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  TESTAMENT TAKE THEIR BROTHERHOOD TO A NEW LEVEL IN MINNEAPOLIS
Testament: First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota
3rd May 2017


jeff kunze
Words and Pictures: Jeff Kunze



testament

Testament have been tearing up the States in support of 2016s release ,'Brotherhood Of The Snake', and it's a tremendous bill that also features Sepultura and Prong.

The Bay Area thrash kings have been at it for over three decades and show no signs of slowing down with the latest record proving that the blueprint created so long ago is as relevant as ever. The band features Chuck Billy (vocals), Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick on guitars, Steve DiGiorgio (bass) and Gene Hoglan (drums).

testament

Prong and Sepultura set the bar high after fantastic sets and Testament simply snapped that bar in half as they quickly engulfed the room when they opened up with 'Brotherhood Of The Snake' and then the blazer 'Rise Up'. The thrash pioneers showed how lethal they can be.

Chuck Billy's presence is instantly felt as soon as he hits the stage. The iconic singer still delivers lyrics with an aggressive attack and snarl. It was a vintage performance that included the shortened hand-held microphone holder that lit up and also acted as an air guitar. Chuck may have gone through more pics than the guitar players.

testament

The set featured five songs from the new album; Along with the title track, the band played 'The Pale King', 'Seven Seals', 'Centuries Of Suffering' and my personal favorite, 'Stronghold'. The material sounded ferocious and I enjoyed hearing these songs live for the first time.

The guitar duo of Skolnick and Peterson took the material to another level in a live setting. The two play off each and supply the electricity that amplifies Testament's sound while Peterson punishes you with the riffs as Skolnick adds the dressing in perfect harmony.

testament

Putting together a set-list with such an extensive catalog can't be easy. Included tonight were some classics like 'Electric Crown', 'Into The Pit' and 'Souls Of Black'. The bruising 'Low' and 'First Strike Is Deadly' furthered the intensity of the crowd.

With Chuck bringing down thunder and the guitars providing the lightning, the rhythm section of DiGiorgio and Hoglan held the chaos together in tight fashion. I had not seen Steve on bass before tonight but I was impressed with his energy and interaction with the crowd. Not much needs to be said about the drums except for two words - Gene Hoglan, and that's enough said. He's a beast behind the kit and his career resume speaks for itself.

testament

Testament ripped through the set with tenacity as they pulled out 'The New Order' before the encore. The band returned to the stage and Chuck told a story about shooting a video down in Texas. After filming they went to a club to check out a little band named Pantera. That video was 'Practice What You Preach' and the band launched into the song that has an infectious drive and hook.

The ending of the night showcased where they had started. Testament's very own calling card, 'Over The Wall' from the 1987 release 'The Legacy', brought the show to end in a full sonic assault.

testament

Testament's status in the thrash world has never been questioned. They are one of the cornerstone acts in the genre and an argument certainly can be made that they belong in the 'Big Four'. The albums continue to be amazing and there's doubt, especially after tonight, that they still bring it live. Check out the mighty Testament if they play in your town; they don't disappoint.

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8th May 2017










 

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