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Band Photo: Testament (?)

Formed: 1983
From: San Francisco, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Testament News

Below is our complete Testament news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Gene Hoglan Offering Online Lessons

Gene 'The Atomic Clock' Hoglan (Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad, Dethklok, Fear Factory, Testament) and RealLesson.com have joined forces to offer a rare chance for fans and musicians to receive live, interactive lessons online.

Gene Hoglan recently released his instructional DVD, "The Atomic Clock". Available now on Hoglan Industries in the U.S. and on Reversed Records in Canada, this disc showcases Hoglan's three decades of experience performing and recording with metal bands such as Devin Townsend, Dark Angel, Death, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad, Testament, Zimmers Hole, and most recently Fear Factory, along with many others on his resume.

RealLesson.com commented, "RealLesson.com is your outlet for taking live, interactive lessons online or in person! During our pre-launch phase, we are having great success in attracting and securing a wide variety of teachers! There is no limit to the style/genre of the teacher, so you will have no shortage of qualified teachers to learn from. We will not only be providing lessons with musicians, but also sound engineers, tour managers, lighting/stage professionals and other relative categories of instruction."

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James Murphy Seeking Donations For Medical Expense

James Murphy, former guitarist of both Death and Testament, as well as founding member of the death metal band Disincarnate, has had a relapse of the brain tumor that sidelined him back in 2001. Murphy is currently accepting donations to cover the costs of his medical expenses. You can donate by heading over here. His publicist also issued the following statement:

"Murphy stated that the tumor had returned but that it was a non malignant and that it was being treated pharmacologically. Unfortunately, those medications have serious side effects that have left him unable to work. The option for different medications is available, but at a cost of over $1000 a month, and he needs a minimum of 6 months of medication for treatment to be effective. With his medical expenses extremely high and James not being able to work due to the side effects of the current medications, the metal community is being asked to come together and help one of their brothers and donate to help him beat this once and for all.

"In August 2001, Murphy was discovered to have a massive tumor growth near the base of his brain (on the pituitary gland) and was quickly scheduled for an urgent life-saving operation. James underwent surgery on September 17th, 2001, involving a Maxillary Swing procedure that made entry through the left side of the face. An incision was made underneath the left eye, along the side of the nose, and finally through the middle of the upper lip. The facial tissue was then pulled back and the cheekbone removed. They then cut through James' sinus and made entry below the orbit of the eye to remove a portion of the growth. More was removed through an incision made in the soft pallet inside the mouth. About 70% of the tumor was removed, the remainder being too close to vital structures to risk further damage. More...

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Testament Shines On National Metal Day

It was Veteran's Day, Friday, November 11, 2011 and a perfect fall day in New England. As if by fate, it was also National Metal Day. It started with Black Sabbath making it's return official - they wouldn't just reform, but create a new album and tour. The icing on this cake was the arrival of one of the most prolific tours that thrash metal could ever assemble: Death Angel, Testament and Anthrax. That is a staggering 84 years of combined metal experience in the building. This was three bands that defined a genre and still to this day put out material that is as relevant as the classics we all know them for.

The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts is a perfect place for an event like this, a haunted theater turned music club. The crowds come from all over New England and they are a knowledgeable metal crowd too. You don't get a lot of punks or wannabees or curious fake metal types. These crowds can rival those in European clubs, making this a location one that most bands play when in the area. Imagine an old style theater with the levels still there but seats removed, the rails of each level still present dividing the crowd. For shows of this caliber, the club opens the balcony section, which does have seating, however beaten and torn those seats may be. The view from this area is a unique one, providing a respite for those beaten in the pit and metalheads who are "heightenly challenged." The club had its years where it banned moshing, but fortunately they eased up and now really allow the crowd to be themselves within the realm of safety and the security team doesn't seem overly dickish. More...

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Anthrax Led Thrashing Tour of Year in Austin

Anthrax’s Big 4 thrashin’ glory had not graced the halls of Texas’ capital since joining Pantera in 1997. During the last fourteen years, Austin’s avid devotees to the cult of NOT were forced to travel the hour-plus journey to find their selves “Caught in a Mosh.” This last appearance was the “American Carnage” tour with Slayer and Megadeth during the summer of 2010—the same lineup as the “Clash of the Titans” tour in 1991. Tonight’s lineup may not have featured three of the Big 4 thrash icons, but with Second Wave thrash staples, Testament and Death Angel, this tour surely featured enough neck-wrecking force to wear the “Clash of the Titans” title.

