Testament – The Morning After

By on 1 December 2012


Chuck Billy takes to the KOKO stage


HOW’S THE HEAD/NECK/VOICE? Voice screwed, neck a little sore, head fine.

THE VIBE: The venue is admirably filled for brutal Brits Malefice, but it’s clear that tonight’s punters are reserving their energy for Testament. Limbs fly everywhere as mosh pits erupt throughout the Yanks’ set, and the seemingly never-ending flurry of crowd surfers keep security occupied. Shame about the venue’s strangling curfew, though, which kicks the thrash crowd out before the clock strikes ten!

THE RIFFS: Malefice’s take-no-prisoners approach proves that modern metal has a lot more teeth than people give it credit for. With the persistence of Pantera and the youthful vigor of Trivium, the quintet prove to be a dynamic opener for the thrash legends. However, it’s riff master Alex Skolnick of Testament who steals everyone’s attention tonight, as Testament plough through their setlist that includes new opener ‘Rise Up’ and classic cuts ‘The Preacher’, ‘Alone in the Dark’, ‘Into the Pit’ and ‘D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)’. The San Francisco thrash icons combine sinister riffing and brain-crushing heaviness with Chuck Billy’s idiosyncratic rasp studding the performance perfectly. Headbanging relentlessly throughout, Testament’s energy could rival that of any hyperactive newbie thrash band. New numbers ‘True American Hate’ and ‘Native Blood’ from their latest full-length ‘Dark Roots Of Earth’ showcase Testament’s formidable heaviness and closer ‘Formation Of Damnation’ prove that Testament are a far cry from a nostalgia act. A great way to kick start the weekend – how can you not break your neck to ‘Over The Wall’?!

THE HANGOVER: Wasted on wine and feeling fine.

Words: Elena Francis Pics: Taya Uddin

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