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©Copyright 2009-2011 Out Of The Blue.
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Photography and Review By Chris A. (Chris A. Photography)
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Metal band Testament pound Cleveland
As one of the foundational members of the thrash metal movement, bay-area
rockers Testament is one of those bands that is just absolutely amazing; yet
for some reason, always one-step behind in the fame game in comparison to
their buddies in Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax--the so-called
“Big Four.”

While incredible popularity à la Metallica has eluded Testament, for metal
heads who are tuned into the band, Testament has always been defined by
the quality of the music this band creates. It's infectious, straight forward,
grind it out, highly powerful thrash metal performed with a blue collar, hard-
working feel. Testament has always been the most accessible of the big-time
thrash bands. It's a band that's easy to connect with because the members
seem so, well, normal. If you spend a few moments with any one of the
members of the band, you're almost instantly disarmed by what nice guys
they are who appreciate the folks that come out to see them.

On a windy, cool night on Lake Erie, the cozy confines of The House of Blues
turned into a haven for fans of old-school thrash metal bands. Testament was
in town with fellow bay area thrashers Death Angel and “Big Four” member

Bounding onto center stage, Testament frontman Chuck Billy--decked out
in a leather vest and a neon purple mic stand--greeted the crowd as the
band broke into their opening number. With the house to capacity and
cheering along, the nimble fingers on the venue's sound boards ensured
that Testament's “The Preacher” sounded absolutely amazing.

The aforementioned Chuck Billy, unlike many of his compatriots in the metal
world who like to menacingly stalk the stage, trying to look as pissed off as
possible, was all smiles as he jammed along playing air guitar on his mic
stand. With his powerful voice and likable personality, Billy can do it all. He
has a cool, unpretentious air about him that you can't but like, and man,
the guy can belt out metal tunes.

Often overlooked by many in the music world because they play metal,
the musicianship of the members of Testament simply can't be understated.
To watch the brilliant creative ability of Alex Skolnick on guitar live is
breathtaking. The man is effortless. His playing devastatingly accurate
and efficient while crafting some of the most emotive notes phrasings ever
credited to a metal player. But to call Skolnick a great metal guitarist is doing
the man and his talents a great disservice--Skolnick is a great guitarist, period.

The set list presented by Testament covered the entire history of the band
replete with classics including “Into the Pit," “Over the Wall" and amazing
new songs, including “More Than Meets The Eye.” They closed out the 14-
song set with an absolutely rousing rendition of “Disciples Of The Watch,”
the crowd enthusiastically sang along shouting 'OBEY!'

This is a winter metal tour worth seeing. In addition to Testament, Death
Angel and Anthrax also put on incredible performances sure to satisfy the
requirements of any head-banging concert goer.

Testament plans to release their tenth studio album,
The Dark Roots of Earth
late spring, 2012.

For more information on Testament visit:
Thrashers deserve so-called "Big Four" status
For The Fans, By The Fans.  Look Beyond The Mainstream.