Low (Testament album)

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Low
Testament - Low.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 4, 1994[1]
Recorded1993–1994
StudioA&M Studios, Hollywood, California
Studio D, Sausalito, California
GenreGroove metal
Length47:08
LabelAtlantic (1994)
Burnt Offerings Inc. (1995)
Megaforce (1995)
ProducerGGGarth, Testament
Testament chronology
Return to the Apocalyptic City
(1993)
Low
(1994)
Live at the Fillmore
(1995)
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 primary lineup members Alex Skolnick (lead 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]

Background[edit]

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]

The record was recorded with primary band members Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar), Greg Christian (bass), and Chuck Billy (vocals). 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]

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.

Artwork[edit]

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).

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[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]

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[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Low"Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson3:33
2."Legions (In Hiding)"Billy, Del James, Peterson4:17
3."Hail Mary"Billy, James, James Murphy, Peterson3:32
4."Trail of Tears"Billy, Peterson6:06
5."Shades of War"Billy, James, Peterson4:44
6."P.C."Greg 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

Charts[edit]

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

Credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "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. ^ a b 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.