Review of the Album Titans of Creation by American Thrash Metal Band Testament
Titans of Creation Is More Than Just Another Thrash Metal Album
Titans of Creation is the 2020 studio album by American thrash metal band Testament and they have finally released another album after a four year gap with the album Brotherhood of the Snake. I could not help but focus and convince myself to write this review not just because it is the only Testament album that had not been reviewed but when you consider vocalist Chuck Billy a sort of hero or icon, there is no doubt that you find writing about him again an absolute pleasure and honor. Titans of Creation is an album that is active at a time when the United States remains as divided as ever so in that sense, the album isn't just a piece of music but it is something that can make a statement. That statement should be that we must wake up and realize the America is a sick nation that needs to be treated for its illness of national disorder. It is not just about the person at the top of the government but the systemic problems that continue to plague the United States and you will hear this in the song called City of Angels.
Testament the Titans of Thrash Metal
Testament is one of the major thrash metal bands of the Bay Area in California that started a sort of movement much like bands of the early to mid 1990s in Florida had their own sort of identity with the death metal. Titans of Creation sees Chuck Billy experiment with harmony vocals and I have to say that this is not bad for a first effort! One user on YouTube describes Testament as the only true titans of thrash. Such a sentiment might have been unthinkable in their early years given the competition they faced but in 2020 in terms of American thrash metal bands, Testament stands alone as the best US thrash metal band. Testament for the most part has done thrash metal since their earliest days going as far back as 1983 when they were under the title of Legacy and the only mainstream kind of moment they had was in the 1992 release called The Ritual. Even that album had many solid moments there too if it was not as heavy as their previous releases.
Titans of Creation the First Three Songs
Even the song Symptoms with a repeating riff is one of their new songs that deserves respect. Titans of Creation begins with the lyrically interesting song Children of the Next Level. The song asks whether it is even worth living as a mortal in this broken world. The song is saying that it is better to go through Heaven's Gate going to the final destiny, the place where all souls go to when the body dies. Is the world really as broken as the song tries to point out? There are certain parts of the world that are experiencing hunger, war, chaos, and social disorder but it would be a massive generalization to suggest that the whole world is broken. Then next comes a song that some of us may not have imagined. The song's title is called WW3 short for World War 3. If World War 2 was devastating enough, it is too terrifying to imagine the world being engulfed in another worldwide conflict where the very existence of life on Earth would be in danger. “Dream Deceiver” in terms of the style sounds like a more modern version of the song All I Could Bleed. Even if Titans of Creation is a good album which it is, this album does not have as strong of a start as the album Low back in 1994. This is not to say that the first three songs of the album are bad but they are not as superb as the songs Low, Legions (In Hiding) or Hail Mary.
City of Angels Is One of the Most Important Songs In the Career of Testament
But by the time we get to the song City of Angels, we witness that Testament even in 2020 show that they are the titans of thrash metal in the United States. The song is about the city of Los Angeles being devastated by various social problems including crime and poverty. Much like the song Americon on the album World Painted Blood, City of Angels is one of the most defining songs on Titans of Creation. Los Angeles and the United States has been infested with various social problems that none of the major political parties in Washington DC have been able to fully address and resolve. Testament is one of the most socially aware bands that I have seen and for this they deserve praise and admiration. The song makes reference to a metropolitan bloodbath in Los Angeles and police brutality is not just an LA problem but a nationwide problem in which the lives of certain groups of people are devalued. Once again, there is an attempt at harmony vocals as the song is still melodic even when it is slower.
"City of Angels"
A Special Comment About Titans of Creation
Titans of Creation is still better than albums such as St. Anger not just for more musical variety but Titans of Creation has melody in it that St. Anger does not. Many will say that Metallica is a better band than Testament. Metallica may be the best traditional US metal band but Testament is at the top in terms of thrash metal in the United States.
Best Testament Studio Album Since 1994
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Another Great Song Ishtar's Gate
We know that one elite song does not make a good album so how are the other songs? Ishtar's Gate has a very good bass line and the riffing is very good as well. Steve Digiorgio's contributions do help Testament in a huge way and this is the way to play bass.
Titans of Creation: Their Best Album Since Low?
There are albums in which we could say so much about and Titans of Creation is one of those albums for its socially aware lyrics just like the album Low back in 1994. Yes, there is that reference to the album Low again and that is the first album that I really got into from these guys back in the day. Also, this rough vocal style really suits Chuck Billy more than the previous vocal styles that he did prior to 1994. Even the lineup of musicians for this album is excellent. The lineup has two members that used to play with the late Chuck Schuldiner, one of them being drummer Gene Hoglan. The other person Steve Digiorgio played on the album Human back in 1991. Titans of Creation while not the best Testament album marks a triumphant return from the best Bay Area thrash metal band. The strongest songs in this album are several including the mentioned City of Angels, Ishtar's Gate, The Healers, and Night of the Witch. The Healers is such a heavy song that it can give you the chills but the song is about trying to heal yourself when life as we know it is not the same.
So is Titans of Creation the best album for Testament since Low in 1994? That's a great question to ask because Low was such a drastic change for the band in terms of vocal style and heaviness that clearly worked out in their favor. One thing is for sure and that is that Testament are the titans of thrash metal in 2020 and perhaps even beyond. They have 13 studio albums and even Demonic which is their weakest point musically is still decent.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian