The Legacy (album)

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This article is about the Testament album. For the song, see Souls of Black.
The Legacy
Studio album by Testament
Released April 21, 1987 (1987-04-21)
Recorded 1986
Studio Pyramid Sound Studios, Ithaca, New York
Genre Thrash metal
Length 38:45
Label Atlantic, Megaforce
Producer Alex Perialas
Testament chronology
The Legacy
The New Order
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.

The album's first song "Over the Wall" is Testament's most played song of all time,[3][unreliable source?] first played on April 18, 1986 at Ruthie's Inn in Berkeley, California, when Testament was still known as Legacy.[4][unreliable source?]

Reception and awards[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]

By March 1990, three years after its release, The Legacy had sold over 150,000 copies in the U.S.[6] The album was also included on 'Frank's Favorite Records of 1987' on Metal Injection,[7] and was ranked at number one on Loudwire's top ten list of "Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4".[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Over the Wall"   Souza Peterson, Skolnick, Christian 4:07
2. "The Haunting"   Souza, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 4:17
3. "Burnt Offerings"   Souza, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 5:07
4. "Raging Waters"   Souza, Peterson Peterson 4:32
5. "C.O.T.L.O.D." (Curse of the Legions of Death) Ramirez, Peterson Ramirez, Peterson 2:32
6. "First Strike Is Deadly"   Souza, Christian Peterson, Skolnick 3:43
7. "Do or Die"   Skolnick, Peterson, Billy Skolnick, Peterson, Clemente 4:39
8. "Alone in the Dark"   Souza Skolnick, Peterson 4:05
9. "Apocalyptic City"   Skolnick, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 5:51
Total length: 38:45


Writing, performance and production credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[9]

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. ^ "Testament Tour Statistics". Retrieved 2014-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Over the Wall by Testament Song Statistics". Retrieved 2014-11-09. 
  5. ^ Henderson, Alex. The Legacy - Testament at AllMusic
  6. ^ "Volume Dealers". Chicago Tribune. 
  7. ^ "Frank's Favorite Records of 1987". Metal Injection. 2 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Top 10 Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ The Legacy (booklet). Testament. Megaforce Records. 1987. 

External links[edit]