Posts Tagged ‘Greg Christian’

new orderOne of my all time favorite and most underrated thrash metal bands of all time is the mighty Testament. There a band that while they may have gone through their trials and tribulations are still standing tall to this very day and that is why I love them. I remember as a kid, my brothers always tried to engrave in my head that one of the best Testament records is the band’s sophomore release The New Order which was released on May 5, 1988. While I do agree with them on that statement, I realized the other day that I had not yet covered the album for the album of the week and it’s this week’s album. The band at the time of the release was made up of Chuck Billy (Vocals), Alex Skolnick (Lead Guitar), Eric Peterson (Rhythm Guitar), Greg Christian (Bass), and Louie Clemente (Drums). The album did pretty well for the band as it established them on the scene as it peaked at number 136 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts, but obviously the follow up is what broke them through on the Thrash scene. Alex Skolnick talked about the record to Metal Injection saying, “We barely got done with our first couple of tours on that first album cycle when we were informed we have to have another album, soon! […] We got spooked in a way, because we never had to come up with music on the fly. […] By the time we finally recorded the album, we neglected to look at our recording contract. We actually had it in our contract that there’s a minimum of 40 minutes of music, and we clocked in under that! […] Our album was promptly sent back…we added the Aerosmith tune, we added those little instrumentals, we extended a couple of sections…that was all done so we wouldn’t be in breach of contract.”

new order back1. Eerie Inhabitants– The track slowly fades in with some eerie wind and thunder sounds while Skolnick and Peterson lead us in with some amazing clean channel guitar work before the track launches forward. I feel like the track is talking about how there are those who toil with life while other suffer and to them life is a game. 4.5/5

2. The New Order– Skolnick opens up the track shredding away in this amazing track that tackles the idea of the New World Order. 5/5

3. Trial By Fire– One of the best tracks on the album that is supercharged and in your face as I believe Chuck Billy is singing about a man who is accused of a crime he has not committed. Some believe that just because of the band’s name that there is a religious connotation to it, but I am not buying that. 5/5

4. Into The Pit– a thrash classic that has that in your face mentality that we love from that era and it features an incredible solo work from Skolnick in a track that could be talking about hell or moshpits. 5/5

5. Hypnosis– the first of two instrumental tracks on the album and a very cool one. 4/5

6. Disciples of the Watch-a very cool thrash song that I believe is about the film Children Of The Corn, but I could be wrong. This is probably one of the best Testament songs in their catalog in my opinion along with Souls Of Black and Perilous Nation. 5/5

Testament-The_New_Order-CD7. The Preacher– Nostradamus is a very popular figure in metal and he first gets his due in this all out metal assault that could be about him or someone who possessed the visions like he did. Chuck Billy also has a unique pitch in this track when he screams out The Preacher that I had not heard before. 4/5

8. Nobody’s Fault– A last minute addition to the album as the band chose this Aerosmith song to cover and I actually dig it, but my only criticism of it is Billy trying to do rock vocals on the track.  4.5/5

9. A Day of Reckoning– This is the last track on the album to feature vocals and they get a little political on this one as he sings about how the president literally controls our destiny and safety in the times of the cold war. Another track that features some solid guitar work from the duo and an amazing solo from Skolnick. 5/5

10. Musical Death (A Dirge)– The last track on the album and it’s an instrumental to finish things out. The track showcases what the band was capable of and why they belonged on the scene. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– In my opinion, this is one of the best albums the band ever recorded besides Practice What You Preach although I rank this one a little higher. My favorite tracks on the album are Disciples Of The Watch, Into The Fire, and Trial By Fire. My least favorite track on the album is The Preacher and Hypnosis, but I don’t hate the tracks. It’s just not my favorite of the bunch. I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

Testament-PracticeWhatYouPreachI figured that since I am two albums away from hitting the 100 album of the week reviews, I would choose some of my favorites that I haven’t covered yet for this. I have reviewed everyone in the metal world from Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Pantera, Job For A Cowboy, Judas Priest, but I have never covered anything from Testament. It shocks me because Testament is one of my favorite bands from the 80’s thrash era and so I am reviewing the band’s third album Practice What You Preach. The band made up of Chuck Billy (Vocals), Eric Peterson (Guitar), Alex Skolnick (Guitar), Greg Christian (Bass), and Louie Clemente (Drums) were riding off the success of their sophomore album The New Order. The album was released on August 4, 1989, but it didn’t enter the charts till a month after it’s release where it peaked at #77 on The Billboard Top 200. By 1992, the album had sold over 450,000 copies in the US alone. This is more of a personal stat for the band, but according to, the title track has been played live over 466 times over the band’s career which ranks the song third behind Into The Pit (501) and Over The Wall (516).

1. Practice What You Preach– The title track kicks off the album with the killer bass lines and the hammering drum riffs with the face scorching guitar riffs in a track that tells you to stop talking and actually do what you say you’re going to do in life. 5/5

2. Perilous Nation– Another thrash classic that speaks about how you have freedom of speech, but yet sometimes we are afraid to say what it is we want to say. The bass line in the beginning is killer match with the razor sharp playing from Skolnick and Peterson. 5/5

3. Envy Life– This is thrash with a little swagger as you slam your fists in the air like hammers. The track could be about black magic, but I think it has more to do with people who bite off a little more than they can chew. 4/5

4. Time Is Coming– The stop and go riffage in the beginning of the track is like the calm before the storm and they you get hit with the trash magic. The song seems to deal with the subject of the song being sick and tired of authority in general whether it be the cops he speaks about in the first verse or the president of the US in the second verse. 4/5

Testament-Practice_What_You_Preach-Trasera5. Blessed In Contempt– I love this track because when it’s thrashy it’s thrashy, but then the they have the ability at times to slow the tempo down and then before you know it melts your face off again. I think the song’s lyrics deal with child abuse in some capacity. 4/5

6. Greenhouse Effect– This track is another example of the band ditching the subject matter they dealt with before to talk about things that mattered. They talk about the destruction of the rain forests in South America and how the government lies about just to gain a profit. 5/5

7. Sins Of Omission– Another track on the album that deals with serious subject matter in the form of Chuck Billy speaking out against and writing about suicide. A great thrash metal song here. 4.5/5

8. The Ballad– A great track showcasing what the band can really do outside of the in your face thrash metal sounds we had been used to. Hey Metallica wrote Fade To Black and no one bitched. The song can be used for inspirational reasons like being sick and tired of being misused and mistreated and taking a stand against all all that oppresses you. 5/5

9. Nightmare (Coming Back To You)– Another in your face killer thrash track on the album that seems to talk about wanting fame, but then not being able to deal with everything that comes with it. 4/5

10. Confusion Fusion– A great instrumental track to end the album with some killer bass riffs matched with the masterful guitar playing of the duo (Skolnick and Peterson). 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Testament has always been one of the most underrated bands in Metal and Thrash Metal history. These guys have consistently delivered great material since their inception and Practice What You Preach is proof of that. If you’ve never heard this album and you love thrash metal, then I have no idea why you haven’t heard this one yet. I am going to give this album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade because that is how much ass I think this album kicks.