For several years, Testament’s career had an air of unfinished business about it: all that early promise as the next big thing in ‘80s thrash never translated into big success in the 1990s. Then came their new millennium resurrection, renewed praise and long overdue recognition as members of the pantheon of thrash.

Better late than never…

The story of Testament is deeply intertwined with that of thrash itself, beginning with a shared birthplace in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, where guitarist Eric Peterson’s was an eyewitness to movement-launching concerts by Los Angeles-transplants Metallica and Slayer, plus native sons Exodus.

Before long, Peterson had formed his own band, which he initially dubbed Legacy, with a cousin named Derrick Ramirez on vocals, whom he later replaced with Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza, after recruiting bassist Greg Christian, drummer Mike Ronchette, and a teenaged student of local guitar instructor Joe Satriani named Alex Skolnick on lead guitar.

By 1985, with thrash gaining momentum all around, the fledgling outfit had recorded their first demo and they hardly missed a step on their climb out of the trenches when Zetro jumped ship to Exodus, opening the door for the imposing Chuck Billy, and Ronchette gave way to drummer Louie Clemente.

It was this lineup that changed its name to Testament (for legal reasons) and proceeded to blaze a trail of fan-welcomed musical destruction from 1987’s immediately well-received (and aptly named) The Legacy through to 1992’s The Ritual, after which a internal dissent (growing musical differences, primarily) and external challenges (shrinking sales and incoming the tidal wave of alternative rock) conspired to bring the band Low.

Even so, Billy and Peterson hung on, making due with replacement lineups (impressive ones, at that) during the latter 1990s and even a serious health scare (Chuck’s battle against cancer), until the time was ripe to reunite with Skolnick and Christian (plus drummer Gene Hoglan) for a pair of comeback albums that were received with open arms by the heavy metal community.

More is soon to come but, for now, we’ll pay a visit to each of Testament’s 11 studio albums and invite you to scroll through the gallery below to see how they rank!

Testament Albums Ranked

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