Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pioneering thrash band Testament delivers metal sermon at House of Blues

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 10:16 AM

click to enlarge STEPHANIE CABRAL
  • Stephanie Cabral
Beyond “just” a concert, this bill – more than other recent heavy package tour – is a surprisingly cohesive look at one of metal’s many alternate futures. Indulge us for a moment. In 1990-91, pre-grunge and the alternative rock explosion – which led directly to the dominance of nü-metal and bands like Creed, let’s be honest – these three different and yet similar bands were the bleeding-edge vanguard of heaviness. New York’s Prong were marrying clinical speed metal to the noise-scum scene in their backyard, incorporating progressive discord as practiced by neighbors Swans and Glenn Branca. Brazil’s Sepultura evolved at lightning speed from primitive death-thrash to the twin highlights of Arise and Chaos A.D., stretching the death metal template to its breaking point, bringing in Jello Biafra for a collab and covering New Model Army. Finally you had Testament, a band that took the classic California thrash sound and gave it a progressive, secular humanist overhaul that – despite the presence of a bona fide virtuoso or two in the band – never sacrificed an inherent musical bloodlust. And most importantly to us Floridians, high-water mark Practice What You Preach explicitly referenced global fucking warming in the song “Greenhouse Effect” – and hordes of metalheads ate that shit up as gospel. Christ, now we have Slayer posting photoshops of themselves with Donald Trump. All three bands have carried on in the ensuing years, still pushing at boundaries and seeing the zeitgeist realign with them; consider this a long-delayed award tour.

with Sepultura, Prong | 8 p.m. Friday, April 14 | House of Blues, Disney Springs | 407-934-2583 | | $25-$43

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