4 months ago

BassPlayer 2017-03

BassPlayer 2017-03

36 /

36 / march2017

Back To Basics Fretless Metal Master Steve DiGiorgio Embraces Frets On Testament’s Latest According to Steve DiGiorgio, recording Testament’s latest metal masterstroke, Brotherhood of the Snake, was a quick studio session, but it wasn’t the easiest. “There was some suffering,” he reveals. “I don’t mean that in too profound of a way—some of the guys wanted to work on it and live with it, but there just wasn’t any time. Some people are used to taking their time and trying unlimited ideas, and they were a little out of their element. It caused a lot of tension.” Along with the addition of DiGiorgio—who re-joined in 2013—that tension translates into Testament’s most muscular-sounding effort in years. Ripping heads off straight out of the gate on the opening title track, and following through with tunes like “The Pale King” and “Seven Seals,” Testament’s no-holds-barred brand of classic, old-school thrash runs rampant throughout Brotherhood of the Snake. And DiGiorgio is clearly in his element: His fierce, fluid playing and gutsy tone tie together the bombastic elements of the band’s virtuosic lineup (Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson on guitars, Gene Hoglan on drums, and lead singer Chuck Billy) in a supremely tight and unified way. It is the result of DiGiorgio’s conscious effort to set aside his own personal sound in favor of what he dubs the “Testament bass sound.” DiGiorgio’s fretless skill set has been influencing players ever since his Sadus demos started getting passed around in the late ’80s amongst burgeoning yet soon-to-be famous bassists like Cannibal Corpse’s Alex Webster. Steve helped define the death metal genre with the landmark Death albums Human [1991, Combat] and Individual Thought Patterns [1993, Combat] as well as Control Denied’s The Fragile Art of Existence [1999, Nuclear Blast], and he has remained extreme metal’s go-to fretless bassist ever since. But By Freddy Villano Photograph by MARTINE PETRA / march2017 37

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