San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends TESTAMENT and EXODUS will join forces for the "Dark Roots Of Thrash II" tour. The trek will conquer North America for five weeks, beginning April 1 in San Francisco, and will include select TESTAMENT and EXODUS festival performances. Support on the tour will come from Texas melodic metal assailants SHATTERED SUN.
"Dark Roots Of Thrash II" tour will see TESTAMENT serve up a surprise for their die-hard fans. Each night, TESTAMENT will perform an epic headlining set that digs deep into the early discography that launched their worldwide career spanning two and a half decades. The set will feature full-album performances of 1987's classic body of work "The Legacy" and 1988's unrelenting "The New Order", in addition to select tracks from 1989's mainstream crossover "Practice What You Preach".
TESTAMENT, EXODUS and SHATTERED SUN "Dark Roots Of Thrash II" dates:
Apr. 01 - Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
Apr. 02 - House Of Blues - Hollywood, CA
Apr. 03 - Livewire - Scottsdale, AZ
Apr. 04 - Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM
Apr. 06 - Aztec Theater - San Antonio, TX
Apr. 07 - House Of Blues - Houston, TX
Apr. 08 - House Of Blues - Dallas, TX
Apr. 10 – Pop's - Sauget, IL
Apr. 11 - Mojoes - Joliet, IL
Apr. 12 - Harpo's - Detroit, MI
Apr. 13 - The Intersection - Grand Rapids, MI
Apr. 15 - Phoenix Concert Theatre - Toronto, ON - CANADA
Apr. 16 - Rapids Theatre - Niagara Falls, NY
Apr. 17 - Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ
Apr. 18 - The Palladium - Worcester, MA, New England Metal & Hardcore Festival
Apr. 19 - The Paramount - Huntington, NY
Apr. 21 - Mercury Ballroom - Louisville, KY
Apr. 22 - Cannery Ballroom - Nashville, TN
Apr. 23 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA
Additional TESTAMENT and EXODUS festival dates (no SHATTERED SUN):
Apr. 25 - Metropolitan Park - Jacksonville, FL (Welcome To Rockville)
May 01 - Farm Bureau Live - Virginia Beach, VA (Lunatic Luau)
May 03 - Charlotte Motor Speedway - Concord, NC (Carolina Rebellion)
TESTAMENT is currently demoing material for the follow-up to the band's 2012 album "Dark Roots Of Earth".
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for TESTAMENT's new CD, the band's guitarist, Alex Skolnick, told Metal Sanaz at last month's NAMM show in Anaheim, California: "TESTAMENT takes our time writing music. We can't crank out a record every year. But we're also not gonna do a substandard record. I think it's gonna be good. And honestly, it's more than 50 percent written. And usually once we get to that next phase, it starts happening faster."
In a recent interview with Josh Rundquist (a.k.a. That Drummer Guy), TESTAMENT drummer Gene Hoglan stated about the band's material: "[It] is badass; it's killer, it's good shit. And TESTAMENT fans are gonna be, like, 'Fuck yeah!'… People will be, like, 'Shit, they mean business on this record.' It's heavy [and] fast, [with] a lot of thrash stuff."
He added: "I know that [vocalist Chuck Billy and guitarist Eric Peterson's] approach — and this has been stated in the press — they kind of wanna go back to 'The Gathering'  kind of vibe, and I can see that. That had a lot of fast songs on it, and that's kind of their approach that they're taking. And that's cool; that was a great record. So [I think they're] trying to write a better version of that, so I think they're gonna do it."
Billy said in an interview that would like the new TESTAMENT CD to sound along the lines of "The Gathering", "because 'The Gathering', for me, was such a turnaround record for the band. I think we really found our style and place, and the songs on that, to me, are probably gonna be some songs that stand the test of time, for sure. I think, 'cause we started experimenting with blast beats and a different style of guitar rhythms and picking on the guitars, it was different for us, and I really like where that went. So we hope that's where it all kind of ends up, and that's what we're shooting for."
TESTAMENT in January 2014 announced the departure of bassist Greg Christian and return of Steve DiGiorgio.
EXODUS's latest album, "Blood In Blood Out", sold around 8,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released in North America on October 14, 2014 via Nuclear Blast, the CD art was illustrated by Swedish artist Pär Olofsson, known worldwide for his incredible renderings that have graced the covers of countless heavy metal albums, including EXODUS' "Let There Be Blood".
"Blood In Blood Out" is EXODUS' first album since the departure of the band's lead singer of the past nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of his predecessor, Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.