Souls of Black

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Souls of Black
Studio album by Testament
Released October 9, 1990
Recorded 1990
Studio Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California
Genre Thrash metal
Length 39:07
Label Atlantic/Megaforce
Producer Michael Rosen, Testament
Testament chronology
Practice What You Preach
(1989)Practice What You Preach1989
Souls of Black
The Ritual
(1992)The Ritual1992
Singles from Souls of Black
  1. "Souls of Black"
    Released: 1990
  2. "The Legacy"
    Released: 1990

Souls of Black is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. The album was released on October 9, 1990.


Souls of Black preceded several changes in style to rather diverse styles of metal, including the traditional heavy metal sound heard in its succeeding album, The Ritual. The songs on the album are musically re-worked and lyrically re-written songs that had been demoed in the late 1980s, but never officially released.[1]

One of the main reasons behind the making of Souls of Black was so that Testament could participate in the European Clash of the Titans tour with Megadeth, Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies, which began just prior to the album's release. Guitarist Eric Peterson explained to Guitar World magazine, "We kind of rushed out Souls of Black just to get on the bill, because we didn’t want to miss the tour and our label said we had to have an album out. We had done some touring with Slayer that year, and we did shows with Megadeth two or three years prior to that."[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]

Reviews for Souls of Black have generally been mixed. Allmusic's Alex Henderson awards it two-and-a-half stars out of five, saying "Testament sounds very much like it did on its three previous albums and is as heavy as ever", while he added that Souls of Black "isn't in a class with The New Order, but is nonetheless a welcome addition to Testament's generally rewarding catalog."[3]

The album entered the Billboard 200 album charts on November 3, 1990, peaking at number 73 and remaining on the chart for eight weeks.[5][6] Souls of Black is also seen as an influential guitar album, being ranked number nine on Guitar World magazine's top ten list of guitar albums of 1990.[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Beginning of the End" (Instrumental)   Eric Peterson 0:36
2. "Face in the Sky" Chuck Billy Peterson, Alex Skolnick 3:53
3. "Falling Fast" Billy Peterson, Louie Clemente 4:05
4. "Souls of Black" Billy Peterson, Skolnick, Clemente 3:22
5. "Absence of Light" Billy, Skolnick Peterson, Billy 3:55
6. "Love to Hate" Peterson, Clemente, Billy Peterson, Skolnick 3:40
7. "Malpractice" Skolnick, Billy Skolnick, Peterson 4:43
8. "One Man's Fate" Billy Peterson, Clemente 4:49
9. "The Legacy" Skolnick, Billy, Peterson Peterson, Clemente, Skolnick 5:30
10. "Seven Days of May" Skolnick, Billy Peterson, Skolnick 4:41


A re-recorded version of the title track appeared on the 2008 video game Rock Band 2.



Chart (1990) Peak
US Billboard 200[8] 73
Oricon Albums Chart[9] 70
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 35


  1. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Testament - Biography & History". Allmusic. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  2. ^ "Clash of the Titans Tour: Iron Giants". 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  3. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Souls of Black - Testament". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  4. ^ Garza, Janiss (1990-12-21). "Souls of Black Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  5. ^ "Souls of Black - Testament". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Testament Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  7. ^ Grassi, Tony. "Photo Gallery: The Top 10 Guitar Albums of 1990". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  8. ^ "Testament Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  9. ^ テスタメントてすためんと. "ソウルズ・オブ・ブラック | テスタメント | ORICON NEWS". Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  10. ^ "Testament | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved January 2, 2016.