TESTAMENT: The new order [tape] 1988. Check videos


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The New Order is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Testament, released on May 5, 1988.

Alex Skolnick recounts of the album recording process: “We barely got done with our first couple of tours on that first album cycle when we were informed we have to have another album, soon!  We got spooked in a way, because we never had to come up with music on the fly.  By the time we finally recorded the album, we neglected to look at our recording contract. We actually had it in our contract that there’s a minimum of 40 minutes of music, and we clocked in under that!  Our album was promptly sent back…we added the Aerosmith tune, we added those little instrumentals, we extended a couple of sections…that was all done so we wouldn’t be in breach of contract.”

The New Order was the album that broke Testament into the thrash metal mainstream, with singles “Trial by Fire” (which featured a music video, as did the cover of Aerosmith‘s “Nobody’s Fault“) and “The Preacher”.  The New Order was also the first Testament album to enter the Billboard 200, reaching number 136 on that chart. It was also the band’s first album to include an instrumental track. The album contains many songs that the band still plays live to this day including “Into the Pit“, “The Preacher”, “The New Order”, “Disciples of the Watch”, and “Trial by Fire”. “Into the Pit”, “The New Order”, and “Disciples of the Watch” are among Testament’s most frequently performed songs; all three of which have been played live over 600 times with the former of the three being their most played song live.

Reviews for The New Order have generally been favorable. Allmusic‘s Alex Henderson awards the album four-and-a-half stars out of five, and claims that Testament “delivered its best offering ever” and describes it as “every bit as brutally forceful as The Legacy.” He also called the album the “ideal choice.” 

The New Order entered the Billboard 200 album charts in August 1988, three months after its release.  The album peaked at number 136 and remained on the chart for thirteen weeks, making it Testament’s longest run so far.  “Trial By Fire” and “The Preacher” were released as singles, but neither of them charted.

Testament toured for three months to promote The New Order. They toured Europe shortly after its release alongside thrash acts MegadethSanctuaryFlotsam and Jetsam and Nuclear Assault. This was followed by a summer U.S. tour, which featured support from Vio-LenceForbiddenVoivod, Sanctuary, DestructionOverkillNuclear AssaultCarnivoreDeath AngelAtheist and Potential Threat. They toured Europe again in August, replacing Megadeth on the Monsters of Rock tour. After playing two shows in San Francisco in December 1988, and one show with Heathen at the Country Club in Reseda in January 1989. In August 2014, Revolver placed The New Order on its “14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own” list.

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. “Eerie Inhabitants” Alex SkolnickChuck BillyEric Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 5:06
2. “The New Order” Skolnick, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 4:25
3. “Trial by Fire” Billy, Skolnick, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 4:14
4. “Into the Pit” Billy, Skolnick, Peterson Skolnick, Peterson 2:46
5. “Hypnosis” (Instrumental) Skolnick, Peterson 2:04
6. “Disciples of the Watch” Billy Skolnick, Peterson 5:05
7. “The Preacher” Billy, Skolnick Skolnick, Peterson 3:37
8. Nobody’s Fault” (Aerosmith cover) Steven Tyler Tyler, Brad Whitford 3:57
9. “A Day of Reckoning” Billy Skolnick, Peterson 4:00
10. “Musical Death (A Dirge)” (Instrumental) Skolnick, Peterson 4:05

  • Alex Perialas – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Jon Zazula – executive producer
Chart (1988) Peak
US Billboard 200  136
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100 49
UK Albums (OCC)  81

Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda picked this album as the scene’s definitive thrash album…

Mark: “I think this is a great record. A lot of people would go with the debut, The Legacy, but they really came into their own with The New Order. It was less showboaty, and to this day I think Disciples Of The Watch is one of the best songs they’ve written. This is where they found themselves. I’m even fond of their cover of Aerosmith’s Nobody’s Fault [from 1976’s Rocks]. It surprised me they covered that, but I was a huge Aerosmith fan growing up. Because we were all so young, it was odd to think that other people into thrash still had respect for ’70s rock.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive,
One of the most overlooked and influential recordings during the acceleration of thrash from the underground to the commercial mainstream. Testament never quite made it to the heights of, say, Slayer or Anthrax. Maybe it is because soon after this recording, thrash got serious. The songs got longer and slower, bands tried to… sing. Metallica could pull it off, but Testament just sounded arsey. That fact does not detract from the greatness of this slice of untainted, undiluted, golden-nugget of thrash metal.
I used to lose days listening to this album. Remarkably, having not listened to it for at least ten years, seeing the track listing again brings a nostalgic grin to my face and a brutally catchy riff to my ear. Considering the amount of thrash I used to digest, this must be a sign a permanent class.
Three albums; Reign In Blood by Slayer, Among the Living by Anthrax, The New Order by Testament. Three slices of definitive thrash in a league of their own. You probably own two of them. Now complete the set.


5.0 out of 5 stars Classic,
This is a genuine slice of thrash and metal heritage, The New Order is one of Testaments best albums and a real contender for album of the 80. Every song on here is a classic, Skolnick and Peterson guitars are a match made in heaven and Chuck younger, cleaner vocals are just epic.

You can’t call yourself a thrasher if you don’t own this album, but it even unfair to weigh this album down with the encumbrance of thrash, this is a metal album, one of the best, and should be enjoyed by everyone.


5.0 out of 5 stars Testament vs Megadeth,
The New Order is argubly one of the best thrash albums ever released in the 80s, however, the prestige of this ass-kicking album is still not in a technical capacity of defeating Mustaine fronted Megadeth. Surely the New Order is as good as any of those gold statued albums produced by Megadeth, but if Testament has somebody who can see a big piture like James Hetfield in Metallica, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Kerry King of Slayer, and of course Dave Mastaine of Megadeth, their ending would be very different! Nevertheless, testament is still one of my favourite thrash acts in the 80s, I don’t normally make any trade-off between one band and another, because I respect all those freaks, who possess the most feared instrumental dexterity as well as the capability to compose the technically demanding musical genre that very few people could ever contemplate!

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