Testament has changed it's sound and lineup many times over the years. This album was the pinnacle of their carrer. After the disappointing "Souls of Black" and "The Ritual," the band needed to fuel that fire burning deep inside of them.
Enter guitarist James Murphy and drummer John Tempesta, 2 outstanding musicians indeed. Now combine riff writing ferocity and tremendous creativity from Eric Petersen with some well placed and never before attempted death metal style throat techniques from Chuck Billy and you've got a miracle waiting to happen. All they had to do after that was step into the studio. Well, they did and the result was pure brilliance. If anyone is still debating on whether Alex Skolnick or James Murphy was a better guitarist, just listen to the solos in the title track and "Dog Faced Gods." Alex on his best day is eating James' dust. It was also nice to hear more complicated beats and fills, as opposed to the drum machine known as Louie Clemente. It's sad that they never did live up to the energy of this album afterward. Even "The Gathering," with drummer Dave Lombardo (shame on you if you don't know who that is), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Death, Iced Earth) and the return of James Murphy, was subpar.
Not a single weak track on this one. A thrash classic that the band could be and should be most proud of.
02. Legions (In Hiding)
03. Hail Mary
04. Trail of Tears
05. Shades of War
07. Dog Faced Gods
08. All I Could Bleed
09. Urotsukidoji [Instrumental]
10. Chasing Fear
12. Last Call