Testament vocalist Chuck Billy turns 60 years old today, though you'd never know it dude looks great and still brings a very intense vocal heat live. Just in case you needed to be reminded just how much Billy (and Testament in general) kicks ass, check out these five shows from the last five decades!
Filmed at The Omni in Oakland, CA on December 30, 1988. This one took place just about seven months after Testament released their second album The New Order and features the band's original recording lineup. This is classic Testament at its finest. What stands out about this performance in terms of vocals is Billy's almost death metal approach to his performance – there are growls, there are screams, and his whole vibe just stands out as unique among his thrash peers.
Let's get this out of the way right up front – Demonic and Low are insanely good Testament albums. They're heavy as all hell and saw the band stepping away from their usual thrashier sound into something new, and outright nailing it. Filmed at The Abyss in Houston, TX on October 31, 1997, this show sees Billy and the band getting downright filthy with the material from both those albums. This is also one of the two brief periods of the band to feature Glen Alvelais on guitar instead of Alex Skolnick.
2008 was a big one for Testament. The band released their first new album in nearly 20 years The Formation Of Damnation, and would have drummer Paul Bostaph behind the kit for a little while longer. Billy and the gang sound positively furious during this Hellfest appearance, especially considering the setlist focuses on their '80s material (with a few songs from The Gathering and Formation thrown in). It should also be noted that "D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)" is one of the heaviest songs ever written.
Testament 2012, a band on the warpath to becoming arguably one of most relevant thrash bands of the decade. Testament's appearance at Wacken 2012 went heavy on the material from their then-new album Dark Roots Of Earth and it was nothing short of killer. Especially opening with the powerful-as-hell "Rise Up." Plus, look at that thumbnail and you tell me Chuck Billy isn't have a great time on stage.
Modern day Testament, baby! I had the pleasure of seeing the band during one of their New Jersey dates on their most recent tour and they were simply on fire. Dave Lombardo was a machine behind the kit, Steve DiGiorgio made wielding a 5-string fretless bass look like child's play, and Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick gave me tendonitis just watching them. And what's there to say about the man himself, Chuck Billy? Dude sounds better than he ever has before at (then almost) 60 years old. So happy birthday Chuck! Keep kicking ass.