Amager Bio, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Testament is an amazing band, and we love them. That being said, we don’t get to see them often enough. For instance, we haven’t seen them around here since 2013. Now, four years later, they were finally due for a new visit, and we were of course ready and waiting for their arrival.

“Copenhagen, we love you!!”
- Chuck Billy (vocals)

After having been excellently supported by Last In Line, it was now time for the main band of the evening to take the stage. Amager Bio was nearing packed status, and the heat was high. Voices were shouting with anticipation, as beers were being emptied and bought anew. Well, at least by those close to a bar – I had secured a place absolute front and centre, and wasn’t about to give this up! There being no security pit this evening, the place was even more coveted than usual – we were now pressed directly up against the stage, and the band of course.
As the band members took the stage, I couldn’t help but to become a bit star-struck – we had the core of Testament in Chuck Billy (vocals) and Eric Peterson (guitar), the returned prodigal son in Alex Skolnick (guitar), the machine Gene Hoglan (drums), and finally Steve mother-effing DiGiorgio (bass)! Is that a fantasy line-up or what?!

All of them proved their worth as the set blasted into action with the title track of the latest album, Brotherhood Of The Snake. It wasn’t a song that I knew, but I quickly picked up the fast rhythm and rocked along. Testament, alongside Kreator, is one of the few old-school bands that are truly consistent in the quality of their outings, and it is a delight hearing new songs as much as it is to listen to the classics. The setlist reflected this, and gave us a good mix of both old and new, of course mostly concentrated around the new album. Sure, the older songs garnered a wilder response, but people were loud and positive all the way through.
It wasn’t just the songs that kept us going though, the performance itself was worthy of a king’s ransom. As mentioned, there was no security pit between stage and crowd this evening, and neither had the band put a lot of monitors at the front of the stage. Well, not in the middle anyway, DiGiorgio, Peterson, and Skolnick had a few out to the sides. This meant there was absolutely no barrier between band and fan, and honestly, it’s hard to say who was happiest about this. Us in the crowd loved it of course, but it seemed the band took every possible chance they got to step up to the edge and knuckle, high-fine, and in every other popular way greet their audience.

In the same spirit, the band was no stranger to striking up some good old metal poses. Skolnick often took centre stage for his solo’s, pointing his guitar to the sky, and ending the solo with throwing it lightly into the air. Billy had nice air guitar routine going on his custom mic stand, which also glowed red for most of the show. Watching DiGiorgio’s fingers fly across his fretless bass was a wonder, as was the relaxed look on Hoglan’s face as his hands and feet seemed to live an independent life from the rest of his body, as they hammered away at full speed. It took some time for Peterson to leave his side of the stage, but after a while he too took his place centre stage for some rocking.
All this was great to behold at such a close range that the sweat of the musicians faces nearly dripped down on us, and the only negative price for this is the fact that the sound is terrible in this position. Billy’s vocals were nearly inaudible, and the two guitars were, if not inaudible as well, then at least very low in the mix. This wasn’t an overall problem, as you could just back a bit, and the sound would instantly increase in quality, but for this show I had no intention of giving up this in-your-face position.

Another problematic impact the position brought with it, and this is merely based on the fact that I’m supposed to write this review afterwards, was that I couldn’t notice much of what was going on in the audience. I could hear the chants of “Testament” rise between songs, as well as the parts that had a lot of people singing/screaming along to the band (a pay-off for not hearing the band so clearly), and judging from the nudges I felt in my back, it was a lively bunch as well. Into The Pit kicked the moshpit up several gears, as it always does, and Billy instigated a sweet little wall of death as a crescendo of the show in The Formation Of Damnation.

So, Testament delivered an amazing show, and we loved it. I just hope it won’t be another four years before they decide to come back!


Brotherhood Of The Snake
Rise Up
The Pale King
Centuries Of Suffering
Electric Crown
Into The Pit
Dark Roots Of Earth
Over The Wall
Practice What You Preach
The New Order
Disciples Of The Watch
The Formation Of Damnation

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