According to the organizers of the Earthshaker Fest, which is being July 19-21 in Kreuth, Germany, veteran San Francisco Bay Area metallers TESTAMENT will perform a special show at this year's event that will include an exclusive world premiere of brand new tracks from the band's forthcoming album.TESTAMENT will close the second day (July 20) at this year's Earthshaker Fest. For more information, visit www.earthshaker-fest.com. Original TESTAMENT members Alex Skolnick (guitar), Chuck Billy (vocals), Greg Christian (bass), and Eric Peterson (guitar), along with new drummer Nick Barker (ex-DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH), have finished writing more eight or nine songs for the group's long-awaited follow-up to 1999's "The Gathering". Tracking is scheduled to begin later this summer for a tentative late 2007/early 2008 release. In a recent interview with RockConfidential.com, Chuck Billy stated about the new TESTAMENT material, "The music is very heavy but it's very catchy. Eric's got some really catchy riffs. The vocals are real melodic with some catchy hooks. It's really heavy. It's something new. Nick, coming from a black metal background, is adding that spark that we needed. It's a fresh breath of life to our writing. In the past couple of years we've written some songs but they weren't up to par with 'The Gathering'. Those songs just went in the trash. We just started over when Nick came into the picture. We're on a roll and the songs are turning out really good. . . [Lyrically] it's gonna be covering a lot of stuff, things we've experienced in life. Especially my illness, the cancer, and what I went through. I had some healing sessions and did a lot of sweat lodges with some indians and medicine men. I'm sure I'll be talking about my experiences with the medicine men. My father and Eric's father both passed away within the past couple of years. The war in Iraq. We'll be talking about those issues. It's things that people deal with in everyday life. We've gone away from the cliche gloom-and-doom lyrics, the typical heavy metal lyrics." TESTAMENT is currently unsigned in the U.S. and Europe after parting ways with Spitfire Records earlier in the year (the Spitfire Records catalog was acquired last summer by Redux Records, the company formerly known as Sheridan Square Entertainment). A Japanese deal with Universal remains intact. Spitfire released a TESTAMENT compilation, "The Spitfire Collection", in February. Consisting of tracks from such Spitfire titles as "The Gathering", "Demonic", "Live at the Fillmore", "First Strike Still Deadly" and "Live in London", the 14-track set chronicles an era that ultimately saw the original TESTAMENT reunite for a successful 2005 tour.
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