RFI: Testament - 'The Gathering'

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Just reading about Testament's The Gathering album online, and it sounds like it could be very interesting, apparently representing a way harder death metal-esque direction for them, with involvement from various luminaries including Mr Schuldiner, Mr Di Giorgio and Mr Lombardo. So is this record in any way comparable to say Death's Individual Thought Patterns?

I remain dubious about buying it though, as the one Testament album I ever heard (Practice What You Preach) could best be summed up by the word 'boring'!

So, expert guidance from any ILX types would be very greatly appreciated.

Oh, and this could be expanded into a more general Testament c/d, s/d thread, if anyone can be arsed.

M Carty (mj_c), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 13:44 (seventeen years ago) link

I haven't listened to them since high school, back when The New Order first came out, which I liked. I had the same reaction to Practice, though, I found it boring so I stopped listening to Testament. Really the only death metal-esque music I listen to these days is King Diamond.

webcrack (music=crack), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:17 (seventeen years ago) link

The album is in no way shape or form related to Individual Thought Patterns other than who plays on it. Sonically, they're worlds apart.

Honestly, given the pedigree, and your expectations, you'd probably find it disappointing. Most of them were just trying to pay bills by playing in Testament and didn't have much of a say in the creative process. The music doesn't approach the nature of ITP, which admittedly would have been neat since that is such a good album.

What the album really is is sort of a return to their thrashier sound, plus some of the post-thrash stylings a la "Low". It's not one of their better albums, though I like it. It's rather simple and straightforward, but doesn't really match the fire of their early days or the swagger of Low.

If you were looking for more death-metally Testament, Demonic was the way to go, although most Testament fans said that one sucked. I haven't heard it in full, so I can't say, though it didn't sound too thrilling.

I personally like Practice What You Preach, but The Legacy and The New Order are much better.

uh (eetface), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:23 (seventeen years ago) link

as far as Testament c/d, that would really depend on which era you were talking about.

I'd put Testament squarely in the classic category for their first three albums (Legacy through Preach), because I find them all to be thrash classics. Yea, there are thrash acts I like better, admittedly, but these albums are fun, and I liked Chuck Billy's vocals. Somehow he managed to yell the same melody line in every song, but keep it interesting :)

As far as their later material, though, Low and The Gathering wouldn't be C or D. They're definitely not classic, but not terrible either. They're just there. Low is kinda fun, The Gathering is kinda fun, but neither is great.

As for the middle period albums like Ritual, Souls of Black, and stuff like that, I don't own any of them. Most fans consider them abberations, but I can't tell you if that's true or not.

uh (eetface), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:27 (seventeen years ago) link

"Really the only death metal-esque music I listen to these days is King Diamond."

What's death metally about King Diamond? I mean, of course in the early days Mercyful Fate were considered black metal (though revisionists such as myself now do not consider them anything but NWOBHM with darker lyrical scope), death metally is one thing he never was. Not even 80's death metal, which was marginally different in sound from what become modernly known as death metal.

uh (eetface), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:30 (seventeen years ago) link

oh, and sorry to respond yet again, but as far as I know, Chuck Schuldiner did not contribute anything on that album. as far as I knew, Testament's lineup on that album was Chuck Billy, James Murphy, Steve DiGiorgio, Dave Lombardo, and I believe Erik Peterson, who won't go away.

uh (eetface), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 15:33 (seventeen years ago) link

uh, you are right about King Diamond, he's probably more prog-metal; I don't listen to 'real' death metal (due to ignorance more so than aversion) so my terminology is off - I don't know the difference between 'black metal' and 'death metal'.

webcrack (music=crack), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 16:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, ok, I was just confused by what you meant that's all.

I realize I truly ruined the whole slant of the original post, but, let me sum it up in one short paragraph:

No, Testament's The Gathering isn't similar to Death's Individual Thought Patterns, Lombardo and DiGiorgio were essentially just hired guns, and it's not all that death metally as compared to the album previous :)

uh (eetface), Wednesday, 5 May 2004 16:16 (seventeen years ago) link

Cheers for all the good advice then. And I realised I must have just been skimming what I originally read and got the two Chucks mixed up (hence my misguided belief that Chuck Schuldiner was involved).

M Carty (mj_c), Thursday, 6 May 2004 06:12 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...

i saw their best of compilation for 10 dollars today. worth picking up?

Charlie Howard, Friday, 13 July 2007 18:56 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

"D.N.R." is definitely a top ten Testament song. probably their best post-Demonic tune

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 02:46 (one week ago) link

lol didn't realize James Murphy nor Dave Lombardo went on tour for this album, musta disappointed a lot of fans, even though Lombardo was clearly doing it for a paycheck

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 02:51 (one week ago) link

This is such a strange thread.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 04:17 (one week ago) link

even weirder is that I just now realized most of the OG posts are mine (I'm "eetface")

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 23 November 2021 04:51 (one week ago) link

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