Low (Testament album)

Last updated
Testament - Low.jpg
Studio album by Testament
ReleasedOctober 4th, 1994 [1]
StudioA&M Studios, Hollywood, California
Studio D, Sausalito, California
Genre Groove metal, thrash metal
Label Atlantic (1994)
Burnt Offerings Inc. (1995)
Megaforce (1995)
Producer GGGarth, Testament
Testament chronology
Return to the Apocalyptic City
Live at the Fillmore
Singles from Low
  1. "Low"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Dog Faced Gods"
    Released: 1994

Low is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. It was released on October 4, 1994 [1] . It was the first Testament release not to feature two of its founding members Alex Skolnick (guitar) and Louie Clemente (drums). On September 29, 2017, Metal Blade Records released the album on vinyl for the first time in the US along with the previous album The Ritual , limited to 1500 copies. [2]

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Testament (band) American metal band

Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1982 under the name Legacy, the band's current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Since its inception, Testament has had numerous lineup changes, leaving Peterson as the only constant member. Billy replaced original singer Steve "Zetro" Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament's studio albums.

Alex Skolnick American musician

Alexander Nathan Skolnick is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist in the thrash metal band Testament from 1983 to 1993, and again from 2005. He has also performed with the Alex Skolnick Trio, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage and Metal Allegiance.



Low would be Testament's last album with Atlantic Records, leading group members to create their own label Burnt Offerings Inc. as part of the change. [3]

Atlantic Records American record label

Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes.

The record was recorded with original band members Chuck Billy (vocals), Eric Peterson (guitar) and Greg Christian (bass). It also saw the first of two Testament album appearances by artist John Tempesta (drums), [4] [5] and three for artist James Murphy (guitar). [6] Long time Testament collaborator Del James is given composer and vocal credits on the album. Additionally, a music video was filmed for the title track. [7]

Chuck Billy (vocalist) American vocalist

Charles "Chuck" Billy is an American vocalist, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament.

Eric Peterson (musician) American musician

Eric Peterson is an American guitarist, best known as a member of the American thrash metal band Testament and is the only remaining original member left in the band, which first started in 1982 under the name Legacy. He and vocalist Chuck Billy are the only members to appear on all of the band's studio albums.

Greg Christian American musician

Gregory "Greg" Christian is the former bassist for the American thrash metal band Testament. He left the band in 1996, but rejoined in 2004 and left again in 2014. In addition to Testament, Christian has also played in HavocHate and Fallen Trinity, and is currently the bassist for Trauma.

Low is dedicated to Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva, who died while Testament was working on the album, and is thanked in the liner notes ("may Criss rest in peace"). [8] Alex Skolnick, who had left Testament two years earlier, briefly replaced Oliva when Savatage was recording their eighth studio album Handful of Rain , which was released a month before Low.

Savatage American heavy metal band

Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1979 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The band was first called Avatar, but shortly before the release of their debut album Sirens (1983), they changed their name to Savatage as Avatar was already taken by another band.

Criss Oliva American musician

Christopher Michael "Criss" Oliva was an American musician who was the lead guitarist and co-founder of Savatage. During his lifetime, he released seven studio albums and one EP with the band.

<i>Handful of Rain</i> 1994 studio album by Savatage

Handful of Rain is the eighth studio album by American heavy metal band Savatage, released in 1994. This is the first album since the death of the band's founding member and lead guitarist Criss Oliva who in turn had contributed to writing on two of its songs before his passing, namely "Taunting Cobras" and "Nothing's Going On".


Album cover artwork for Low was designed by Dave McKean. He would go on to do the next two Testament studio album covers Demonic (1997) and The Gathering (1999).

Dave McKean English artist, photographer, filmmaker and musician

David McKean is an English illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician. His work incorporates drawing, painting, photography, collage, found objects, digital art and sculpture. McKean's projects include illustrating books by amongst others Neil Gaiman, Heston Blumenthal, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, and directing three feature films.

<i>Demonic</i> (album) 1997 studio album by Testament

Demonic is the seventh studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. Released in 1997 with original members Chuck Billy (Vocals) and Eric Peterson (Guitar), the record also features artists Derrick Ramirez (Bass), Gene Hoglan (Drums) and Glen Alvelais (Guitar). Ramirez was previously the band's first guitarist, and Alvelais had previously performed with Testament on the 1993 live album, Return to the Apocalyptic City.

