Is there a better way to spend a freezing Tuesday night than attending a Testament live gig inside the Gagarin club? Of course not! So more than 1000 metalheads didn’t waste the rare chance to witness one of the greatest thrash metal bands of all time performing live and filled the place ahead of schedule. Karma Violens didn’t miss the chance to show its fangs to the crowd. It’s definitely a group of global standards. The band was tight and all members in constant motion with the sound as a valuable ally. Their extreme a-la Machine Head metal is very demanding in terms of sound engineering and can be very punishing if not directed properly through the speakers of any venue.


On the contrary the sound did not help Convixion which stepped on stage as a four piece band after quite a while looking a bit numb. Fortunately it didn’t take long for the band to warm up but the guitars didn’t reach the desired level in order to showcase the very interesting sound featured in their recent album. For that reason the songs played from that album where not properly presented since the speed metal riffs lacked a certain edge. The set concluded with Violence and Force forcing every head to band. The wide acceptance showed that with Days of Rage – Nights of Wrath the band managed to surpass a self-appointed introversion barrier, opening up to a wider audience.


The clock struck 21:45 and without any introductions Testament stepped on stage returning to the scene of the crime after 8 long years. After all the only thing you need in order to inspire awe is to be on top of your game for 30 years. And this California metal machine has proven its superiority numerous times with the most recent one being the release of Brotherhood of the Snake. Kick-off with the title track and for the next 100 minutes not a single neck stayed motionless. The rhythm keeping Castor and Pollux, DiGiorgio – Hoglan, built the wall of sound behind which Peterson and Skolnick fired their arrows in a set that honored most of the Testament albums with a slight preference towards The New Order and Brotherhood of the Snake. As for Chuck Billy’s towering figure, not many thrash metal frontmen can compare to his presence. And all this came out naturally, without any effort but with the advantage of experience and natural predominance. The sound was flawless, maximizing the pleasure. Although this word fails to describe the feelings generated while watching this gathering of world class musicians. They could go on playing until sunrise without compromising the level of professionalism and performance. And of course we would attend with the same passion and devotion.

Kostas Kounadinis
Photos: Yiannis Negris