Californian thrash metal exponents Testament started life in 1983 when cousins Eric Peterson and Derrick Ramirez decided to form a band under the name Legacy. They added in a bassist, a drummer and a lead singer and they released a self-titled demo in 1985. After multiple line-up changes, with Peterson remaining the only consistent member, they changed their name to Testament (after they became aware of a jazz band also called Legacy) and released their debut album The Legacy. Combining power and aggression with well crafted melodies the band started out with a trio of critically acclaimed albums but unfortunately their fourth, Souls of Black, stalled the initial momentum. By the time the band's fifth album The Ritual came out, the market had changed and thrash had given way to grunge. Numerous personnel changes and a failure to adapt to changing musical tastes meant that Testament went into a slow but steady decline. In the late '90s, after a brief disbandment caused by a disagreement over another possible re-name, the band released Demonic with a new death metal sound. Shortly after its release, lead guitarist James Murphy was diagnosed with a brain tumour and Chuck Billy with a rare form of testicular cancer. Both made a full recovery but the illnesses halted the band's progress for a while. 2003 saw them return to the stage and they set out on tours of the US, Europe and Japan. Their ninth album (and first in nine years) The Formation of Damnation was released in 2008, announcing their return to the world. They followed up with Dark Roots of Earth in 2012, Dark Roots of Thrash in 2013 and Brotherhood of the Snake in 2016. After the latter, their eleventh album, reached the number one spot on the US Independent Albums Chart, they set about straight away working on their 12th offering, Titans of Creation, which arrived amidst the coronavirus pandemic, shortly after two of the band members themselves had contracted the virus. It peaked at #96 on the US Billboard 200, faring better in European countries including Germany, where it reached #3.

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