Testament

Demonic

(CD - Spitfire Records #SPITCD 002)

Review by

As the 1990s progressed, Testament didn't soften their attack a bit -- in fact, the Bay Area band grew even more extreme and intense. Testament's Megaforce output of the late '80s and early '90s reached a lot of rockers who weren't necessarily seasoned thrash fans, much like albums by Anthrax and Megadeth. But Demonic is hardly an album that's meant for the casual thrash fan. The title is most appropriate -- Demonic actually sounds demonic. Testament had turned to more of a grindcore-influenced style and incorporated industrial touches, and the result is the heaviest, most evil-sounding album of their career. Even if you don't pay attention to the CD's dark lyrics, its sound alone will scare you. Compare ferocious gems like "John Doe," "The Burning Times," and "Hatreds Rise" to "Trial by Fire" from The New Order, and you'll see how much heavier Testament had become. As brutal as The New Order and Practice What You Preach were, they weren't this brutal. Or, to put it another way: Demonic rivals even Slayer's Reign in Blood in terms of heaviness.

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