TESTAMENT was definitely dropping hints on "The New Order" that they were heading down a slightly more streamlined, Rock'n'Roll-path. These allusions were brought to life on "Practice What You Preach", as the band sounds a lot more tame and toned-down in general here. There is much more groove to be found throughout the album, beginning with the opening title-track, and continuing through songs like "Envy Life" and "Greenhouse Effect", each song containing much less "pizzazz", in contrast to the TESTAMENT most people had become accustomed to on the first two albums.
In place of the all-out Thrash are more accessible melodies and some slight experimentation with the album production, as on "Perilous Nation", where we get some jazzy guitar-swells from Skolnick, and some distorted vocals from Chuck Billy, which is certainly not to my liking, but they've grown on me over time. Throughout "Practice..." are catchy hooks aplenty, making this a rather (dare I say) "commercial"-sounding album on a whole. The band seem to, perhaps, be in a state of wanting-to-please-the-Atlantic-executives by toning down the aggression and "growing up" a bit.
However, they keep all the essential elements to keep it sounding like TESTAMENT, most notably with lots of great shredding (again) from Mr. Skolnick. In fact, he pulls off some of his most impressive stuff on this particular album! There is also the very "New Order-ish" number "Blessed In Contempt", which might be the album's saving grace for the old-school-fans, an awesome Thrash-tune with some mega-heavy riffs, and of course a genius guitar solo! "Sins Of Omission" has a killer intro, my 2nd favourite cut on the album next to "The Ballad"...I just love that hopeful-sounding intro with Skolnick's acoustic solo, very appealing to a sap like myself, makes me think of waking up to a beautiful summer morning sunrise, with morning dew glistening on the grass.........and.......shit.
Definitely not one of the band's best works, but it makes the grade in my book.