Testament Oxford Academy 19-06-16 and Engine Rooms Southampton 22-06-16
So we had tickets booked for the Southampton show and when another show was added 5 miles from our house on Fathers Day it was rude not to go.
So 2 gigs same show but in all honesty the Southampton show was far superior with an excellent sound and a the crowd making the Oxford show seem quite sedate in comparison.
Broken Teeth a 5 piece hardcore band from Manchester opened and were frankly terrible.The frontman hard to call him a singer really as I didn't catch a single word he said either night with his growling tendency and his stage moves that resembled an orangutan.
No stage presence from anyone.Dreadful.
Thankfully the next band up Savage Messiah had us forgetting them in an instant.The London 4 piece were a new band to me until I saw their name on an advert for this gig and after a quick google search I am very impressed.
Playing a mixture of thrash and classic heavy rock with huge riffs that Iron Maiden or Metallica would love to have written and pounding drums with a Rob Halford style vocals and choruses from Dave Silver.
He and lead guitarist Joff Bailey also share guitar solo's and there were some fantastic Maiden duel lead work too.
With songs of the quality of Hellblazer,Minority Of One and the title track of their latest cd The Fateful Dark they went down a storm both nights and with another high profile support of Armored Saint in a few weeks time one to keep an eye out for.
I first saw Testament lay waste to Oxford Apollo supporting Anthrax way back in 1987 and they are still one of the world's premier thrash bands and both shows were top notch.
Playing the same set with some oldies added back into the set like The Preacher,Dog Faced Gods and Legions Of The Dead I am sure the new cd due later in the year The Brotherhood Of The Snake will be a thrashfest.
Newer songs like Rise Up and More Than Meets The Eye were all greeted like long lost sons and the intensity never dropped on stage or in the crowd.
Chuck Billy never seems to age and his mighty roar was very impressive and of course his cut off microphone stand was riffed and soloed as only he can.
The guitar team of Eric Peterson and the quite fantastic Alex Skolnick are among the best guitar teams on the planet.Alex's solo on Practice What You Preach stills brings the hairs on my neck to attention every time.Wonderful.
The rhythm team of Steve DiGiorgio on bass and the quite amazing Gene Hoglan on drums nailed it to the floor and the crowd especially in Southampton were on it from the word go with Chuck's manic smile showing them all Into The Pit.
With a new cd due and a support slot with Amon Amarth and Chuck promising more shows Testament will be back soon don't miss on of the all time classic bands on their next visit.