Posts Tagged ‘Testament’


From the first time I heard the thrash metal anthem “Hello from the Gutter,” off of the 1988 album Under the Influence, I was hooked on Overkill. Then came “Elimination” and “Time to Kill” and “Horrorscope,” and you get the idea. The New Jersey band formed at the same time as other bands in the United States, from coast to coast, and around the world, were creating the new, chaotic subgenre devoid of rules and against the grain of what was considered heavy metal at the time. It would come to be known as thrash metal. With a notable winged-skull mascot named “Chaly,” and releases like The Years of Decay (1989), Horrorscope (1991) and I Hear Black (1993), the band was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, toured and became known all over the world. There’s even a strong sentiment among fans and metal purists that the “Big Four” should be expanded to include the likes of Overkill, Testament, Exodus, and others. Yes, Overkill is that important, and, in other words, they can be considered living legends. Throughout the turbulent metal scene in the ’90s, the band continued to crank out albums, and kept going strong in the 2000s.

That leads us to the present, when Overkill is about to release its 18th album. The Grinding Wheel is as heavy as it is diverse and dangerously fun. Members have come and gone, but the instantly recognizable voice of the band, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, remains. Blitz recently called in to say hello from the gutter, talk about the new album and Overkill’s three decades of thrash metal with Live Metal’s Jeff Maki.  (more…)

Metallica even released an album in 2016!

So the ball may have dropped long ago on 2016, which many deemed a dreadful year for entertainment due to many high-profile celebrity deaths. While our genre has lost some legends in recent years, hard rock and metal continue to thrive. I see bands rising and carrying the torch. We have the “world’s loudest month” in the U.S. for rock festivals. Metal is the most streamed genre on Spotify. Newer bands of all types of rock and metal subgenres continue to open eyes and ears not just here, but as always, worldwide. As usual, my list came down to the albums that not only initially knocked me on my ass, but also had me coming back time and time again. It mostly comprises reliable favorites, but there are a couple new surprise entries, as well.

First, we’ll start with a few honorable mentions: (more…)


Legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament, will launch a massive North American tour starting next April, in support of their chart topping Brotherhood Of The Snake release (read review). Joining them are legendary Brazilian death/thrashers Sepultura and genre defying stalwarts Prong.

“After 4 successful tours through Europe over the last 6 months, we are looking forward to touring across North America.” comments vocalist Chuck Billy. “We’ll have a new headlining set list with tracks from Brotherhood of the Snake, and how cool is it that we will be sharing the stage with our brothers in metal Sepultura and Prong?! See ya’ in the PIT!”

View tour dates and ticket info inside. (more…)

Chuck Billy of Testament

Chuck Billy of Testament

Fresh off the heels of our recent Testament coverage, the official video for “The Pale King” from the San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans can be seen inside. The clip was directed, shot and edited by Tommy Jones (Slayer, Death Angel, Kataklysm) for Videohammer Studios. (more…)

Testament_Brotherhood-coverReview by Jeff Maki
After The Gathering was released in 1999, Testament went on an extended hiatus, not returning until 2008 with The Formation of Damnation. That album and its successor,  Dark Roots of Earth (2012), weren’t just comeback albums, they also saw Testament honing its strengths: Chuck Billy’s powerful, melodic vocals, Alex Skolnick’s guitar playing, songs with catchy hooks, and lyrics that were intelligent and aware. It’s Testament’s classic thrash metal style, only modernized. After years of chasing after other leading metal bands, whether it was Metallica in the late ’80s and early ’90s, or Fear Factory and Machine Head in the late ’90s, Testament finally came to the conclusion that it is a legendary band in its own right. So does Brotherhood of the Snake stand up to Testament’s recent output? (more…)


Testament, 2016

Instead of a long history of Testament, I’ll give you my version. Thanks to Headbangers Ball, Testament was part of my “Big Four” back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Along with Metallica, Megadeth and Sepultura, Testament’s Practice What You Preach became one of my go-to cassette tapes, with tracks like “Greenhouse Effect” and “The Ballad,” both of which had music videos that were featured prominently on the cult MTV show airing at midnight every Saturday night. I went back and discovered the thrash metal masterpiece The New Order, then came Souls of Black and Low. I had a Testament concert poster proudly hanging above my bed. In summer, I wore a black tank top displaying the band’s iconic logo. Years after their release, I was still listening to those albumsreligiously. Then in the late ’90s, like many metal bands, Testament kind of lost its way, and I kind of went down a different path musically.