While there was no shortage of banging heads, the evening could have stocked up on banging bodies. Sure, Anthrax put the crowd in motion a number of times, but the place wasn’t a “Madhouse” like the footage relayed from their 1980s performances. The concert hall was vast enough that pits would have evaded my eyes, but I don’t recall seeing any significant movement during Death Angel, and the pit widened when Anthrax took the stage with “Earth on Hell,” but the circle shrank after the first track. Of course, their classic war-dance breakdown during “Indians” and closer “I Am the Law” instigated more rowdiness.

Stage diving wasn’t allowed, so there is no meter for that activity, but the fans from Anthrax’s popularity peak in the late eighties to early nineties are twenty years older and no longer possess that teen angst. Even though plenty of younger fans showed up, they either weren't in force like their older fans or just didn’t bring the energy like the thrashers of yesteryear. Testament never seemed like a mosh band, at least that’s what the crowd’s actions stated in every show I’ve seen. Here, fans wore out vocal chords instead of lungs and limbs.

The doors opened around 7 and Death Angel took the stage around 8. Guitarist Rob Cavestany is the sole remainder of the Filipino cousins that started the group. Mark Osegueda still grips the mic, so the core of the band is still intact. Osegueda commanded the stage, assuming bold stances during spot-on vocal performances. Like the writhing snakes forming Medusa’s hair, Osegueda’s dreads took on a life of their own during hard-driven musical breaks. The mix could have been clearer, but the group played passionately and Osegueda’s voice was in top form. Their half-hour set catered to a wide expanse of material, which climaxed with “Thrown to the Wolves” from the 2004 album “The Art of Dying.”

Death Angel left the stage, but would return to the stage when Testament wished Rob Cavestany a happy birthday. The Testament crew brought out a cake and Chuck Billy led the crowd in singing happy birthday.

Much like Death Angel, fellow California Bay Area act, Testament took a long hiatus due to Chuck Billy’s health issues. Since releasing “The Formation of Damnation,” Testament has been on a tear. Having joined Megadeth and Exodus on the “Rust in Peace” 20th Anniversary tour, this would mark their second consecutive year in Austin. The Megadeth tour worked on the theme of classic albums—Megadeth performed all of “Rust in Peace,” while Testament unpacked “The Legacy.” Because Testament devoted most of their time to “The Legacy,” the group didn’t offer much in terms of new material. Tonight’s set list focused more on new material.

Even though “The Formation of Damnation” was one of the comeback albums of the decade, and the group showcased some of its best songs such as “More Than Meets the Eye,” the fans came to hear classic material. “Into the Pit,” “The Haunting,” “Envy Life” and essential “Souls of Black” got the nostalgia factor flowing. “Electric Crown” was an expected surprise from the overlooked and underrated “The Ritual” album. The ballad-heavy and flashier style turned off many fans and was Alex Skolnick’s swan song until his recent return. However, this was arguably Billy’s best vocal performance. “3 Days of Darkness” and “D.N.R. (Do not Resuscitate)” recalled material from one of the highlights of the ‘90s—“The Gathering.”

Watching Gene Hoglan (ex-Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory) play the Dave Lombardo drum rhythms of “The Gathering,” was surely a treat, and "Gene Gene The Drum Machine" was up to task. It was also a treat seeing the return of Alex Skolnick from the group’s initial lineup. The white-stripped, black-haired guitarist showed why he is considered one of the world’s great guitar shredders. He played no Christmas music tonight (probably saving that for December), just slick leads and brawny riffs. Although Chuck Billy voice was nothing short of monstrous and his onstage banter, often standing next to Hoglan on his elevated platform, stirred up the electricity in the audience. Even though he never sold me on his mic-stand-air-guitar technique, his glowing, moble mic stand related a cool Star Wars effect during dark interludes.

Following cue from Testament and Death Angel, Anthrax opened with a barrage of new hits. Also, like their predecessors, the new material was great but fans came out to for the oldies. Chorus-charged songs “The Devil You Know” and “I’m Alive” were an indicator of Joey Belladonna’s voice. Questions were in abundance regarding Belladonna’s return. He had been absent for nearly twenty years. All these questions were put to rest. Classic songs “Indians” and “Metal Thrashing Mad” were tests of range and he passed with an A (for anarchy). He devoted the later track to die-hards who were there since the “Fistful of Metal” early days. This track was a bit of a surprise, seems how the group rerecorded and released a video for “Deathrider.”

