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Testament is an American thrash metal band from Oakland, California, formed in 1983. Testament has two Top 40 albums and one Top 50 album to its credit in the UK. Their 2008 album entered the Top 20 in Germany at 15. The 1999 album The Gathering also entered the Top 50 in Germany. They had minor top 100 album success in the United States.
Testament was formed in the San Francisco area in 1983 by guitarist Eric Peterson and his cousin, Derrick Ramirez, also a guitarist, originally using the name Legacy. The band soon recruited bassist Greg Christian, drummer Mike Ronchette, and vocalist Steve Souza. Ramirez was subsequently replaced by guitarist Alex Skolnick, who had studied under SF Bay Area guitarist Joe Satriani. The band released one self-titled 4 song demo in 1986. Ronchette left shortly after the recording and was replaced by Louie Clemente. Steve Souza subsequently left the band to join Exodus, and suggested that Chuck Billy should replace him on lead vocals. While recording their first album, the band was forced to change their name to Testament (which, according to Maria Ferrero in the May 2007 issue of Revolver, was suggested by Billy Milano of S.O.D.) because "The Legacy" was already trademarked by a jazz band.
Testament\'s first album, The Legacy, was released in 1987 on Megaforce Records. Testament received instant fame within thrash circles and were often compared with fellow Bay Area thrash pioneers Metallica. The band 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. On this tour the Live at Eindhoven EP was recorded.
Chuck Billy - vocals (1986-present)
Eric Peterson - rhythm and lead guitar (1983-present)
Alex Skolnick - lead guitar (1983-1993, 2005-present)
Greg Christian - bass (1983-1996, 2003-present)
Paul Bostaph - drums (1993, 2007-present)