I dug this album out recently, and transferred it to my iPod. What an absolute monster. This is the album that Metallica should put on before they start recording new material. It would send them back to the golf course, let's put it that way.
'The Gathering' has everything: Catchy vocals, massive, catchy riffs, and amazing drumming from Slayer's Dave Lombardo. Testament are an exception to the rule, in that I think they are BETTER without their founding member and axe-god Alex Skolnick. His rejoining for the most recent LP, 'Formation of Damnation', is proof that they were better off without him. THAT is a good album, but this is GREAT, and on here the Petersen / Murphy / DiGiorgio axis never fails to astonish at every opportunity. Maybe Alex has been spending too much time with Rodrigo Y Gabriela, and forgotten that Post-Thrash needs a dash of extra brutality from the halcion days of 80's thrash..?
But that's a debate for elsewhere. The great thing about Testament, is that you get the intensity and power of modern metal, but you also the old-school songwriting skills, which current trendy bands like Arch Enemy simply do not have.
Several tracks off this album could have been chart hits, were we living in an alternate reality with truly democratic radio stations.
All killer, no filler. Awesome.