Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sincere apologies for not continuing my series of my top 25 metal albums of all time, but I have been reaaaaallllyyy busy... Hope this time the next one comes sooner than 4 months later! :) My numbers 12 and 13!


In 1980,in the U.K., a new musical scene was emerging: heavy metal. Many bands came out in this time period including Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Angel Witch, and of course Judas Priest. British Steel has all the elements of what heavy metal was at the time and would become. It caught perfectly the slice in time when heavy metal was just starting to get noticed, but had not yet gone mainstream.

Rob Halford's vocals, Glenn Tipton & K.K. Downing's guitars, Ian Hill's bass, and Dave Holland's drumming are all in top form here. Beginning with their previous studio album Hell Bent For Leather and then with this album, the band began to write shorter and catchier songs while sacrificing little of their metallic crunch.

Those who know this album chiefly by the two singles "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" will be surprised at how non-commercial the rest of this album is. "Rapid Fire" kicks the album off to a roaring start. "Metal Gods" is a slow-paced rocker that has an interesting bridge. "Breaking the Law" is a radio stable, as is "Living After Midnight." There are in fact no weak song at all on this album and my advise is: run out and get a copy as fast as possible, this one sure stand the test of time, perhaps better that any other record of that era! Quintisentially British, but not stiff upper lip at all! 

Line-Up : Rob Halford - vocals, K.K. Downing - guitars, Glenn Tipton - guitars, Ian Hill - bass guitar, Dave Holland - drums

PS : British Steel was recorded at Tittenhurst Park, which was the home of the Beatle Ringo Starr.


Megadeth's "Peace Sells but who's buying?", Metallica's "Master of Puppets", Slayer's "Reign in Blood", and Anthrax's "Among the Living"  were the other four thrash albums that dominated at the time. But this album remains Testament's legacy and also the sadly forgotten classic! To be fair, if it had been the "Big Five" instead of the "Big Four," it definitely would have been Testament who would have been the fifth.

This is the band's best effort, mostly due to axeman Alex Skolnick's blistering riffs, powerful leads, wailing solos, and all around great guitar work. "Over The Wall" and "The Haunting" both have two amazing guitar solos which have several parts to them, and "Apocalyptic City" features arguably Alex's best solo. Elsewhere, "Raging Waters" has a propulsive rhythm which is powered by fast, cascading riffs; "Curse of the Legions of Death" shoots by with scorching, almost machine gun guitar work; and "Do Or Die" is so fast, the riffs almost sound like a buzzsaw. 

It may not be as groundbreaking as, say, "Master of Puppets," but when all is said and done, "The Legacy" is a great and important chapter in the history of thrash. A must, I repeat, MUST for metalheads.

Line-Up : Chuck Billy: Vocals, Alex Skolnick: Lead Guitar, Eric Peterson: Rhythm Guitar, Greg Christian: Bass, Louie Clemente: Drums

PS :  After the release of this album, Testament quickly managed to increase their exposure by heading out on a successful tour of America and Europe with Anthrax, who were then touring in support of their Among the Living album.