Friday, January 29, 2016

Testament - 'Electric Crown' from The Ritual (1992)

(The video for 'Electric Crown' is not so good, but the song is so very incredible. Foolishly, I never got to hotbox sedans to it in 1992-? What a substantial loss on my part!) I have spent today listening to Testament in an ill-advised marathon as it replaced more necessary? things like sleep, etc., and I can now for sure tell you that The Ritual is tied for or #1 for my favorite Initial Testament-era album with 1988's The New Order. These albums, along to a slightly lesser extent, The Legacy and Souls Of Black, share an eerie, grim, psychedelic spaciness within the heaviness/thrashiness. The Ritual is the first of these to extend thrash riffery to the slower, more additionally smoked-out 1990's. The Ritual seems to draw from 70's Post-Acid Classick Rock in its vibe, a doomed, gloomy old-school prog edge that I so dig. The title track is an excellent example of this, returning Testament to its original thematic preoccupations of black magick wreaking havoc upon this world. And that album art! An inverted kaleidoscopic pentagon with an eclipsed sun at its center! With behorned devils exhaling fire on piles of skulls! Word! I don't understand why 'Deadline' for instance, never became the 90's rock radio song it so obviously yearned to become. the guitar scrapes, the weight of the ambient noise within the solidity and clarity of the mix makes The Ritual the best-produced album of Testament's career up to that point. Allowing leads to weave in and out of riffs, to ornament and amplify them also makes The Ritual feel more solid and organic, with solos emerging from their songs rather than stopping everything short and returning. The Ritual did have a hit song, though! 'Return To Serenity' like, totally charted. Note! This is the single/video-edit, which clips some real awesomeness! Nonetheless, it rules. This video is also a little better than 'Electric Crown', too. Hooray For The Ritual! Hooray For Testament! Hooray For Psychedelic Post-Thrash Prog-Doom!

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