All-Time Top Five: Testament's Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick Give A Metal History Lesson

Berkeley's Testament has now been shredding for almost three decades. Just the fact that they're still making quality examples of the style they helped usher in says a great deal about the group's artistic character.

Sure, as is the case with just about every other band that's stayed relatively active for so long, there have been personnel changes and shifts in popular culture that have impacted the band to varying degrees.

Yet here they are, louder than ever.

After Formation of Damnation, the 2008 album that yet again proved that the band will always play to its most thrashing of strengths, the band is gearing up to release an album of new material in 2012. Until then, they're touring with a line-up that closely resembles the classic Testament from the early 1980s.

Tonight, the group hits the South Side Music Hall tonight for what should be a righteous show with their brothers-in-metal-arms from Anthrax.

Guitarists Eric Peterson, the band's lone continuous member, and Alex Skolnick, the band's prodigal son finally returned, are definitely students of metal. No surprise, then, that when we asked these axe men about their favorite metal and guitar-driven albums to help preview tonight's show, both were all too eager to share their thoughts.

Eric Peterson's All Time Top Five Favorite Metal Albums

1. Metallica - The black album
2. Thin Lizzy - Renegade
3. UFO - Strangers in the Night
4. Judas Priest - Unleashed in the East
5. Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes

Alex Skolnick's All-Time Top Five Guitar Rock Albums

1. Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow
2. Van Halen - Van Halen
3. Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Concerts
4 Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of A Madman (Randy Rhoads, guitar).
5. Pink Floyd - The Wall (David Gilmour, guitar)

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When asked about why these specific albums are special to him, Peterson had no problem explaining. It's clear that he's just like any other fan: It's all about how the music impacts him emotionally.

"All these have special meaning to me, really," he says. "The Metallica record because, to me, it was a major moment for a band that was so against the mainstream. When 'Enter Sandman' debuted on MTV, everyone knew it was a major step for metal and that they were going to take over the world."

For similar reasons, his live album selections make perfect, logical sense, too.

"All the live albums were the best songs all the bands had to put on a live album" Peterson says. "They always put me right there at the concert, and I would start to play air-guitar right away."

Testament opens for Anthrax tonight at South Side Music Hall.

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