Legendary Bay Area thrashers Testament have just announced their first run of headlining dates in support of their most recent studio album, The Dark Roots of Earth. As if thrash fans needed any more enticement, the band will be joined by fellow legends of the genre, Overkill and Flotsam and Jetsam. Additional support will be provided by Australia's 4ARM.
When Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth shows up at Guitar World HQ for our interview, it's already past 5 p.m. on a press-packed day. In spite of that, he showed up good spirits, with with the same youthful energy that has made him one of the most electric performers in thrash metal for over three decades now.
Overkill are one of the bands that always come up when you talk about classic thrash, and also one of the bands that come up when you talk about how amazing it is that a lot of classic thrash bands are putting out astoundingly good material these days.
In the mid eighties, roving bands of headbangers like Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth ruled the earth, and metal fans rejoiced heartily. Here is the story of that golden age of thrash and its sad decline.