Testament: The New Order-80’s-1988.

Steve Souza from Exodus was the lead singer from 1985-1986, and he has done vocals for Testament at some points. There was precisely one show played as Legacy with Chuck Billy on vocals, in July 1986.

Although still named Legacy at the time of recording, they couldn’t release the album under that name, as there was a jazz band who had registered it. Billy Milano suggested they name themselves Testament, and they liked it. They used their old name as the album title. Legacy’s final show took place at The Stone in San Francisco on March 4th, 1987, about a month before the release of The Legacy.

Testament was one of the early thrash metal bands to sign to a major label, having signed to Atlantic in 1986.

In 1992, having released the more melodic and mellowed down “The Ritual” album with Testament, Eric, Chuck and Louie, together with Legacy alumni Derrick Ramirez and Chris Kontos formed a side-project named Legions, to highlight their more “extreme” side. They planned to release an EP.

Greg Christian had reportedly auditioned for bass or was asked to join Metallica following Cliff Burton‘s death. He was among the few who were considered for the role.

In 2001, Chuck Billy was diagnosed with germ cell seminoma; a rare kind of cancer in Chuck’s case because this is usually in the testicular region of a man’s body, but Chuck had in his chest region near his heart. He had been undergoing numerous treatments and survived the cancer. Festivals and concerts had been held in helping raise money for Chuck’s sickness. He has since fully recovered.

Alex Skolnick
Guitars (1987-1992, 2001, 2005-present)
See also: Metal Allegiance, ex-Legacy, Alex Skolnick Trio, ex-Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Anthrax (live), ex-Ozzy Osbourne (live), ex-Savatage, ex-Attention Deficit, ex-Exhibit-A, ex-Stu Hamm (live)
Eric Peterson
Guitars (1987-present)
See also: DragonlordSpin the Wheel, ex-Legacy, ex-Anthrax (live)
Chuck Billy
Vocals (1987-present)
See also: Dublin Death Patrol, ex-Legacy, ex-Exodus (live), ex-Torture Squad (live), ex-Guilt, ex-Rampage
Gene Hoglan
Drums (1996-1997, 2012-present)
See also: Brendon Small’s GalaktikonDark AngelDethklokMechanismPitch Black ForecastAnthrax (live), ex-Daemon, ex-Meldrum, ex-Strapping Young Lad, ex-Tenet, Death DTA (live), ex-Devin Townsend, ex-Fear Factory, ex-Just Cause, ex-Memorain, ex-Viking, ex-Zimmers Hole, ex-Old Man’s Child (live), ex-Opeth (live), ex-Unearth (live), ex-Forbidden, ex-Death, ex-Wargod, ex-Carnage, ex-The Almighty Punchdrunk, ex-The Ani Kyd Band, ex-Glostik Willy (live)
Steve DiGiorgio
Bass (1998-2004, 2014-present)
See also: Act of DenialCharred Walls of the DamnedFutures EndGeodaGone in AprilItselfJohnny NewmanMythodeaSpirits of FireSynesis AbsorptionTerra Odium, ex-Control Denied, Bassists Alliance Project, Devil’s Highway, Quadvium, Death DTA (live), ex-Anatomy of I, ex-Artension, ex-Beltfed Weapon, ex-Dragonlord, ex-Faust, ex-Memorain, ex-Painmuseum, ex-Sadus, ex-Sebastian Bach, ex-SMRT, ex-Obituary (live), ex-Obscura (live), ex-Death, ex-Ephel Duath, ex-James Murphy, ex-Dark Hall, ex-Soen, ex-Suicide Shift

Past Members:

Greg ChristianBass (1987-1996, 2004-2014)
See also: Hand of FireTraumaTrinity FallenWreck-DefyVicious Rumors (live), ex-Legacy, ex-Meshiaak, ex-HavocHate
Louie ClementeDrums (1987-1992, 2005)
See also: ex-Legacy
Paul BostaphDrums (1992-1993, 2004-2005, 2006, 2007-2011)
See also: Slayer, ex-Forbidden Evil, Hail!, ex-Exodus, ex-From Hell, ex-Tim Ripper Owens (live), ex-Forbidden, ex-BlackGates, ex-Systematic, ex-Truth About Seafood
Glen AlvelaisGuitars (1992-1993, 1997-1998)
See also: BizarroHate FXLD/50, ex-Tenet, ex-Forbidden Evil, Hellbound, ex-Earth Crawler, ex-Scorched-Earth Policy, ex-Hatriot (live), ex-Forbidden, ex-Damage, ex-X-3 (Glen Alvelais / Steve DiGiorgio / Jeremy Colson)
John TempestaDrums (1993-1994, 2005)
See also: Motor SisterExodus (live), ex-White Zombie, The Cult, ex-Helmet, ex-Prong, ex-Rob Zombie, ex-Scum of the Earth, ex-Temple of the Black Moon, ex-The Dead Daisies, ex-Two-Bit Thief
James MurphyGuitars (1993-1996, 1998-2000)
See also: Metal Against CoronavirusTiwanaku, ex-Disincarnate, ex-James Murphy, ex-Cancer, ex-Konkhra, ex-Obituary, ex-Agent Steel (live), ex-Death, ex-Hallows Eve
Jon DetteDrums (1994-1995, 1997, 2000)
See also: ex-Apocalypse, Animetal USA, ex-Chaotic Realm, ex-Evildead, ex-Impellitteri, ex-Killing Machine, ex-Meshiaak, ex-Anthrax (live), ex-Heathen (live), ex-Iced Earth (live), ex-Metal Machine (live), ex-Slayer (live), ex-Terror, ex-HavocHate, ex-Temple of Brutality, ex-Pushed
Chris KontosDrums (1995)
See also: The Boneless Ones, ex-Attitude Adjustment, ex-Konkhra, ex-Machine Head, ex-The Alien Blakk, ex-Verbal Abuse, ex-Death Angel (live), ex-Exodus (live), ex-Hell’s Kitchen, ex-Anti-Trust, ex-Custard Pie, ex-Grinch, ex-Sangre Eterna (USA), ex-The Servants
Derrick RamirezBass (1997-1998)
See also: ex-Dragonlord, ex-Legacy
Dave LombardoDrums (1998-1999)
See also: Dead CrossFantômasMr. BungleSuicidal Tendencies, ex-Grip Inc., Beloved Ghouls, Misfits, Satanic Planet, ex-Melvins, ex-Slayer, ex-Metal Allegiance (live), ex-Voodoocult, ex-Escape, ex-Pap Smear, ex-Philm, ex-Sabotage
Jon AllenDrums (1999-2004)
See also: Futures EndSadus, ex-Dragonlord, ex-Masqued, ex-AC/DZ (AC/DC tribute)
Steve SmythGuitars (1999-2004)
See also: From HellOne MachineThe Esseness Project, Sweet Leaf, ex-Dragonlord, ex-Vicious Rumors, ex-Forbidden, ex-Nevermore, ex-Ariah, ex-Firehead
Metal Mike ChlasciakGuitars (2002)
See also: HalfordMetal MikePainmuseum, ex-Isolation Chamber, ex-Sebastian Bach, ex-John West, ex-Cans, ex-Bludgeon, ex-Michael Aaron (live)
Nicholas BarkerDrums (2007)
See also: AncientBrujeriaLiquid GraveyardTwilight of the GodsNoctis Imperium (live), Nuclear Assault (live), ex-Monolith, ex-Catalepsy, Borstal, United Forces, ex-Atrocity, ex-Cradle of Filth, ex-Dimmu Borgir, ex-Leaves’ Eyes, ex-Lock Up, ex-Obskkvlt, ex-Old Man’s Child, ex-Sadistic Intent, ex-Anaal Nathrakh (live), ex-Benediction (live), ex-Borknagar (live), ex-Cancer (live), ex-Criminal (live), ex-Exodus (live), ex-Gorgoroth (live), ex-Nightrage (live), ex-Possessed (live), ex-Voices (live), ex-Anathema (live), ex-Cerebral Fix (live), ex-Driven by Suffering, ex-Monstrance
1.Eerie Inhabitants05:05  Show lyrics
2.The New Order04:27  Show lyrics
3.Trial by Fire04:15  Show lyrics
4.Into the Pit02:46  Show lyrics
5.Hypnosis02:04  instrumental
6.Disciples of the Watch05:07  Show lyrics
7.The Preacher03:38  Show lyrics
8.Nobody’s Fault (Aerosmith cover) 03:55  Show lyrics
9.A Day of Reckoning04:00  Show lyrics
10.Musical Death (A Dirge)04:02  instrumental

One thought on “Testament: The New Order-80’s-1988.

  1. Testament1990, November 23rd, 2020
    Written based on this version: 1988, CD, Megaforce Records (US)

    I’ve been jumping around a bit on my Testament reviews going from different points in their discography. For my fourth Testament review I’m going back to their peak period of releases from 1987-1990 and going to dive in to their 1988 sophomore effort The New Order. For a very rare bunch of people I see some say this is where they take their first dive in quality which is a pretty absurd opinion as the band for me would only maintain this masterful formula for the next few years never dipping in quality one bit. Testament released this album in May of 1988 coming off what is in my opinion the best thrash metal debut album of all time 1987’s The Legacy, a record that laid the foundation for Testament to expand upon with each subsequent release afterwards. The New Order adds a bit more atmosphere to the Testament sound incorporating more clean guitar moments and subtle instrumental compositions that build up into the songs. The New order is also the first release where Chuck Billy had input on the writing process as most of the tracks on the debut were already crafted by the time he entered the fold. The only track Chuck contributed to on the debut was the song “Do or Die” rather than on this release he was involved with the entire writing process.

