Testament – The Legacy (1987)
The Legacy is the debut by San Francisco thrash metallers Testament. I must admit that I am not a large fan of Thrash metal, but I have enjoyed songs by the big 4 (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax). I can honestly say that before 2007, I have not heard or listened to the Legacy.
I was first exposted to Testament back in 1990 through the MTV Headbanger’s ball, and specifically their song Souls of Black. I picked up that disc back in the day, but never picked up any of their other discs.
Off the Wall starts this disc off with a hyper speed thrash attack. Louie Clemente sounds like he is going to pound the drums through the floor, and 19 year old Alex Skolnick surprises the world with his incredible heavy guitar playing.
I really like the heavy guitar riff on The Haunting. Chuck Billy’s fast paced vocal delivery on this track can only send the masses into a moshing frenzy.
Burnt Offerings teases you with an Iron Maiden like beginning before blasting off into a high speed assault on the ears. The main guitar riff on this track is quite simplistic in nature, but is still very cool. Skolnick and Peterson shred like crazy on this track.
I immediately felt the need to break out the air guitar on Raging Waters, and I think ended up with whiplash from headbanging to this tune. Thrash metal doesn’t get much better than this.
C.O.T.L.O.D. or Curse of the Legions of Death was more enjoyable for me after I read the lyrics. Its an extemely short track, but a good listen. This track is one that needs to grow on you.
First Strike is Deadly and Do or Die are the kind of thrash songs that I usually don’t like as much. The frantic pace of these songs is so high that I can’t enjoy the guitar work as much as I normally would. First Strike’s saving grace is the awesome guitar solo towards the end of the song. With a few more listen’s Do or Die started growing on me a little more. You can almost sing along with Chuck Billy’s chant on this one.
The beginning guitar work on Alone in Dark sounds so good, it makes me wonder how good Testament could sound if Alex Skolnick slowed his playing down below light speed. This song has grown on me a lot more after several listens.
Apocalyptic City reminds me very much of old Metallica. It starts off slow and builds into a furious, head banging, full speed fret flailing monster. I really like this track a lot. It is a pretty amazing way to end (or in some senses start) The Legacy.
I have found over the last few weeks that this disc mixes well with the other stuff I am listening to a regular basis, and I decided to keep this disc in my playlist. I think a little thrash music is good for the soul from time to time. Thanks to Ray Van Horn Jr. for picking this disc in March Metal Madness!
Rating: Out of 10
- Over the Wall
- The Haunting
- Burnt Offerings
- Raging Waters
- First Strike is Deadly
- Do or Die
- Alone In the Dark
- Apocalyptic City