Testament – First Strike Still Deadly – Review


First Strike Still Deadly (Spitfire)
by Vinnie Apicella

The long-awaited rerecording of the band’s early material has finally arrived. And like a bolt of lightning aimed straight for your nervous system, it’ll prove as devastating as it did the first time around, if not more so. Testament came from the Bay Area thrash community that spawned Metallica, Megadeth, and Exodus (among others) and conquered with unmatched power, speed, and precision. First Strike Still Deadly features contributions from many original players who rejuvenate such classics as “Into the Pit,” “Trial By Fire,” “Burnt Offerings,” and “Over the Wall.” There’s a guest appearance by original vocalist Steve Souza (ex-Exodus), from their earliest days as Legacy, the rare “Reign of Terror” demo track! To hear Skolnick rattle off riff after burning riff, teamed up again with Peterson – an incomparable duo – is simply awe-inspiring. Tempesta’s drumming is thunderous, and Chuck, the beast behind the mighty roar (save for Souza’s frightening versions of “Alone In the Dark” and “Reign of Terror”), remains a prominent feature atop the non-stop pounding. Recorded in tribute to renowned Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner and Testament legions worldwide, consider this an early holiday gift from the band that keeps on giving. The first strike was deadly enough in its day… but this one’ll surely kill ya!
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