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Testament was one of the first thrash metal bands to emerge from the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. Originally formed as 'Legacy' in 1983 by founding members Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar), Derrick Ramirez (guitar) and Louie Clemente (drums), the line-up included vocalist Steve Souza and Greg Christian (bass). Ramirez was later replaced by wunderkind Alex Skolnick (lead guitar). Souza soon departed to join Exodus and suggested that the towering Chuck Billy take over as frontman(and was later run over by a bus). The band became known as 'Testament' 3 years later, while recording their debut album in Ithaca, New York.

"The Legacy" was a brutal intro in 1987, putting Testament at the forefront of the flourishing thrash metal scene. Following "Live At Eindhoven", an EP recorded at Holland's Dynamo Festival, "The New Order" in 1988 was well received producing one of the band's most memorable classics "Disciples Of The Watch". Next came the highly successful "Practice What You Preach" in 1989, then the release of "Souls Of Black" in 1990, coinciding with the European 'Clash Of The Titans' tour with Slayer, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies.

After "The Ritual" in 1992, Skolnick, who was losing interest in pure metal, decided to pursue his interest in jazz and left the band. Clemente also departed. "Return To Apocalyptic City" in 1993 brought Glen Alvelais (guitar, ex- Forbidden) into the fold, and filling in temporarily for Clemente, Paul Bostaph (ex- Forbidden, Slayer). James Murphy (ex- Death, Obituary, Disincarnate, Cancer) soon stepped in for Alvelais on lead duties for "Low" in 1994, as John Tempesta (ex- Exodus) took over on the drums. Tempesta later left to join White Zombie, and was replaced by John Dette (ex- Evil Dead ). "Live At The Fillmore" was released in 1995, then Dette left in 1996 to join Slayer. "The Best Of Testament" was released in 1996.

"Demonic", which was recorded in Testament's Driftwood Studios, was released in 1997. James Murphy and Greg Christian having left the band were replaced by alumni Glen Alvelais and Derrick Ramirez (bass). Gene Hoglan (drums, ex- Death, Dark Angel) lent his percussion talents. "Signs Of Chaos", a 'best of' disc of the band, was released in 1997.

Dave Lombardo (ex- Slayer, Grip, Inc.) was officially introduced into the band. James Murphy was brought back once again, and on bass, the legendary Steve DiGiorgio (ex- Death, Control Denied, Sadus). "The Gathering" was born in 1999. James Murphy abruptly departed, which was determined later for reasons due to a serious illness. Steve Smyth (ex-Vicious Rumors) jumped aboard as 'touring guitarist', later to be invited to stay on as a permanent member. Lombardo soon also left, not being able to commit, having other projects on his plate. In 2000, Jon Allen (drums, ex- Sadus) joined the band.

After the successful "Riding The Snake" world tour to promote "The Gathering", vocalist Billy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called 'germ cell seminoma' in March 2001. Despite his illness and grueling cancer treatments, Billy offered his ground shaking vocals to the re-recording of Testament classics on "First Strike Still Deadly" with a reunion of sorts, bringing back Alex Skolnick and John Tempesta to record on the disc.

The Formation of Damnation is the confirmed title for Testament's ninth studio album, which will be released on April 29, 2008. It is going to be the first album that Testament has released since 1999's The Gathering, although the band re-recorded some of their early material for 2001's First Strike Still Deadly. This will also be Testament's first release with original guitarist Alex Skolnick since 1992's The Ritual and bassist Greg Christian since 1994's Low. Chuck Billy has since fully recovered. A busy touring schedule of the U.S. and Europe commenced in late 2002, through the summer of 2003. In 2004, guitarist Steve Smyth left the band to join Nevermore, and "Metal Mike" Chlasciak stepped in.

[Compiled by L. Sato with The Billys and Eric Peterson]

THE BAND (as of 2008):

Chuck Billy - Vocals Eric Peterson - Rhythm guitar Alex Skolnick - Lead guitar Greg Christian - Bass Paul Bostaph - Drums Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

Tour Dates

Date Venue Location
Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Fronterizo Fest in Tijuana, Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 11:00AM Testament @ Glen Helen Amphitheater formerly San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA San Bernardino, CA
Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Metal Hammer Paradise in Wangels, Germany Wangels, Germany
Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Trix in Antwerp, Belgium Antwerp, Belgium
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Astra in Berlin, Germany Berlin, Germany
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Progresja in Warsaw, Poland Warsaw, Poland
Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Collosseum in Kosice, Slovakia Kosice, Slovakia
Friday, November 17, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ A2 in Wroclaw, Poland Wroclaw, Poland
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Barba Negra in Budapest, Hungary Budapest, Hungary
Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Sono Centrum in Brno, Czech Republic Brno, Czech Republic
Monday, November 20, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Arena in Wien, Austria Wien, Austria
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Schlachthof in Wiesbaden, Germany Wiesbaden, Germany
Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Backstage in Munich, Germany Munich, Germany
Friday, November 24, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ GARAGE in Saarbrucken, Germany Saarbrucken, Germany
Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ LKA Longhorn in Stuttgart, Germany Stuttgart, Germany
Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Kino Siska in Ljubljana, Slovenia Ljubljana, Slovenia
Monday, November 27, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Löwensaal in Nürnberg, Germany Nürnberg, Germany
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Z 7 in Pratteln, Switzerland Pratteln, Switzerland
Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Estragon in Bologna, Italy Bologna, Italy
Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Live Club in Milano, Italy Milano, Italy
Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Fri-Son in Fribourg, Switzerland Fribourg, Switzerland
Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Bikini in Toulouse, France Toulouse, France
Monday, December 4, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Riviera in Madrid, Spain Madrid, Spain
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Le Transbordeur in Villeurbanne, France Villeurbanne, France
Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Stereolux in Nantes, France Nantes, France
Friday, December 8, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Bataclan in Paris, France Paris, France
Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Ruhrpott Metal Meeting in Oberhausen, Germany Oberhausen, Germany
Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 7:00PM Testament @ Patronaat in Haarlem, Netherlands Haarlem, Netherlands

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