Testament - The Legacy review


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Band: Testament
Album: The Legacy
Release date: July 1987

01. Over The Wall
02. The Haunting
03. Burnt Offerings
04. Raging Waters
05. C.O.T.L.O.D.
06. First Strike Is Deadly
07. Do Or Die
08. Alone In The Dark
09. Apocalyptic City

For me Testament are one of those bands which peaked way too early. In my eyes they never ever topped their debut The Legacy and although they released many great subsequent releases, I do not think any of them match this.

Musically, Testament were never as direct and ferocious as on The Legacy, delivering harder, darker, and more energetic songs than on their subsequent albums and what the album lacks in variety it makes up for in intensity. Don't let that statement confuse you however: Testament still manage to pack in a surprisingly diverse collection of musically interesting songs on this album. What has been put together here is a collection of songs that rival the intensity of Slayer, the polish of Megadeth, and the sleaze drenched mayhem of Overkill. In each song there is an unmistakeable seal of virtuosity and intelligence, mixed with the permanent insanity and brutality in lyrics and music, which unfortunately never would be so intense in any later Testament releases.

Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick are great riff masters. There are some absolutely brutal crushing riffs in the bridge sections of "Do Or Die" and "First Strike Is Deadly" as well as throughout the album and there are dozens of killer harmonized riffs, such as the opening to "The Haunting" and the amazing verse riff of "Burnt Offerings. Alex Skolnick's guitar solos on this album are simply perfect. Every solo deserves a place in the Hall Of Fame. His style has something more than speed and technique, it has an incomparable feeling, a rarity within thrash metal, and a big highlight of Testament's trade mark. "Apocalyptic City" features arguably his best solo. Chuck Billy is so melodic and brutal, he can growl, grunt or scream, and he did his job here perfectly. His wide range gives more and more brutality and versatility to this record. The drumming is simple but very fitting. Very little double-bass which is very good. I couldn't imagine this album with much double-bass anyway. The production could be a bit better. The bass is sometimes hard to hear and the volume of the tracks is too low. You can realize it when you're listening to other stuff and then you play songs from this album. The production's not sloppy or dirty and doesn't make the record less enjoyable, but it's not perfect.

This is a killer debut, and is legendary. You don't want to miss out on this amazing piece of thrash, you have to hear it for yourself. Sometimes words can't really explain everything, and they can't here, plus I don't want to make a long review, but check this album out. The Legacy is a good record and it's definitely worth buying. Even if you dislike other Testament records, try this.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 7

Written by nicaZe | 21.06.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Maasai Mara
The first time I listened to this, I thought this was Metallica and James Hetfield had finally improved his vocals (although they worked pretty well on Kill 'Em All and Ride The Lightning). To this day, while listening to this I still cannot shake off the idea that this is Metallica or some kind of Metallica tribute band. The vocals sound Metallica-ish, the riffing and guitar solos sound like something Kirk Hammett wrote, and the fact that Testament are from the Bay Area does not help their case. They even copied the laugh at the end of "Master Of Puppets" in "C.O.T.L.O.D.", which, in true Testament fashion, still sounds weaker than that in "Master Of Puppets". Metallica is the hunter and Testament the prey, as they loudly proclaim on "Do Or Die."

published 16.03.2019 | Comments (11)


Comments: 11   Visited by: 131 users
21.06.2012 - 11:13
Void Eater
Account deleted
This is one of those cases where I actually think that the debut is a bands best album. Really have nothing to complain about with it; packed with riffs, catchy choruses, a legendary lead guitarist, and one of the finest thrash vocal performances.
21.06.2012 - 11:53
The big 4 should have been the big 5 including Testament.

I drink moosepiss
21.06.2012 - 12:22
Seeker of Truth
Yes, yes, I agree with everything you say here. Great riffs, mind-blowing solos, not the best production, impressive vocals... a thrash classic indeed, which is their best album.
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
21.06.2012 - 12:30
Burning inside
First Strike Still Deadly contains many of these tracks, re-recorded with a far better production. Although I have no problem with the raw production of The Legacy and The New Order...
21.06.2012 - 14:47
Troy Killjoy
Written by Big-Al on 21.06.2012 at 11:53
The big 4 should have been the big 5 including Testament.

They weren't included because they didn't have the same success in terms of sales...
I have no memory of this place.
21.06.2012 - 15:27
Written by Big-Al on 21.06.2012 at 11:53

The big 4 should have been the big 5 including Testament.

I like Testament more then the big 4 together.

Slayer is one of my favorite bands but Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica...i really didn't enjoy them ever...Testament is fucking great...not just The Legacy every release is superb...
22.06.2012 - 11:59
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Here we go again... what the hell is so hard to understand about the concept of the Big 4? Like it says it's about BIG
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

04.07.2012 - 12:47
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.06.2012 at 11:59

Here we go again... what the hell is so hard to understand about the concept of the Big 4? Like it says it's about BIG

take a drink.
get the fuck off my lawn.
11.03.2014 - 20:45
The Big 4 is the Big 4 and that's that. They were the biggest 4 bands in thrash and by quite a far distance..and don't even try to breathe Overkill, that's not even a mildly amusing argument...but I will say this Testament debut album may very well be better than anything Anthrax ever did in their career..not surely but it's a damn good argument.
16.03.2019 - 16:59
The Big 4 means the original first 4 bands that created strict thrash metal. But the one band I disagree in that list is Anthrax. They were speed metal on their debut & crossover/punk since "Spreading the Disease". They only pure thrash album they produced was "Among the Living," and even that was more crossover than actual thrash. They had maybe a few thrash songs before that album. And yes, thrash metal was formed by punk & speed metal, but they are poor in thrash intensity compared to the likes of Exodus, Testament, Overkill, Annihilator - who already released their debuts & were more a thrash band than when "ATL" was already released. Shit, I think Venom was a thrashier band than Anthrax lol.
19.09.2019 - 17:06
Bad English
Written by Big-Al on 21.06.2012 at 11:53

The big 4 should have been the big 5 including Testament.

No it should kick out anthrax and slayer, overkill and testament should jump in
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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