Today in Metal: ‘The Gathering’ by Testament turns 15 years old

Posted by on June 28, 2014


Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. 15 years ago today, Testament brought together one of the most impressive lineups of all time with the release of The Gathering.

My first note about this album is…holy SHIT what a FUCKING AMAZING lineup! Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson are there of course, but Dave Lombardo joins on drums, the AMAZING James Murphy is on guitar, and one of my FAVORITE bassists of all time, Steve DiGiorgio adds to it! It’s amazingly heavy in a way that only this kind of lineup can create. Chuck Billy’s vocals are SO pissed off and great. They are coming close to death metal growls in a lot of instances. The album is just explosive, with absolute raw heaviness and energy. “Legions of the Dead,” for example, is the shortest track on the album, but it is absolute raw, aggression.

The biggest dislike I had about this album was the track “Allegiance.” It just seemed like trudging filler that didn’t really go anywhere. I thought it was the worst track on the album by far. Another big complaint is that the rhythm section on the album is a bit reserved, and that’s disappointing. Both Dave and Steve, while still putting on great performances, don’t seem to be giving absolutely jaw dropping performances like I expect of them. They both have their moments, without question, but I feel like they should have been allowed to go all out, and let it all hang out even more than they did.

Favorite Tracks: “3 Days in Darkness,” “Riding the Snake,” “Legions of the Dead,” “Sewn Shut Eyes.”

Now, I’ve said before that I’m not that huge of a thrash fan. However, I can honestly say that this might be my favorite thrash album that I’ve ever heard to this point. For my personal tastes, all of the elements were there. The musicians were amazing, the energy and aggression were top notch. It was just all there. I can see how this one might not be diverse enough for some to like, but it was a real treat for me.

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