The Legacy (album)

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The Legacy
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 21, 1987 (1987-04-21)
StudioPyramid Sound Studios, Ithaca, New York
GenreThrash metal
LabelAtlantic, Megaforce
ProducerAlex Perialas
Testament chronology
The Legacy
Live at Eindhoven
Singles from The Legacy
  1. "Over the Wall"
    Released: 1987

The Legacy is the 1987 debut studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. It was released on April 21, 1987.


Prior to the album's recording in 1986, Testament was known as Legacy. Their lineup consisted of singer Steve "Zetro" Souza, guitarists Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, bassist Greg Christian and drummer Louie Clemente. Singer Chuck Billy was a member of another local band named Guilt.[1] He had performed with Legacy on a few occasions and was asked to become the new singer after Souza left to join Exodus. In 1986, the band changed their name to Testament after finding out that there was a jazz band named Legacy. The Testament name was suggested by Billy Milano (from S.O.D. and M.O.D.), who was a friend of the band in the early days.[2]

This was the only Testament album to feature songwriting contributions from Souza, who was credited as the co-writer of all the songs, except for "C.O.T.L.O.D." and "Do or Die", which were co-written by original Legacy singer Derrick Ramirez and Billy respectively. The closing track, "Apocalyptic City", was written by Skolnick and Peterson.

The album was recorded and mixed at Pyramid Sound Studios in Ithaca, New York, and mastered at Frankford Wayne Mastering Labs in New York City.

Touring and promotion[edit]

In support of The Legacy, Testament went on a worldwide tour from June 1987 to April 1988.[3] During the American leg of their tour, they were the opening act for Anthrax on the Among the Living tour, toured through the south and the East Coast with Overkill and played two shows in Northern California with Megadeth. After an appearance at Dynamo Open Air in June 1987 (recorded for the live EP Live at Eindhoven), Testament embarked on their first tour of Europe as the opening act for Anthrax. Touring for The Legacy ended in April 1988, shortly before the release of The New Order.[3]

Reception and awards[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[4]

The Legacy received favorable reviews by music critics. AllMusic's Alex Henderson rated the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, and said that it saw Testament earn respect in "thrash circles" and called it "a relentlessly heavy and promising effort focusing on such subjects as the occult, witchcraft, nuclear war, and global destruction." Henderson also praised Alex Perialas' production on The Legacy as "superb -- well respected in metal circles", and added that Perialas had "obviously encouraged Testament to play hard and let it rip."[4]

Within three years after its release in 1987, The Legacy had sold over 150,000 copies in the U.S.[5] The album was also included on 'Frank's Favorite Records of 1987' on Metal Injection,[6] and was ranked at number one on Loudwire's top ten list of "Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4".[7]

Track listing[edit]

1."Over the Wall"SouzaPeterson, Skolnick, Christian4:07
2."The Haunting"Souza, PetersonSkolnick, Peterson4:17
3."Burnt Offerings"Souza, PetersonSkolnick, Peterson5:07
4."Raging Waters"Souza, PetersonPeterson4:32
5."C.O.T.L.O.D." (Curse of the Legions of Death)Ramirez, PetersonRamirez, Peterson2:32
6."First Strike Is Deadly"Souza, ChristianPeterson, Skolnick3:43
7."Do or Die"Skolnick, Peterson, BillySkolnick, Peterson, Clemente4:39
8."Alone in the Dark"SouzaSkolnick, Peterson4:05
9."Apocalyptic City"Skolnick, PetersonSkolnick, Peterson5:51
Total length:38:45


Writing, performance and production credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[8]

Artwork and design
  • Eric Peterson – logo concept
  • Bill Benson – logo art
  • Alexis Olson – cover concept
  • Dan Muro – cover photography, special effects


  1. ^ Guilt Encyclopaedia Metallum (retrieved 21 May 2012)
  2. ^ Sunday Old School: Testament Metal Underground (retrieved 21 May 2012)
  3. ^ a b "The Legacy / Testament". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. The Legacy - Testament at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Volume Dealers". Chicago Tribune.
  6. ^ "Frank's Favorite Records of 1987". Metal Injection. 2 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Top 10 Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  8. ^ The Legacy (booklet). Testament. Megaforce Records. 1987.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]