The biggest surprise of Anthrax’s set was a cover of Sepultura’s “Refuse Resist.” Using the comedic wit that characterizes Anthrax, Scott Ian introduced the song by saying, “This is something we’ve been working on.” Belladonna joined Benante at the drum kit, hitting the snare and recreating the tribal vibe of the original.

More madness came in the form of “Madhouse” from the “Spreading the Disease” album. The audience tested their voices on “State of Euphoria” essentials “Be All End All” and “Antisocial.” The group represented “Persistence of Time” with their rendition of Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time.” They put a spotlight on “Among the Living,” their breakout record, playing “Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)” as a second encore and ending with expected closer “I am the Law.”

The show started with poor sound, but was soon rectified. Those bemoaning the closing of Emo’s downtown soon forgot about the club upon hearing the superior sound and seeing the massive stage of Emo’s East. Emo’s East destroyed Emo’s in every regard except the east side “EAST SIIIDE” location. Testament and Anthrax battled for the best performance of the night, which is a tough call because both bands played hard. Both singers were pitch-perfect—Belladonna is clearly the best singer of the Big 4. He was back in the group’s height of popularity and he is now. Don’t expect to see another Dan Nelson mess anytime soon!

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Gene Hoglan To Hold Drum Clinic

Gene Hoglan has announced a drum clinic presented by Pearl Drums this coming Monday, October 24th at Sweetwater in Fort Wayne Indiana. Reversed Records commented on the upcoming clinic:

"Learn how to supercharge your drumming technique - from a metal master! Acclaimed for his incredibly tight, technical, and powerful drumming skills, Gene Hoglan is known as 'the Atomic Clock.' On Monday, October 24th, you can witness his skills in person, right here at Sweetwater. Gene will demonstrate his killer technique, discuss his projects, share tips and methods, and answer your questions."

Gene Hoglan recently released his instructional DVD, "The Atomic Clock" through Hoglan Industries in the U.S. and on Reversed Records in Canada. Hoglan will also join Testament on tour starting on the 28th, with full details on the run of shows available at this location.

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Gene Hoglan Joining Testament On Tour

Bay Area thrash kings Testament are pleased to announce that current "Dark Roots Of Earth" studio drummer and world-famous percussionist Gene Hoglan will be joining them on the road for select dates on their upcoming co-headlining run with Anthrax. Gene will join Testament from October 28th through November 13th.

“As many of you know, I just played on the new Testament record, Dark Roots Of Earth, which went amazingly well,” states Gene Hoglan. “The dudes were kind enough ask me to join them for a couple weeks on this tour with Anthrax and Death Angel. I’m super stoked to do the shows. It’s going to be a great time. Just so everybody knows, I will be selling my Drum Instructional DVD, The Atomic Clock, at the shows (shameless plug). If you can’t make it out to one of the shows, buy it on line!”

Testament has been spending time in the studio recording "Dark Roots Of Earth," the follow up to "The Formation of Damnation." Upcoming Testament tour dates with Anthrax and Death Angel are as follows: More...

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James Murphy Selling Testament Lyric Books

Guitarist James Murphy, known for his work with metal heavyweights such as Testament, Obituary, Death and others, has announced that he will be selling some rare Testament lyric books, which feature Testament lyrics in both English and Farsi. This is to help pay for his medical costs as he undergoes treatments to determine whether a cancerous tumour has returned. A message from Murphy reads as follows:

"If anyone wants one of these, I'm selling them, signed, for $15 via PayPal in the US, $25 to the EU. Just message me with the subject 'Testament Farsi Book'. It's a unique collectors item that compiles all of Testament's lyrics from the first several albums in both English and Farsi. I have a couple boxes of them, and I'll be using the proceeds for my prescriptions."

To contact James Murphy about the books, check out his official Facebook page.

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Headline News

James Murphy Fighting Cancer Recurrence

James Murphy, renowned for his guitar work with Obituary, Death, Testament, and Disincarnate among others, has revealed on his Facebook page that the tumor he fought nearly a decade ago may have returned due to a high hormone indicator present during a routine bloodwork exam. He is scheduled for an MRI on the 11th of this month.

Several messages like the one below have been posted on his page, along with a Paypal account to help with his medical expenses.

"James Murphy A metal guitarist/producing legend is racking up the medical expenses, due to a relapsing brain tumor. I know how bad medical expenses can be in this great country of ours so please help out by donating via paypal to felissarose123@aol.com. Every little bit helps, whether it be 50 cents or a dollar, or more. Oh, and you can purchase these sweet CKY vinyls from Mr. Deron Miller, and all proceeds will go to help out James. Thanks"

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Alex Skolnick Announces Winter Guitar Retreat

Renowned guitarists Alex Skolnick of Testament and Chris Broderick of Megadeth have joined forces to create the first annual Skolnick & Broderick’s Winter Guitar Retreat. The retreat offers guitarists of all talent levels the opportunity to expand their horizons while spending four days and five nights studying and jamming with Broderick and Skolnick at Full Moon Resort in New York’s Catskill Mountains from December 26th - 30th, 2011.

Skolnick & Broderick’s Winter Guitar Retreat will include master classes with Skolnick and Broderick, jam sessions, open mic nights and optional private lessons. Check out a video clip of Skolnick and Broderick talking about the Winter Guitar Retreat below. For full details, go to this location.

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Anthrax Adds More U.S. Shows

Anthrax has announced that three new dates have been added to the band's upcoming Fall tour, including Sayreville, NJ, Huntington, NY, and Cleveland, OH. Anthrax will co-headline the 27-date trek with Testament and Death Angel will open all shows. Upcoming Anthrax live dates are as follows:

OCTOBER
14 Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
15 Congress Theatre, Chicago, IL
16 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
18 The Cotillion, Wichita, KS
19 Summit Music Hall, Denver, CO
21 Independence Events Center, Independence, MO (radio show with Five Finger Death Punch)
22 Nokia LA Live, Los Angeles, CA
23 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
24 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
26 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
28 South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX
29 Emo's East, Austin, TX
30 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX

NOVEMBER
1 House of Blues, Orlando, FL
2 Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
4 House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC
5 Fillmore Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
6 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD
8 Northern Lights, Clifton Park, NY
10 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
11 Palladium, Worcester, MA
12 Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ **ADDED**
13 The Paramount, Huntington, NY **ADDED**
15 Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY
17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
18 House of Blues, Cleveland, OH **ADDED**
19 Rave, Milwaukee, WI

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Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel Tour Announced

Anthrax and Testament, who haven't toured together in more than a decade, are set to co-headline a U.S. tour beginning Friday, October 14 in Grand Rapids, MI. Anthrax will close all shows, and Death Angel will be main support for the entire tour. The coast-to-coast trek will hit more than two dozen cities over a five-week period, with both Anthrax and Death Angel debuting brand new material from their new albums, both set for summer/fall release; Testament's new album is set to be released in 2012.

"We've been tight with the guys in Testament for a long, long time," said Anthrax's Charlie Benante. "so we're really looking forward to hanging out with them on the road. And all of us in Anthrax are big Death Angel fans, so this is going to be a monster of a good time - for all of us and for the fans. Plus, with the incredible success of The Big Four shows over the last year, we wanted to tour with some of the 'second wave' of thrash bands."

The tour will follow Anthrax's Big Four "hometown" appearance at Yankee Stadium on September 14, with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth.

"We're excited to do this tour because Anthrax was actually the first band we ever toured with," adds Testament vocalist Chuck Billy. "It's an accomplishment 20 odd years later that we're going to do it again. The tour kick-off date is actually about five days difference from the kick off date of the first tour 20 years ago. The first time we performed with Anthrax, we only had a total of ten songs, so obviously now we have many songs to pick from so it will be very different. It's good to see that a lot of the faces in the bands are the same as back when we first did this original tour 20 years ago."

Here are the latest Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel Fall 2011 tour dates, with more to be announced: More...

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Testament Interviewed About New LP

Lithium Magazine conducted a recent interview with vocalist Chuck Billy about the upcoming Testament LP "The Dark Roots of Earth." When asked about the record, Billy stated: "We're actually in the studio recording, we came out just [to play at the Heavy T.O. festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada] and then we're going right back Monday to finish. Right now we're at the point where all the drums are done and all the rhythm guitars are done. Next week we're going to start bass, vocals and lead guitar."

Billy went on to say that the album will contain ten songs. When asked about what can be expected, Billy said "[w]ith this one we kind of wrote, I wouldn't say a ballad, but something a little slower; we've got one of those on this record. Eric's [Peterson, guitar] always written some really strong ballads for the band, or whatever you want to call them. There's some other stuff, there's definitely some songs that are the fastest we've ever played, there's some mid-tempo, there's a little bit of everything on there. It's definitely Testament, but we never try to do the same record twice. There are some good hooks on it."

Billy also commented on the writing process on the new LP, stating "[t]his year Alex came in and worked with Eric for weeks all day, all night arranging, contributing parts and he's on a lot more on this record. I think Eric felt like he was writing "The New Order" record, because Alex is really good at taking what Eric's doing and interpreting it to what he does, too. It seemed to work. It's going to be a good record and it's going to be a different record."

