9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
One of the best albums of 1999,
This review is from: The Gathering (Audio CD)
This album sparked my interest in the band Testament, and that was from an unmixed demo-type version of the track 'Sewn Shut Eyes' from a covermounted CD. That led me to buy this ablum, and now I own almost their entire back catalogue... It seriously is that good!!
It's not because of the all-star cast of musicians used on the record (along with Testament mainstays Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy, we have guitar by James Murphy, bass by Steve DiGiorgio, and drums by Dave Lombardo!), but because the songs themselves are brilliantly written.
Of the 11 tracks, it's hard to pick out the best, but 'DNR', 'Three Days In Darkness', 'Legions Of The Dead', 'Riding The Snake', 'Sewn Shut Eyes', and 'Fall of Sipledome' are the best.
Chucks voice rides the line between melodic-thrash style that he had before, and a brutal growly voice that retains a large amount of clarity. This can be used to great effect, especially with Eric Petersons black metal-esque backing vocals.
Eric and James played together on the Testament album 'Low', and have also played together live, so they know how play with each other, and this shines through in the intricate lead change-overs, almost as good as the Kerry King/Jeff Hanneman partnership! James solos were always going to be a talking point, and they don't disappoint, even though they're more melodic and less furious. Best solo on 'Fall of Sipldome'. Eric's are as concise and furious as ever, with the best example on 'Sewn Shut Eyes'.
Having Steve DiGiorgio on bass means that the bass is not just following the guitars, which add an extra dimension. You can also hear it more in the mix too!
Dave Lombardo does a great job of not being tedious when it comes to the drums. His structures follow the patterns laid down by the music, instead of just being the backbeat. He can stillblast like the best, seen in songs like 'Sewn Shut Eyes', and 'Legions of The Dead'
So, 5 great musicians, 11 great songs, 1 great album. Get it. Now.