Metalcamp - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Testament was one of the bands which we, unfortunately, had had to miss at Wacken a few days earlier, and thus we were ready for revenge here at Metalcamp instead. Actually, we had been driving like crazy from the former festival to reach the latter just in time for Testament’s gig!

“Metalcamp, you fucking kick ass out there!”
- Chuck Billy (vocals)

Running down to the festival area, we were just in time to hear Christopher Young’s Hellraiser theme blasting through the speakers as it was used as the intro for the show – already there Testament began buttering me up for what was supposed to become a smooth and delicious ride.
Well, in came the band and in an instant they threw themselves into Rise Up, the opening track from their much praised, latest album, Dark Roots Of Earth.
Dark Roots Of Earth also served as the backdrop for the band, and even though I’ll stick to my comment about the previous, The Formation Of Damnation, being one of their most beautiful backdrop’s I’ve seen, I’ll also gladly admit that the Dark Roots Of Earth album artwork worked a thousand or more times better as a backdrop than it does on the album front. It also helped the visual side with the stage banners which gave the image a slight 3D effect. There was another thing with the stage banners worth mentioning; when Testament arrived at the song D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate), the image of the banners was shifted to one that simply read “Free Randy”, which of course was in support of Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God) who at the time was under arrest in the Czech Republic, charged with manslaughter of a fan at a show two years prior.

Enough about that though, this review is about Testament, and not a trial hearing.
Thus I would like to, with your honours permission of course, move directly to saying that Testament was a band ready to kick ass in Tolmin, Slovenia!
Already from the start of the show, they showed signs of immense energy, and good old headbanging and power posing was soon all over the stage! The different different styles of the two guitarists, Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, complement each other perfectly, and even though the rhythm section in bassist Greg Christian and drummer Gene Hoglan took a slightly less in your face approach to performing, it still worked well in the overall dynamics of the show. Billy, of course, was an energy bomb, moving all over the stage, and playing a serious amount of air guitar whilst not singing. He even had a new trick up his sleeve which I have not seen before; the stick he has attached to his microphone had a light inside it, making it look like some form of Star Wars light-sabre as he swung it around!
It did surprise me a bit to see that Billy was very intent on not letting Peterson do backing vocals this day though; when he tried, Billy came over and knocked his microphone over. Thinking it was probably an accident, one of the stage-hands ran in and lifted it up again, after which Billy came back and threw the entire thing off the stage! There were no apparent hard feelings between the two as they were both leaning up against each other at other times, having a blast, so I can’t imagine what could have caused this behaviour...
The setlist wasn’t a big surprise, there were several songs from the later albums, and the older songs were pretty much the same ones they play every time, but it worked out well with an audience which was pleased to hear their old favourites at the same time as being introduce to the new stuff. I particularly enjoyed D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate) which is one of my all-time favourites of the band, but I missed Souls Of Black (another all-time favourite) and a few more unexpected choices. Return To Serenity would have been just as awesome as it would have been jaw-droppingly surprising, as an example.

If Testament was out to kick some Slovenian ass, well then the Slovenian crowd was all lined up, trousers down, and ready to be kicked, let me tell you! Figuratively speaking of course.
You see, even though evening was drawing slowly nearer, we were all still sweating copiously from the pressure of the people around us, as it was a very large crowd the band had attracted, and from the action within said crowd. There was an instant mosh which lasted more or less throughout the entire gig, as well as other lively activities of appreciation. Especially Into The Pit was an obvious crowd favourite, as was made obvious by the instantaneous response to the songs’ title, if you catch my drift.
It wasn’t quite enough for Billy though, who with a crooked smile on his lips called out that he wanted the “lazy fucks on the hill” to participate, and was duly blown back by the overwhelming response he got from said fucks! No doubt Testament was a very popular addition to the years' billing, and they certainly proved why by keeping the audience entertained.

After this impressive show of strength from the band, all I had to be negative about was not having been able to catch the Wacken show as well, and I certainly won’t mind looking these guys up again when they come to town. And neither should you!


Rise Up
The New Order
The Preacher
Native Blood
True American Hate
More Than Meets The Eye
Dark Roots Of Earth
Into The Pit
Practise What You Preach
Over The Wall
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days In Darkness
The Formation Of Damnation

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