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Review: Testament - The Formation of Damnation
The Formation of Damnation

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 49:36
Tracks: 11
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 28, 2008
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating
The Formation of Damnation

Rated 3.94/5 (78.8%) (50 Votes)

It has been nine years since Testament last released an album; sixteen years since shred-master Alex Skolnick recorded for the band; and nineteen years since the original Testament logo last appeared on an LP. But oddly enough, this is no comeback album as the band had just about kept itself on the radar this whole time. But trivial statistics and hype aside, what we have here is a worthy Thrash Metal record, but one that is not quite legendary.

Testament have really tried to deliver another version of their brutally satisfying 1999 release The Gathering. Chuck Billy's harsh vocals, coupled with the heavier guitar sound is prevalent throughout the disc. They've made their songs catchier than is typically the norm with Testament and this album will impress right from the get go. So, The Formation of Damnation is a solid slab of Thrash Metal that will satisfy, but it doesn't quite overwhelm. There is nothing like "DNR" on the menu here; not much that will rattle the ribcages and floor the listener.

A few hints of the legendary Testament surface on speed fests like "The Persecuted Won't Forget" or the disgustingly awesome "Henchmen Ride" — with an anthem-like chorus and pounding rhythm presence - but overall the leads on this album are disappointing and there's not much in the solo department that is worth talking about. So it's a mixed bag of catchy songs with a heavy guitar presence and good vocals, but lacking in that little extra that separates an album from good to amazing. Perhaps this album's only crime is being dwarfed by the huge shadow cast by Testament's past. Whatever its shortcoming, it is a fairly ordinary album.

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