Testament has endured just about every single calamity a rock band can during their lengthy history: bandmembers coming and going, label switches, and most seriously, a bandmember's successful battle against cancer (singer Chuck Billy). But after all these years, Testament is still going strong, and to celebrate their 25th year anniversary since their initial formation, four-fifths of the group's definitive, best-known lineup have reunited for their first appearance on a studio album in 16 years, for 2008's Formation of Damnation. With drummer Louie Clemente being the only no-show (former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, who had briefly played in Testament, takes his spot here), the classic Testament thrash sound lives on in such tracks as the title track and "The Persecuted Won't Forget" (the latter of which puts the speedy drum skills Bostaph perfected in Slayer to good use). The group also offers a song that focuses on the horrors that unfolded in New York City on 9/11 ("The Evil Has Landed"), albeit nearly seven years after the fact. As one of the '80s-era thrash bands who never strayed far from their original path (if anything, they only got heavier as the years progressed), Testament's trademark thrash is, expectedly, all over Formation of Damnation.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato