the band has released ten studio albums, four live albums, six compilation albums, and six singles. After signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1986, they released their debut album The Legacy in 1987 to critical acclaim. Many of their subsequent albums — including The New Order (1988), Practice What You Preach (1989), Souls of Black (1990), The Ritual (1992), The Formation of Damnation (2008) and Dark Roots of Earth (2012) — were also successful. Testament is currently working on a new album, which is due for release in early 2016.

During their major label years, Testament secured opening slots on major tours, including opening for notable acts such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Megadeth, Overkill, Judas Priest and Slayer. They also gained critical recognition for embarking on the European Clash of the Titans tour with Slayer, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies. As of 2015, the band continues to tour and perform live.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1987 The Legacy 4 6
1988 The New Order 5 6
1989 Practice What You Preach 4.5 4
1990 Souls of Black 4 3
1992 The Ritual 3.5 4
1994 Low 4 2
1997 Demonic 4 3
1999 The Gathering 5
2001 First Strike Still Deadly 2
2008 The Formation of Damnation 4 5
2012 Dark Roots of Earth 6

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1996 The Best of Testament 2
1997 Signs of Chaos: The Best of Testament 1
2001 The Very Best of Testament 1
2004 Days of Darkness 1
2007 The Spitfire Collection 1
2013 Original Album Series 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1995 Live at The Fillmore 4 1
2005 Live in London 1
2009 Live at Eindhoven '87 1
2013 Dark Roots of Thrash 4


Year Title RatingReleases
2012 True American Hate 1
2012 Native Blood 2
2013 Animal Magnetism 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1988 Trial By Fire 1
1993 Return to the Apocalyptic City 4 4


Year Title RatingReleases
1987 Live at Eindhoven 2

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