TESTAMENT's complete catalog acquired by NUCLEAR BLAST
Nuclear Blast has acquired the complete catalog from San Francisco Bay Area metal veterans TESTAMENT. The band has also signed for an additional three albums. The signing took place before TESTAMENT‘s performance at Hellfest in Clisson, France this past weekend. Fans will now be able to listen to the group’s seminal albums “The Legacy” and “The New Order”, among others, on the DSP of their choice.
Singer Chuck Billy states: “After a long history of making music and TESTAMENT teaming up with Nuclear Blast in 2008 with ‘The Formation Of Damnation’ to the current release ‘Titans Of Creation’, we have taken it to the next level and have reclaimed our six albums from Atlantic Records and have delivered them to Nuclear Blast to be re-released. Along with the Atlantic catalog, TESTAMENT will sign a new three-album deal with Nuclear Blast worldwide. We are so grateful to be with the best heavy metal label in the world that will spread TESTAMENT‘s Legacy.”
Guitarist Eric Peterson comments: “We signed with Nuclear Blast back in 2008 and it’d been a perfect fit for us ever since then. Incidentally, our older catalog with Atlantic Records — ‘The Legacy’, ‘The New Order’, ‘Practice What You Preach’, ‘Souls Of Black’, ‘The Ritual’ and ‘Low’ — have returned to us and we feel it’s a great new start to have Nuclear Blast release these albums again with some new unreleased artwork, photos, etc. Also, we will be signing a new three-album deal with them! So the future for metal is looking very, very bright! Cheers!”
Tommy Jones, Nuclear Blast U.S. label manager, adds: “One of my favorite guitars as a kid was my dark red Ibanez Saber (540S) with the wizard neck. I purchased that guitar to sound like Alex Skolnick who played that model and color back in the day. So all these years later to be signing those OG, genre-defining TESTAMENT albums that were such an early influence like ‘The New Order’, ‘Practice What You Preach’ and ‘Souls Of Black’, as well as new TESTAMENT albums to Nuclear Blast, is completing a full circle for me. Truly an ‘if the 15-year-old me could see this’ type of moment. It’s time to continue ‘The Legacy’ with Nuclear Blast!”
Last weekend, Peterson spoke to Loud TV about the progress of the songwriting sessions for TESTAMENT‘s follow-up to 2020’s “Titans Of Creation” album. He said: “There was a big gap because of COVID. But now we’re getting ready — probably after this (European) tour to go start working on new material. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to that. We have about five, six songs written already, and (I’ll) probably try to finish it up when I get home. And then hopefully record right after we go on tour to Japan. So ’24 should look like a release for TESTAMENT.”
Peterson went on to say that the new TESTAMENT material is shaping up to be “fucking killer.” He added: “I’m a fan. For me, I wouldn’t release anything unless I’m a fan of what I’m doing. I have to get goosebumps. When I hear it, I’m, like, ‘Yeah.’ And then, of course, I play it for friends. A few of them go, ‘Ehh.’ But most of them go, ‘Fuuuck!’ Except Chuck (Billy, TESTAMENT singer) — Chuck goes, ‘Eh.’ And then four years later, (he goes), ‘That’s the best song ever. Write more shit like that.’ I’m, like, ‘Yeah, but four years ago you said that sucked.'”
As for when TESTAMENT will record the new album, Eric said: “Hopefully maybe October, November. If not, probably January, February. But we’re shooting for this year — at the end of the year. I think I’ll be done writing in September. So we just have to wait for vocals. Which can take a while. But we’ll see what happens.”
Peterson was also full of praise for TESTAMENT‘s new drummer Chris Dovas (SEVEN SPIRES),who officially joined the band earlier this year as the replacement for Dave Lombardo.
This past April, Lombardo revealed in an interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET that he would sit out the remainder of TESTAMENT‘s 2023 shows, with no guarantee that he will return to the band.
Lombardo, who was the guest drummer on TESTAMENT‘s 1999 studio album “The Gathering”, formally joined the long-running San Francisco Bay Area act last year. The former SLAYER drummer is currently a member of the MISFITS, MR. BUNGLE, EMPIRE STATE BASTARD and SATANIC PLANET, among others. He also played with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES from 2016 up until 2020.
Prior to joining TESTAMENT as a full-time member, Dovas previously filled in for Lombardo on the first six dates of TESTAMENT‘s summer/fall 2022 leg of “The Bay Strikes Back Tour”. Lombardo was unable to make those gigs due to a scheduling conflict with the MISFITS.
Peterson told Loud TV about Dovas: “When we were auditioning for new drummers, his video tape was the number one for me. And then, of course, Dave Lombardo called us, so we just kind of pushed everything aside; we said, ‘Okay, we’ll try Dave.’ And when Dave was, like, ‘Oh, I’ve got this show coming up. I’ve got this show coming up,’ I went back to my (videos), (and I said), ‘Oh, yeah, this guy.’ I remember the other guys going, ‘Let’s call Paul Bostaph.’ ‘Let’s call John Tempesta.’ And, of course, they would probably do it, but with the stipulation of, like, ‘I can only do this date,’ ‘I can only do this date.’ I called Chris. He was, like, ‘I’m in. I’ll do everything.’ And so we tried him, and were just, like, ‘What?!’ Perfect tempo. Everything correct — bam, bam. Very polite. Really nice guy. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s just a really good drummer. He’s 24; he’s my son’s age. Young blood back in TESTAMENT. For me, too, he loves black metal, so he was, like, (into) blast beats. But he also graduated from a school called Berklee. So jazz… He’s very fluent. He’s not, like, ‘Oh, I only know blast beats.’ He knows blues… TESTAMENT‘s really diverse — we have ballads, we have rock songs, we have blast beats. That’s just it — when he came to visit me before this tour, we were rehearsing for the tour but we would go back to my house at night, do some Jager really late at night and just start jamming at my house. And the next morning we were, like, ‘Woah!’ Really cool shit. So I’m excited for the next record. It’s gonna be killer.”
Skolnick sat out some of TESTAMENT‘s spring/summer 2023 European tour dates in order to tend to a family emergency. He was replaced at the shows by former MACHINE HEAD and current VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel.
.@nuclearblast is proud to announce the complete #TESTAMENT catalog has been acquired & the band signed for an additional, future 3 albums! Signing took place before their performance at Hellfest last weekend. Fans will now be able to listen to The Legacy & The New Order on DSPs! pic.twitter.com/5d1KIWgtEu— Testament (@testament) June 21, 2023