Basically they only wanted to do a „best of“ album and give the old songs a revitalisation, but instead to just re-master them, they decided to re-record the best tracks off their first two albums (“The Legacy” and “The New Order”). In my opinion a great idea, because that way you get, 15 years after the original release, the chance to hear these Thrash Metal grenades in a modern and compared to them a lot more powerful sound.
TESTAMENT still are among the chosen few, who never turned their back on the good old Bay Area Thrash Metal of the Eighties and continue to belt out impressive albums in this genre. How good the old songs still are is impressively proved by „First Strike Still Deadly“ and the fear that Chuck Billy, Eric Peterson, Alex Skolnick and co. had lost ideas for a new album are unfounded. Just take the songs from the legendary debut „The Legacy“ (1987), such as „First Strike Is Deadly“, „Burnt Offerings“, „Over The Wall“ or „The Haunting“. Soon you hear that these classics have not lost a iota of their power, sound even more compact and heavy in the new sound and therefore the mission to re-record these songs was absolutely accomplished.
This also is the case for „Into The Pit“, „Trial By Fire“ and „Disciples Of The Watch“ off the second album „The New Order“ (1988) and so „First Strike Still Deadly“ is an absolutely recommendable CD, without any detriment. The absolute icing on the cake, though, are the last two tracks „Alone In The Dark“ and „Reign Of Terror“, because here they brought back none other than Steve “Zetro” Souza. It had been him, who had sung on the outstanding THE LEGACY (so the original name of TESTAMENT) demo and later replaced the tragically passed away Paul Baloff on the mic of EXODUS. Therefore I shall recommend to all young and in general all headbangers: “Thrash till Death!” (Online February 13, 2004)