Trease: After a quarter of a century at the forefront of the Bay Area thrash scene, Testament have remained consistent yet organic, producing a steady flow of reputable albums one after the other and being one of the only bands who came out of the late 90s without being swayed by the infiltration of the ‘Nu-metal’ genre. Staying true to their thrash metal roots, the Testament show was an invigorating experience. These guys started out before I was even born and guitarist Alex Skolnick still knows how to how to wield an axe, with seemingly little effort. Not surprising really as the man studied under Joe Satriani.
The backlighting made sure an ominous and imposing presence was maintained, and the audience breathed it in. Chuck Billy was clearly enjoying himself and was practically tasting the atmosphere, all the while playing a makeshift air guitar by using his mike stand.
Paul Bostaph’s drumming on the anthemic ‘More Than Meets the Eye’, was funky yet thrashy, and dual guitar solos from Skolnick and Peterson complemented each other perfectly. ‘Practice What You Preach’ and ‘3 Days in Darkness’ were included in a relatively fresh set list from the more recent albums, yet backed by an older and classic lineup. Hopefully the tenth studio album, set for release sometime in 2010, doesn’t disappoint.
HannTu: I’ve always been of the opinion that Blind Guardian isn’t the greatest of bands to watch live, but that it is the crowd that makes watching them truly special. It was the case when I saw them at Wacken 2007 and in London in 2007. And so it was the case at Metal Camp on a chilly but relatively clear night.
It’s sad to say, but I feel that Hansi’s voice is steadily decreasing in terms of power and range. More and more frequently he allows the crowd to take the lead, and while this actually heightens the experience, it highlights more sharply how little Hansi contributes to the show when he’s not singing.
The setlist threw up very few surprises, other than the performance of ‘Blood Tears’ from NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE EARTH. The usual favourites were trotted out: ‘Mirror Mirror’, ‘Time Stands Still (On The Iron Hill)’, ‘The Script For My Requiem’, ‘Valhalla’, along with some newer hits like ‘Fly’, ‘Turn The Page’ and ‘This Will Never End’ from A TWIST IN THE MYTH. Somehow the newer songs just don’t grasp me the way the older ones do. They also performed the song from the video game Sacred 2, a pretty good mid-paced thrash-y ballad-y number. Not bad at all.
My personal highlights of the night were ‘The Bard’s Song’ and ‘…And Then There Was Silence’. The former was lighters-in-the-air and the crowd knew all the words, which was good. But the latter saw me yelling out the words until I was hoarse and coughing. Conclusion? Epic.
War of Wrath
Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)
Born In A Mourning Hall
The Script For My Requiem
Turn The Page
Welcome To Dying
This Will Never End
…And Then There Was Silence
Imaginations From The Other Side
The Bard’s Song: In The Forest