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Released: 2012, Unsigned
You have heard the mantra before. Successful underground metal bands must be tireless, persistent, and lucky. Drummer Taylor Lambacher of unsigned Indiana band Testimony was persistent, frequently checking with me on whether I had listened to his band and when a review would appear not if it would appear. In the end, persistence and work ethic ultimately give way to the music and whether it is any good. Chalk one up for Taylor, because the answer to that question is a resounding yes. Testimony’s brand of metal is progressive thrash, incorporating ample elements of the similarly named band Testament and progressive leaders, Dream Theater. Perhaps the most noticeable comparison though would be the technical intricacies of Coroner. Formed in 2009, the band has released their EP, TRANSCENDING REALITY.
Musically the band fires on all cylinders, deftly juggling progressive and complex riffs with tempo changes and melodic solos. Throat man Adrian Harris is the real throwback though, with a style that resembles a combination of Mille Petrozza from Kreator with the late Paul Baloff, Exodus’s legendary front man. Combine that with the expectedly weak production characteristic of unsigned albums, and it sounds like a mid 80s thrash album, perhaps not the intent but a nostalgic quality all the same! Every song on here is strong, indicating a hunger and desire to avoid filler. The only slight disappointment is that there is far too much music and not enough singing. One example is the instrumental “Test of Sanity”, a track that unquestionably showcases the band’s abilities with plenty of catchy and complex sections. However, following that with the two and a half minute instrumental opening to the following “Society’s End” and you have almost 8 straight minutes of instrumental music, too much for an EP especially when Harris’s vocals and the thrash parts are what are most entertaining about the album.
As I said a minor gripe, but considering the closing track’s first three minutes are also instrumental along with an extended middle section, you have to wonder if the band is as enamored with Harris as I am. No matter, because what we have is a solid and well performed EP infused with a DIY ethos. Testimony is going to need some help, as these songs most certainly would have obliterated with a thicker production. Here’s hoping that a decent indie or major gives them the production they deserve. Still, for a self produced effort, the results are definitely adequate and since these guys are young and developing they are almost certainly going to improve even more. Fans of Coroner, Dream Theater, and early Exodus will find Testimony well worth the listen.
02. Release From Life
03. State Of Delusion
04. Test Of Sanity
05. Society’s End
06. Transcending Reality
Adrian Harris - Vocals
Michael Gawel - Guitars
Derek Lambacher - Lead Bass
Taylor Lambacher - Drums
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