Blog Archives

Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #10-6

As we journey down the path to my number 1 favorite album of all time, we have finally breached the top 10.  From here on out, you will likely see more and more classic metal albums appearing on the list except for one or two that are relatively new (to me) compared to the rest.  This all-time list is an ongoing effort started by our friends at The History of Metal page on facebook.  Each day we list another album until we get to the end.  Below is my next list of five as we near our way to #1.  Enjoy!

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Monday Metal Madness – The “Second” Big Four

Last week, The Sword took the poll from Mastodon in the modern-retro battle. Congrats to the Austin, Texas-based band that has made quite a name for themselves in metal. This week I am setting up a poll based on many opinions I have read over the last couple years. It is the subject of the second Big Four. We all know the contributions of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. There is no need to go in-depth on that one. What about other thrash metal bands that formed around the same time? Some of the names I have seen thrown into the mix the most are Testament, Death Angel, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam, Exodus, Machine Head, and Pantera. The only thing that separates Machine Head and Pantera  from the rest is that they basically shot to fame in the 90s vs, the 80s.  So, let’s stick to bands that formed around the same time as the original Big Four.

I am choosing Testament and Overkill for this poll. Personally, I think these two bands have contributed greatly to metal and are still at it with little to no breaks in their careers. Gaps happen, but consistency is important to me.  Testament had a break during singer Chuck Billy’s battle with cancer, but other than that have been full force. What say you? Check out these two 80’s era videos before you cast your vote. Ah, the good old days.

Album of the Week – The New Order – 5 March 11

I remember having to purchase Testament’s The New Order more than once.  Back in 1988 cassette tapes still ruled the music world.  When I bought The New Order for the second time I fondly remember hurrying home on my bike excited to hear it crystal clear again.  The first tape got so worn out that it started to sound horrible; thank goodness for CDs.  Anyway, I put The New Order (Round II) in and my cassette player ate the tape.  That’s a pretty crushing experience when you are a disenfranchised youth who just wants metal.  I managed to salvage the tape, but Eerie Inhabitants was slightly impaired during the intro.  I do have it on CD now and would love for a remix.

Testament could have been one of the Big Four.  I have read some blogs where people say Anthrax should have been out and Testament should have been in.   They could be right, but I am not here to argue that point.  I will say that if there was a second Big Four, Testament is definitely one of the bands that should be on that list along with Overkill.

The New Order is a solid metal album.  It is racked with pounding tracks from beginning to end.  Some of my favorite tracks are Trial By Fire, Into The Pit, The New Order, and Musical Death (A Dirge).  Chuck Billy’s growls were haunting and Alex Skolnick’s melodies gave Testament that edge over other metal bands at the time.  The New Order also marked kind of turning point in Testament’s career.  When the next album, Practice What You Preach, was released something noticeable happened; Chuck Billy was singing…and it was good. 

Testament’s latest album, The Formation of Damnation was released in 2008 and it is definitely a back to roots album.  The growls are back, Alex Skolnick was back and so was the aggression Testament was known for.  I got a chance to see Testament in 2008 when they opened for Megadeth and Judas Priest; it was quite a treat unfortunately the set was too short.  It’s great to see them still at it a couple of decades into their musical career.

The New Order is perhaps my favorite Testament album.  I would love to have a chance to see them perform it live someday since that seems to be a trend lately.   In the future I would love to see some of those classic albums remixed and re-released.

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