Top positive review
A terrific slab of Bay Area thrash that has something to offer all Testament fans
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2020
Testament released their 13th studio album "Titans of Creation" on 4/3/20. It follows 2016's "Brotherhood of the Snake" which while written, recorded, and arranged in a hurry turned out to be in my opinion quite an excellent (and super thrashy) release. "Titans of Creation" shares more in common stylistically with 2012's "Dark Roots of Earth" in terms of variety and the overall approach to the songwriting though "Titans of Creation" is heavier overall. The band had much more time to work writing and arranging "Titans of Creation" and as a result the proceedings sound more collaborative than on their last release.
While I have been listening to Testament since 1987 (because I am old), my favorite release of the band is still 1999's "The Gathering". While "Titans of Creations" does not topple "The Gathering" in my opinion, it will definitely please old school fans while also offering plenty to modern thrash metal fans as well.
Highlights include the lead off single "Night of the Witch" which is one of the heaviest tracks on the album. Eric Peterson (guitars) delivers some black metal tinged vocals during the chorus of this track which adds a nice counterbalance to vocalist Chuck Billy's gruff but powerful delivery.
The opening track "Children of the Next Level" sounds like it could have been on 1988's "The New Order" while the following track "WWIII" reminded me of 1994's "Low".
"Dream Deceiver" also surprised me with how melodic the chorus was which brought me back to the days of 1992's "The Ritual".
"City of Angels" also really caught my ear with its more mid paced but heavy chugging rhythms.
I also really like brilliant bassist Steve Di Giorgio's kicking off "Ishstar's Gate" which is a very cool uptempo rocker. Steve also gets a cool bass intro to "Code of Hammurabi".
Fans of "The Gathering" will like the track "Curse of Osiris" quite a bit as it sees Chuck doing more of his death metal growl along with a fast frenetic pace.
To be honest I like every track on this album. Whether it was the band's intention going in or not, I feel that "Titans of Creation" represents all periods of the band quite nicely. Alex Skolnick delivers some of his best leads on this album, Gene Hoglan does his usual intricate yet pummeling work on drums, and Chuck Billy sounds better than ever. Eric Peterson continues to be one of the most underrated rhythm guitarists and songwriters in metal.
My only small quibble is that the final track "Catacombs", which is only a couple of minutes long (and was used by the band for intro music to their "Brotherhood of the Snake" tour), would have worked much better kicking off the album.