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Testament - First Strike Still Deadly

"Classic Songs Re-Recorded With New Millennium Sound". So says the sticker on the jewel case and there's not much to be added, especially since the New Millennium Sound bears a remarkable, often uncanny, resemblance to that of it's latter 80s production. There certainly isn't enough difference (let alone improvement) to warrant the amount of work that must have gone in these re-recordings, and with not one but two Best Of albums already under their belt it's bewildering that this product even exists. One clue: in the liner notes it's explained that the initial idea was to remix some of the material off of Testament's first two albums, the classics The Legacy and The New Order. Since "politically this could not happen" we get First Strike Still Deadly instead. Hate to second guess one of the top five thrash bands of all time, but it sounds to me like Atlantic Records is ripping the band off on past royalties and they're trying to even the score by recording new versions that guarantee a heftier paycheck. In principle I have no problem with that. But the renditions here stick so close to the originals that there is little incentive for purchase from a consumer's standpoint, other than original vocalist Steve Souza showing up for a couple of songs that he wrote for The Legacy and didn't stick around long enough to record the first go round. For fans of the classic Testament sound, First Strike may have a better track listing than either of the Best Of compilations, but since it only straddles two albums that are considered must owns anyway, why bother?

Added: February 25th 2002
Reviewer: Jeremy Ulrey
Related Link: Spitfire Records
Hits: 2640
Language: english

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