    This album is very dark and has a more sinister atmosphere compared to The Legacy and shows the growth in musicianship the band had taken within the time between The Legacy and The New Order. the songs here have a lot more variety to them rather than the pure thrash assault the debut had. Here we see the band delve into slightly slower tempos allowing for more breathing room and for the band to add a bit more dynamics to their sound. The production/mix is superb on The New Order it’s got that classic analog sound to it and has its own vibe compared to any other thrash album just like they all did back then unlike the present day. Everything is doused in reverb on this release and the guitars are saturated in a eerie delay that gives this album the haunting atmosphere that Testament was so good at making. The guitar tone here is one of my all time favorites as it is just like Souls of Black but less punchy in my opinion however I feel the guitar tone on The New Order is slightly more clear than the Souls of Black guitar tone. Chuck is right up front in the mix and overall is a bit louder than everyone else here which isn’t bad. Louie’s drums sound incredible here and have a way more massive sound to them than the debut. Greg is kind of drowned underneath the guitars but you can still hear him a lot better than the debut.

    The New Order starts with the crackling of thunder while Eric and Alex blend their haunting clean and distorted guitar parts together on “Eerie Inhabitants”. This track sets the vibe for this album with Eric playing a clean interlude while Skolnick sweeps arpeggios elegantly across Eric’s playing before it kicks into the thrashy onslaught of riffs packed within the tune. The title track is a epic track that has a super catchy chorus and thrashes on at a more mid tempo pace. “Trial By Fire” has one of Testament’s most signature intros as it features the same type of atmosphere as “Eerie Inhabitants” does starting out really mellow before diving straight in to business. “Into The Pit” is a fast pace face melter that is a live staple for the band it”s so iconic I shouldn’t even have to explain its excellence along with “Disciples of The Watch” which is also another signature track for the band that is played live at almost every show. “The Preacher” and “A Day of Reckoning” are also really badass tracks that really hit hard with “The Preacher” being a fast paced banger that shows Chuck Billy’s range getting really high up there at the beginning while “A Day of Reckoning” is a more mid tempo track that grooves along nicely. “Nobody’s Fault” is a Aerosmith cover which is done so damn well that Aerosmith might as well sign the rights to it over to Testament because they enhance to the song to new heights. “Hypnosis” is a short instrumental that shows a more melodic and creepy side to Eric and Alex’s playing. Last but not least we have another instrumental titled “Musical Death (A Dirge)” which is the best instrumental in the band’s entire catalog showcasing Eric and Alex’s elite playing and how good they mesh with one another. There is even a spanish sounding acoustic guitar part in there played by Alex which adds a new layer to the band’s sound. The band even recorded an earlier track called “Reign of Terror” during this era but didn’t put it on the record which is puzzling because The New Order version of the song is the best version of it but it did make its way on the Trial By Fire single.

    The songs on this record are some of the most memorable tracks in Testament’s discography. The clashing of the more clean haunting guitar moments with the heavier thrash moments set The New Order apart from the rest of their classic releases and gives the album it’s own characteristics. Each of the first 4 Testament albums have something completely unique that sets them apart from the others as they are all chapters of the bands evolving thrash sound. Most of the tracks here are so classic that the band almost has to play a few of them at every show since this albums inception. People complain that they aren’t as fast as they were on the debut but when you grow as a musician you start to add more dynamics and different types of techniques into your sound and that’s just what Testament were doing during this period of the band. All the tracks on The New Order have some much depth and diversity to them it’s hard to summarize how good they all are in their own right. The album cover is also pretty rad with a huge smoky blue skull looming over our earth.

    Eric and Alex definitely grew as players and songwriters here and their chemistry was on the rise as they are still the best guitar duo in thrash. Peterson’s song ideas and Alex’s ever evolving lead playing make this album a classic along with Chuck Billy singing a bit more melodic here but with great power. His vocals are at his most versatile on The New Order going from low growls on certain parts all the way up to soaring high pitch vocals. Louie and Greg also stepped up immensely within the songs as there are more parts on this record that allow them shine as individual musicians rather than they just be viewed as the rhythm section. Don’t get me wrong they definitely had their moments on the debut but with the way the songs are structured on The New Order they both have a lot more diverse moments rather than keeping up with the blistering pace of the songs. Everyone in the band had grew as musicians exponentially within the short time between The Legacy and The New Order and not many give the band the credit they deserve here. This growth would only increase rapidly throughout the next 2 releases before drifting away from thrash metal to create a more subtle, melodic, and groovier masterpiece in 1992. That is a story for another day though.

    At the end of the day The New Order is a instant classic and a must own thrash metal album. This album is chalk full of classic material that is just straight up essential for anyone into thrash metal. The instrumental interludes here are badass and don’t fault this album one bit. The Aerosmith cover is the best thrash cover song ever recorded as it beefs up the Aerosmith classic to a staggering degree and the rest of the tunes just crush. I’d highly recommend this record to anyone into any form of metal especially the old school stuff. It’s hard to hate this record and some of the reasons people provide as to why it’s bad is just absurd. This record is a bonafide classic and wrecks everything else going on at the time in 1988 and their dominance would only continue with the next few albums to come. Pick this album up and obey or they’ll burn you to that cross.


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