Read the full article at Lithium Magazine.

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Mayhem Bands Say "Thank You" To Fans

The organizers of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival have posted a "thank you" video clip online in which the bands that took part in the tour say their farewells to the fans. You can check out the clip below.

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Testament Video Interview Available

Metal Scene TV has posted a video interview online with Testament's Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick at The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in San Bernardino at The San Manuel Amphitheater on July 9th, 2011. You can check out the clip below.

Testament was also recently featured in Metalunderground.com's Sunday Old School column, which can be found at this location.

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Sunday Old School: Testament

Today sees Sunday Old School reach it's 100th article. You might say reaching this milestone is a true testament to how high heavy metal fans regard the old school. Or you might say that the previous sentence was just a bad pun to lead into this week's band. Either way, this week Sunday Old School will be looking at Testament, one of the most popular bands to emerge from the Bay Area thrash metal scene.

Testament was originally founded under the name Legacy in 1983 by guitarist Eric Peterson, along with his cousin Derrick Ramirez. The band took a significant step when Ramirez was replaced by guitarist Alex Skolnick and singer Steve "Zetro" Souza. The band were late comers of sorts to the Bay Area thrash scene, with such other bands as Metallica, Slayer and Exodus pre-dating them, which perhaps might have been a key factor in Souza deciding to leave the band to join Exodus after they fired singer Paul Baloff. Despite his resignation, Souza suggested that the band attempt to recruit Chuck Billy to replace him behind the microphone, a move which proved highly successful.

After finding out that the name The Legacy was already trademarked by a jazz band, the group changed their name to Testament on Stormtroopers Of Death frontman Billy Milano's suggestion. They remained close to their Legacy moniker though, and after signing with Megaforce Records, used the title "The Legacy" as the name of their debut album. The record was a success, earning the band favourable comparisons to Metallica and containing several songs that remain in the band's setlist to this day, including "Over The Wall" and "First Strike Is Deadly." Testament supported the album by supporting Anthrax on their "Among The Living" tour, which helped to make a household name out of Anthrax and thus garnered Testament much attention. Thrash fans remained enamoured with the band when they released their second album, "The New Order," which followed in the same vein as "The Legacy" both lyrically and musically. This second album also contained future fan favourites such like "Trial By Fire" and "Into The Pit," the latter becoming something of an anthem. More...

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Testament Video Interview From Mayhem Fest Posted

SMN News has posted a video interview online with Testament's Chuck Billy. The clip, which was taken during the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, can be viewed below.

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Video Footage Of Testament At Heavy T.O. Posted

Professionally filmed video footage of TESTAMENT's July 24 performance at the Heavy T.O. festival at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has been posted online. Check it out below:

As previously reported, Testament has announced the title of their upcoming new album

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Testament Reveals New Album Title

American thrash metal legends Testament have revealed that the name of their forthcoming new studio album, the follow up to 2008's hugely successful, "The Formation Of Damnation," will be "The Dark Roots Of Earth." The album is currently being recorded with producer Andy Sneap (the Sabbat guitarist who has also produced for the likes of Megadeth, Onslaught and Arch Enemy) and is expected to be released this October through Nuclear Blast Records.

In other news, Testament frontman Chuck Billy revealed in a recent interview that the band is planning to embark on a tour this year with three other big names of American thrash, namely Anthrax, Death Angel, and Overkill. You can check out the interview below. More details on this tour will be revealed as soon as they become available. More...

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Testament Finishes Drums For New Album

Bassist Greg Christian of California thrash act Testament had previously checked in late last month with an update about the band recording a new album.

Vocalist Chuck Billy has now also issued the following brief statement via the band's Facebook page about Gene Hoglan's process on recording drums for the as-yet-untitled album:

"Gene Hoglan completed his drum tracks last Friday, so now Greg Christian will start on the bass tracks. More news later."

No information on the title, track listing, artwork, or release date has yet been made available about Testament's follow-up to the 2008 album "The Formation Of Damnation" (reviewed here). Additional details will be announced as they are made available.

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Testament Issues New Album Update

Bassist Greg Christian of California thrash act Testament has checked in with the following brief update about the band recording a new album:

"Here's an update on the new record: Eric, Gene, Andy and I have been in the studio jammin' on the new songs since last week and today is the last day of preproduction. Gene starts recording the drum tracks tomorrow. It's coming to be, and it's heavy as shit."

Additional details on the new album, which is the follow-up to 2008's "The Formation Of Damnation," will be announced as they are made available.

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