Testament return with their thirteenth studio album Titans of Creation, their first release in nearly four years. The theme of the album is about creation and destruction; an overarching one and includes ancient stories as well as modern disarray.
It covers stories from Hammurabi (“Code of Hammurabi”) to serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka The Night Stalker (“City of Angels”), making for a very lyrically sound album from start to finish. Is Testament ready to be back at their modern peak like they were at on Dark Roots of Earth?
Powerful opener “Children of the Next Level” references the Heaven’s Gate cult. Gene Hoglan’s pounding drums serve as the platform on which Chuck Billy stands and the guitar duo of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson help deliver the message alongside fellow rhythm section member, the legendary bassist Steve DiGiorgio.
“WW III” features some particularly wobbly bass work from DiGiorgio and the fast paced action that continues throughout the entirety of the album, guitar solos help hammer this track home. Testament are still one of the most technically sound bands, boasting some of the best if not the very best at their respective roles in all of metal.
“Curse of Osiris” has a great Middle Eastern theme beneath the surface, excellently executing this in an original way, unlike their cover of Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” from the Dark Roots sessions.
Overall Titans of Creation is a solid entry into Testament’s catalog of thrashing tenacity. This is a well-oiled machine playing music they have played for decades and possibly sounding better than their peers at that. While Titans doesn’t tread new ground, it might be the kind of album that shows just how bad things could get, by revisiting the forebearers of both failure and fruition.
(released April 3, 2020 on Nuclear Blast)
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