Scott McLennan of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports: The classic lineup of TESTAMENT, a band that blossomed during a heavy-metal renaissance in the 1980s around the San Francisco Bay Area, is back and doing great business.
It is a second chance welcomed by TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy. But Billy is far more thankful for another kind of second chance.
In 2001, Billy was diagnosed with rare form of germ-cell seminoma, a type of cancer that required the singer undergo extensive treatment including radiation therapy.
"Music is important, but it is not No. 1 in my life anymore. Now my family and friends are the things I cherish most," Billy said. "Besides, the road is not a fun place to be. The playing is fun, but it's mostly crappy hotels and dirty venues."
TESTAMENT crafted a series of genre-defining trash-metal efforts starting with 1987's "The Legacy". The band hit a commercial peak with "Practice What You Preach" in 1989, making itself a valued player in a scene already bustling with the likes of METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, SLAYER and EXODUS.
"We were aware of something happening in the Bay Area. METALLICA were the kings. Their approach to the business was something everyone aspired to put together. They didn't make videos. They wrote heavy records and toured. Younger bands like us aspired to that way of going against what the industry said you had to do," Billy said.
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