When people talk about the birth of thrash metal, they mean Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, and Bay Area metal bashers, Testament.The latter is on tour with fellow legends Sepultura, Prong, and new blood, Dying Gorgeous Lies. After a masterful performance, many members of the bands stayed around to talk to Blasting News and tell us how the new tour is going.

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Opening act from Germany, Dying Gorgeous Lies exploded onto the state with a female lead powerhouse who's vocal style sounds a bit like Arch Enemy meets Kittie. Their drumming intricacies and frantic fretwork made them a quick success with those who had been milling about moments prior.

Singer Liz Gorgeous said that this was "only their third show" on the tour. When asked which song would be the perfect song to hear if one had not heard their music before, she replied "And As The Bombs Fell," with an accent as soft as her vocals are ominous.

Sepultura was next on and it was a return to hometown C-town for singer Andreas Kisser who took over when Max Calavera left the historic thrash band. He did not disappoint in this singing nor his drumming as he and Eloy Casagrande played Brazilan tribal rhythms as one unit, in terms of precision and clarity. The technical prowess of this band stood out in full form, perhaps since it was bassist Paulo J's birthday, a fact highlighted by Testaments Chuck Billy coming out to sing "Happy Birthday" to him.

Prong's Tommy Victor, also of Ministry, Danzig, and others, gets more dynamic with each new release.

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The band's mixture of metal styles was a welcomed addition to the lineup. When asked about his solo's growing more complex, he said, "It was how to sort of go with the times a little bit. Initially, I was rebelling against the whole 'solo thing,' It's been on the job training. I really didn't know how to play guitar before Prong," he admitted. He also said that working with Steve Evans helped it develop that way.

Testament take command

The Headliners took the stage with a fury, opening with "Brotherhood of the Snake," a new and furious paced monster that set the crowd in motion.When asked about the unique into snare hit, drummer Gene Hoglan said, "Eric wanted it like a blast beat like I do with Strapping Young Lad, but it was so fast that is was impossible, so I wrote this. There is some double action stuff going on there."

The band played a number of new ones, including "Seven Seals," a story about Christ returning "at the end of time" with "His crown". When asked about the song, Billy said, "It is about the end of the world, the last days.

What better premise to write a song about?""It's the Book of Revelations, open the seals, and it's the end of the world. What better lyric to write off than that, ya know? Bassist Steve Di Giorgio added about the 6/8 timed song, "that was a different one, so sure."

Eric Peterson, who wrote the music and his solos for the new CD said of the task, "It was not a big deal. It just was how it happened. With 'Seven Seals,' it was different playing with what Chuck did with it. It was fun." Guitar rock hero, Alex Skolnick said that while "I always focus on my solos, that one did stand out."

He also talked about the death of Peter O'Niell, founder of Tran Siberian Orchestra who Skolnick was once in, calling it "exhausting." He suggested that his death was due to "not sleeping. He was in his 60s, he ate a huge steak burnt to a crisp every day and covered in salt. He worked and practiced non-stop. I mean, I practice for hours, but he never rested. Doctors warned him, but he would fly to Europe and back on no sleep, two shows a day." He also said that he would do "some shows" with the again if asked and time allowed, "but never that again. No way." No one knows if TSO will continue or not.

Lasty, when Serenity of the band Passing Time asked Peterson about why the song "Return to Serenity" was never played, all members said that is had been practiced. "A certain member does not want to do it. He overthinks it but he sounds great," he said. "We have 30 some shows in a row," said Billy, "Maybe next time, when there is a break in between. I want my voice to hold up" Judging by the Agora show, he had littleto fear. He is off to a great start.

With that, the night was done. On to the next city as the #Nuclear Blast Records celebrates 30 years of non-stop metal.