Once upon a time, this writer didn’t have much love for Testament. When I finally started to enjoy music that was harder than Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in the early 90’s, it was because I – like so many others – got into Metallica. I liked Megadeth as well, and the odd Anthrax song fell through my thrash metal filter, but that was it. Slayer came in a bit later, but Testament – no way. I thought they were lame, that they were nothing but Metallica’s sloppy seconds and that their songs just didn’t cut it. Sure, I always dug Alex Skolnick – because he’s a brilliant guitar player and I was always – and still is – very hooked on guitar players even though I couldn’t strike a chord if my life depended on it. That said, I always dug their most melodic album The Ritual (1992) and there was the odd song or two on Souls Of Black (1990) that struck a nerve with me, until something in me gave an urge to check out their comeback album The Formation Of Damnation (2008). It was that album that made me a fan of Testament and gave me a kick in the butt to go back and give their older albums a second a chance and when that was done I had no other choice than to think again about my earlier opinions of what Testament were all about. And in turn, when that was done, my earlier preconceptions of the band were erased. Sure, their two first albums – The Legacy (1987) and The New Order (1988) – are still albums that I find somewhat uneven, but as a whole, I really dig Testament nowadays and from their first era, their last album The Gathering (1999) is my favorite. Their last album, Dark Roots Of The Earth (2012) floored me completely and is today my favorite Testament album which meant that now, four years later, when Testament will release their 11th studio album, they really have a lot to prove – and the expectations from this guy are incredibly high.