Can you think of a better way to spend a Friday night than watching Testament carve a West London venue into bloody chunks? No, you can’t. If you think you can, you’re wrong. Or you’re lying.
If Chuck Billy wasn’t in Testament, he’d be their number 1 fan. Almost as soon as Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson have taken up the foot-on-monitor poses for the start of ‘The Preacher’, Chuck Billy is air-guitaring his half-size mic stand like an 8 year-old who’s just discovered this thing called ‘metal’ for the first time, and can’t wait to tell all his friends.
That’s no criticism of Chuck Billy though – fuck it, if we were a founder member of Testament, we’d be pretty fucking pleased with out lot and be thrashing along with our guitarists too. While Metallica were busy sobbing into Bob Rock’s man-boobs, and Anthrax were making yet another big deal over who they were going fire next, Testament have spent more than 20 years going through the wars – half the band have had cancer, the other half have broken half the bones in their bodies, and everyone bar frontman Chuck Billy (and six-stringer, Eric Peterson – ahem) has been hired, fired, quit and retired more times than Dave Mustaine’s had hangovers. They’ve earned the adoration they get tonight. They’ve got the fucking right to enjoy it.
Testament @ Shepherds Bush Empire photographs courtesy of Moon Saunders @ Moonshayde Photography
If tonight had any drawback at all, it was the seemingly withered number of attendees witnessing Testament’s return to the capital. Sure, the long-haired freaks’n’geeks that made up the rabidinous floor crowd all pumped their fists harder than a milkmaid giving a handjob, but the top tiers of seats were closed off, and no-one in the room was suffering for leg-room. Metal Hammer gave away 100 tickets to this show and yet it still managed to feel under-attended. London-metallers: shame on you.
Watch the video to ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ by Testament
Testament @ Shepherds Bush Empire setlist
The New Order
Over the Wall
Practice What You Preach
More Than Meets the Eye
The Persecuted Won’t Forget
Into the Pit
Souls of Black
Disciples of the Watch
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
The Formation Of Damnation