Now, Testament—after disbanding and reuniting in early 2005—is about to unleash its third album of the 2000s, The Brotherhood of the Snake. And if it’s anything like its previous two, The Formation of Damnation and Dark Roots of the Earth, then fans, new and old, are in for a treat. The Testament I grew up with has been back for a few years now, and there’s no end in sight.

Vocalist Chuck Billy took a few minutes of his time to give us some dirt on the new album, The Brotherhood of the Snake. (more…)



Legendary bay area thrash metal giants Testament have released the title track for their upcoming 12th album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, which will be released on October 28, 2016 via Nuclear Blast. Recently, we had the chance to chat with vocalist Chuck Billy about the new album. In the soon-to-be-posted interview, Chuck further elaborated on his recent comments that “he didn’t have fun making the album,” (read here) saying that the recording process was “something the band just maybe had to go through,” even at this stage in its career. He also described his vocal style on the album as similar to the band’s classic album, Practice What You Preach, and its previous effort, 2012’s Dark Roots of the Earth.

We also discussed more details about the album, including its theme and individual songs. Look out for the interview in its entirety in the near future, but for now, watch the lyric video for Brotherhood Of The Snake inside:




In support of Repentless, the band’s 12th studio album and its career-highest chart debut, Slayer will launch 2016 by pillaging and marauding its way across North America, headlining some two-dozen dates over a five-week period. With Special Guests Testament and Carcass on all dates, the tour starts on February 19 in Chicago and wraps up in Las Vegas on March 26. Confirmed dates are below. Slayer’s Fan Club pre-sale begins today at 12 NOON local time, details are at Ticket presales begin tomorrow, Friday, December 4 at 10 AM local time, and the public onsale commences Saturday, December 5 at 10AM local time. View tour dates inside! (more…)


Photos by Greg Maki (more…)



Classic American thrash metal band Testament has announced the “Dark Roots of Thrash II,” featuring bellow Bay Area-thrashers Exodus and Shattered Sun, and hitting North America for five weeks starting April 1.

Each night of the tour, Testament will perform in their entirety 1987’s The Legacy and 1988’s The New Order, in addition to select tracks from 1989’s mainstream crossover Practice What You Preach. (more…)

Steve "Zetro" Souza: "Thrash Metal 101"

Steve “Zetro” Souza: “Thrash Metal 101”

For any late ’80s to early ’90s thrash metal fans, Steve “Zetro” Souza was the shit. As the wild-eyed, crazy-haired frontman for Bay Area legends Exodus (1986-1993), he helped propel the band to commercial success with Fabulous Disaster (1989), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “The Toxic Waltz.” Behind the album, the band found a worldwide fan base and was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. At the time, many fans had no idea he was actually the second vocalist to front the band. He was that recognizable, both charismatic and vocally, using a high-pitched sting similar to Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of Overkill that has become a standard in thrash.

The mid-’90s into the turn of the century wasn’t particularly prosperous for metal in the United States. When the grunge-era took over the music world, it wasn’t only the hair metal bands that became extinct–metal bands of all kinds were dropped from their labels, were forced to compromise their sound or just fell apart all together. Zetro was a causality within all of this, leaving Exodus and all but disappearing for the next decade or so.

Despite a few brief reunions with Exodus, he has been permanently out of the band for years. It wasn’t until forming Dublin Death Patrol with Testament’s Chuck Billy that he became a blip on the metal radar once again. But now after years of fans clamoring for something new, something truly thrashing out of Zetro, has he answered the call with his new band, Hatriot. With Zetro recruiting his sons, bassist Cody Souza and drummer Nicholas Souza, along with guitarists Miguel Esparza and Kosta Varvatakis, thrash metal feels complete again with that familiar voice to rage with. In February 2013, Live Metal’s Jeff Maki talked at length with Zetro about the formation of Hatriot and its debut album, Heroes of Origin. (more…)

Steve "Zetro" Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

Steve “Zetro” Souza Part II: The Day the Metal Died

For any late ’80s to early ’90s thrash metal fans, Steve “Zetro” Souza was the shit. As the wild-eyed, crazy-haired frontman for Bay Area legends Exodus, he helped propel the band to commercial success with Fabulous Disaster (1989), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “The Toxic Waltz.” Behind the album, the band found a worldwide fan base and was a regular on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. In Part 1 of our interview with Zetro, we were introduced to his new band, Hatriot, that he formed with his two sons, Cody and Nick SouzaIn Part 2 of our interview, Zetro reflects back on his time in Exodus, talks about the death of metal in the ’90s and the current state of the genre. (more…)