<i>The Gathering</i> (Testament album) 1999 studio album by Testament

The Gathering is the eighth studio album by American thrash metal band Testament, released on June 28, 1999. It was the first release the band had done with Spitfire Records. Co-produced by band members, Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson, this was the first album featuring new musicians Steve DiGiorgio on bass guitar and Dave Lombardo on drums. Billy, Peterson and Lombardo, along with longtime Testament collaborator Del James, are also given composer credits on the album.

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [9]

Reviews for Low have generally been mixed. AllMusic's John Franck awards the album four stars out of five, and states, "Testament's sixth studio album literally saw the boys from the Bay Area fighting for their lives in the unfriendly surroundings of the alternative nation. Wisely, the band decided to try something completely different and join forces with Rage Against the Machine/Melvins producer GGGarth Richardson. With temporary drummer John Tempesta in place behind the skins, the band began tracking at A&M studios in Los Angeles. Wanting to return to the no-holds-barred yet musically challenging sounds of works past, the GGGarth teaming proved to be the perfect fodder necessary for Testament to regain their confidence." [9]

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Rage Against the Machine American rap rock band

Rage Against the Machine is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk. Their songs express revolutionary political views. As of 2010, they had sold over 16 million records worldwide.

Melvins band from the United States

Melvins are an American rock band whose early work was key to the development of both grunge and sludge metal. The band formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They have mostly performed as a trio, as well as a quartet with either two drummers/bassists in recent years. Since 1984, vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover have been constant members. The band was named after a supervisor at a Thriftway in Montesano, Washington, where Osborne also worked as a clerk. "Melvin" was disliked by other employees, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.

Low failed to match the critical or popular acclaim of Testament's previous albums, peaking at #122 on the Billboard 200, the band's second lowest chart position after 1988's The New Order , which debuted at #136. [10] "Low" and "Dog Faced Gods" were released as singles to promote the album, but did not chart. [11] However, "Low" and the cover version of Scorpions' "Sails of Charon" (which appears as a B-side of "Dog Faced Gods") received regular airplay on modern rock stations, the most notable being KNAC. [12]

In July 2014, Guitar World placed Low at number 40 in their "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994" list. [13]

Track listing

1."Low" Billy, Peterson 3:33
2."Legions (In Hiding)"Billy, James, Peterson4:17
3."Hail Mary"Billy, James, Murphy, Peterson3:32
4."Trail of Tears"Billy, Peterson6:06
5."Shades of War"Billy, James, Peterson4:44
6."P.C." Christian, Peterson2:50
7."Dog Faced Gods"Billy, James, Peterson4:02
8."All I Could Bleed"Billy, Peterson3:37
9."Urotsukidōji (Instrumental)"Christian, Peterson3:50
10."Chasing Fear"Billy, Christian, James, Peterson4:56
11."Ride"Billy, James, Peterson3:16
12."Last Call (Instrumental)"Christian, Peterson2:41


Chart (1994)Peak
US Billboard 200 [14] 122
Oricon Albums Chart [15] 77


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  1. 1 2 "Testament (2) - Low". Discogs. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  2. "TESTAMENT's 'Low' And 'The Ritual' To Be Released On Vinyl In U.S. For First Time". Blabbermouth.net . Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  3. "Testament(2)". Discogs. 2012.
  4. "Low (1994), First Strike Still Deadly (2001)". August 2012.
  5. News, Archive (20 September 2011). "TESTAMENT Taps Drummer JOHN TEMPESTA For ANTHRAX Tour". Blabbermouth.
  6. "Low (1994), Live at the Fillmore (1995), The Gathering (1999)". August 2012.
  7. "Testament - Low - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2017-01-23.[ unreliable source? ]
  8. "Images for Testament (2) - Low". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  9. 1 2 Franck, John. Low at AllMusic
  10. "Testament - Chart history". Billboard.com . Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  11. "Testament - Awards". AllMusic . Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  12. "KNAC A to Z". KNAC Tribute Page. Archived from the original on March 5, 2000. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  13. "Superunknown: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1994". GuitarWorld.com . July 14, 2014. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  14. "Testament Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  15. テスタメントてすためんと. "ロウ | テスタメント | ORICON NEWS". Oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2017-01-23.