were one of these second tier thrash bands that were never given as much exposure as their massive cousins, the Metallicas and Slayers of this world. It was nothing to do with a lack of talent or good thrash songs. It was the fact that, as good as 'Practice What You Preach
' and 'The New Order
' were, they were no 'Master
of Puppets' or 'Peace Sells'. I believe its an unfair comparison to make; bands like Testament
, Death Angel
were never going to be able to challenge the genius of Megadeth
, but all have still written albums that are thrash classics. Testament
's 'The New Order
' is certainly one of those.
Opening with 'Eerie Inhabitants', this album shows a great maturity in song writing. The track contains an excellent mixture of acoustic interludes, arpeggios and nice clean riffing. The apocalyptic title track is next, showcasing yet more great, memorable thrash riffs, a lot heavier than the opener, and the tougher sounding vocals really fit the theme. 'Trial by Fire
' ignites violently and hurtles off in a more intense Slayer
style thrash, yet retains that catchiness that should permeate through all great thrash albums.
Then we hit 'Into the Pit'. Possibly one of the best thrash anthems ever written, even though its theme is genocide and not moshing! Thrashing technical riffs combine with catchy refrains, face melting solos and thundering drums. 'Hypnosis' is a more chilled out interlude, showcasing some more melodic leads before melting into the best track here; 'Disciples of the Watch'. Definitely my favourite thrash song of the past few months, its moody intro sets itself up for a storming attack, and it doesn't disappoint.
The main feature of this album is the excellent soloing by Alex Skolnick. He has the uncanny knack of being able to peel off melodious leads, and give solos either the speedy quality or a more emotional touch. Every one here is brilliantly suited to the song, and the instrumental sections are also impressive. I did find 'Nobody's Fault' and 'Day of Reckoning' to be slightly forgettable, not that they weren't great tracks but I needed an extra spin for them to become memorable. It is only a small fault though, rectified by the good but overly long outro 'Musical Death'. Great idea but probably twice as long as it needed to be.
'The New Order
' is an awesome thrash album. Fact
. It contains one of the strongest opening 4 tracks of any classic thrash album, and while it may tail off a bit later on, tracks like 'Disciples of the Watch' and 'The Preacher' are still pretty great songs. Any self respecting thrash fans owns this, any new thrash fans should have this on their list.