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Testament: Chuck Billy (vocals); Eric Peterson (guitar, background vocals); James Murphy (guitar); Greg Christian (bass).
Additional personnel: John Tempesta (drums); Damien Gallegos (background vocals).
Engineers include: Bill Kennedy, John "Geetus" Aguto, Ken Walden.
Recorded at A&M Studios, Hollywood, California and Studio D, Sausalito, California.
Testament singer Chuck Billy sounds like Metallica's James Hetfield crossed with Zul, the demon that inhabited Sigourney Weaver in "Ghostbusters." His rumbling, throat-ripping wail is sometimes so low and unearthly you can forget you're listening to a mere record.
Which may be what Testament intends. LOW is as much a barrage of political messages as it is a thrashy metal album, with bleak, impassioned tirades about war, child abuse, false gods and other such things. "Legions (In Hiding)" warns, in blunt metal-ese, that abused children will grow into abusive adults: "The damaged will learn/To keep spinning wheels of abuse." "P.C.," an all-encompassing editorial against government and big business, urges "resistance now or nevermore."
Of course, like any self-respecting shredders, Testament is also a tightly-wrapped high-decibel army, equally capable of an oddity like the thrash-jazz-funk instrumental "Urotsukidoji" and the straightforward stop-start guitar blast of "Ride" (a snare-driven hard rocker that makes great use of a delay pedal). There's even a convincing ballad, "Trail Of Tears," amid LOW's guttural roar.

  • Format: Vinyl
  • Genre: Pop