Testimony is an unsigned progressive thrash band from the Chicago area in Illinois and they recently sent me a copy of their six-song EP called “Transcending Reality.” I love being able to hear what unsigned bands are doing all on their own without any label influence. These are the bands that are raw and hungry and still trying to claw their way into our awareness playing the music they love. While I certainly enjoy a lot of music that labels release (particularly the metal labels) it’s just really cool to hear unfiltered what’s coming out of the basements and garages of the world. There’ so much good music out there that most people never get exposed to that they would like if they just heard it; it’s a real shame.
Testimony is one of those bands all metal heads should have a chance to hear. My ears did an aural double-take when hearing “Transcending Reality.” I was very impressed right away and just kept shaking my head at how a band like this is so far unsigned. Metal labels take heed: someone needs to go snap these guys up.
The production on this EP is a little less than what you would normally hear from a signed band these days, but for an unsigned band (or even a signed band from the late 80s) it sounds pretty damn good. It doesn’t have much low end, which is ok with me, I like that sound, but a little extra punch wouldn’t hurt. The drums in particular could use a little more oomph. Otherwise the instruments are all recorded and mixed well.
The music is pretty awesome; these guys certainly know how to play their instruments. The guitar and bass parts are full of little fills and runs that make my clumsy sausage fingers feel useless in comparison. I don’t see Death listed as an influence, but between all the crazy lead-work and the harsh style vocals this sure reminds me of something from the “Symbolic” era. The vocals are a harsh gruff bark that reminds me of Chuck Schuldiner with a hint of Paul Baloff.
I would love to hear these guys with a budget behind them. “Transcending Reality” is a great listen as it is, but it would be cool to hear what they would do on a larger scale. This may not be the latest style in metal (though maybe it is, retro thrash is holding its own lately) but I really like it and I think there is an audience for this music. The only thing I would change is maybe the name; it’s a little too close to Testament. Other than that I say check these guys out, sign ‘em up and let us see what they can do. Good luck guys, let me know when you’ve got more material.