Testify: 01 Reviews

Do you remember when "Industrial" first entered your world? I remember hearing Ministry go hardcore (after the "dance-hall" days) and completely freaking out since they sounded so different. So harsh. So I went to the nearest Wherehouse Records and bought Psalm 69 the minute it hit the counter. The woman at the cash register looked up at me - a female full-time student at the university nearby that had a much softer reputation - and asked if I was buying the disc for myself. I answered that yes, in fact I was, and she just looked at me like I was an alien. I wasn't wearing black, or a lot of silver skull-head rings, my hair wasn't dyed harshly, and I looked quite "normal" to her eyes. She warned me that the new album was much, much harder than anything I was used to, and I thanked her and walked out the door. I went home, stuck it in my CD player and blasted the fucker until my roommate and every neighbor complained. When I think of aggro-industrial, to this day I will think of Ministry.Now, there's a new face to aggro, and it's Testify. Testify came about as a side project for The Fair Sex, a band virtually unheard of in the US but known throughout Europe. Testify started as just a side project for TFS members Myk and Raskal, but evolved into a full-time band that toured across Germany with Die Krupps. The album that came out of this union in the US was Testify 01. This album unleashes an almost bloody assault upon your ears, and entire body! The first time I heard this disc was as background noise. The second was to piss off the neighbors (I don't have a roommate anymore). Then, I realized I also had onother Testify album entitled Ballroom Killer/The Blitzkrieg Mixes". Too cool, and I didn't have to get dirty looks at Wherehouse for it! I'm a sucker for anything that any member of Ministry does, and there are not one but two remixes of songs done by Keith "Fluffy" Auerbach from Ministry ("A.N.G.E.R" and "Spoil"). More stuff to piss off the neighbors! And it will piss them off with the heavy guitars, psychotic vocals and unrelenting beat. I hate to equate Testify's music with any type of generic sound, but this is the stuff Wax Trax! used to be known for before TVT bought their happy butts out, I'm not saying that Testify is anything other than what they are. And that is heavy shit. - J., Bite Me Magazine

Owing more to Ministry than to Nine Inch Nails, Germany's Testify's self titled debut is a poisonous concoction of cyberthrash. Growled vocals,shards of digitally mutated guitars and percussion, and vocal samples that can't be repeated in this family newspaper all compete furiously for attack position. It's downright unlistenable and I love it. - Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, Harvard Law Record
Industrial fans will bask in Testify's sinister darkness. There's a running anti-establishment theme going on here,which is always pretty cool. I kept visualizing whirling circles of hair and crazed fans.... - Gina Savage, INK 19 Magazine
Like Ministry on steroids, Testify brings the grind home with "Testify 01" Grating, scratchy guitar riffs ride in front of mild electronics and suitably pounding nerve- damaging drum beats. Metal heads could easily digest this CD and come away with a spinning head. Testify show no mercy as every cut is industrial-terrorist assault on unsuspecting eardrums. It's hard to single out any of the cuts on "Testify 01," as each one is a feast of grinding rhythms, relentless leads and well-incorporated samples and electronics, but if you can survive the first ten tracks, you are treated to the title cut, my particular fave. This one's sure to drive your neighbors crazy. - ARC Magazine
Personally, I think the Europeans have it all over the Americans when it comes to angset - that poor, poor, pitiful word. Afterall, the fact stands we haven't anywhere near the centuries of turmoil and persecution most of them had to endure. And as for Punk, well, speaking in terms of its Statesside potential, at best ,it could only be spelled with a small "p". And so the history lesson goes. And god begat Rascal; Rascal begat Kinley and Grey; and there was light. But only for a second. Rascal, in truth, steps out here from Germany's notorious club favorite, THE FAIR SEX, for this project with the latter named metal musicians. If you held the two up against the light, Testify would be the far less translucent, far grimmier, far more pissed off of the two. I guess The Fair Sex could be Rascal's folksier side. Yeah? Like hell. Either this man eats children, or he's so purged by his musical efforts that he is the world's most pliant and complacent individual alive. 01 - it's a little bit metal, a little bit grunge, snips and snails and puppy dog tails. It's a little on the scary side for me, but it wouldn't stop me from dancing. - Rene, Permission Magazine
Prone to nervousness? You might think twice about cranking up this unrelenting and aggro slab of European industrial-metalcore. Reference points? Ministry, NIN et al., but there's a definite warmth to Testify's brutal, oft-speedy assault. Just try to stop your leg from jiggling frantically through the manic, tightly controlled "Get Busted" or refrain from moshing to "Suck This" or the fervid title track.(Testify also have a cool remix EP out called Ballroom Killer/Blitzkrieg Mixes.) After 10 diverse, powerful tracks, Testify leave you limp as a noodle, yet energized, in a state resembling post-coital bliss: satisfied, but ready for another go-round. Harsh and Lovely. Katherine Turman, RIP Magazine
Loved the Testify CD. Aggro, speedy, unrelenting...almost like death-industrial music on their awesome Testify 01 disc. Scary and top notch stuff in the NIN vein. - RIP Magazine
From the first few seconds of this German based band's debut release, you feel the need to strap yourself in for a rollercoaster ride into anger and beyond. The band's intensity level matches or surpasses that of Ministry, who they sample several times over the course of the CD. Fast passed guitar and samples from "Just One Fix" start the ride on the track "A.N.G.E.R.". The pace briefly slows down on "Ride", but then refuels for "Get Busted" and the future american anthem "You Gotta Have Brains and You Gotta Have Balls".They failed to relent, finishing the album with fury on "Suck This".Testify"s sequencer and guitar driven debut proves to have a good blend of semi-danceable sounds are hard edged aggression. Testify has the sound that could generate staying power; their success will ultimately depend on how they and their peers are promoted. - Mike Kerrigan, New Industrial Sounds
Yeoow! Now this is from the school of brutal chugging noise. Testify come across like they have no desire to be your friend at all but instead would love to run a car over your skull while they lean out the window and laugh while they record the ensuring crunch to use on their next album. Lean,mean killing machine sounds that are edgy, tense and full of stops and stops cavort all over Testify 01. Definately the European style of terror tech; it's brutal and that's the way they like it. You will too.once you scrape your head off the road. - Nick C., B Side Magazine
Creating the sort of mayhem that owes much to Motorhead, Testify are a band for whom the hyperbolic term "Industrial Noise Terrorists" is a matter-of-fact description. Ex-obscure soundtrack hacks, these German madmen subscribe to the theory that subtlety is something best resigned to the space between songs. And with the Industrial/Metal crossover having been pushed to its logical limits, it's time to weed out the charlatans - and only the earnest purveyors of high-tech brutality should survive the cut. Testify won't flinch at the thought. This is the riot soundtrack Jimmy Hoffa never had. - H., Seconds Magazine
Testify is a band that will appeal to a broad base of underground music fans due to their impressive crossover ability. Two metal musicians, Kineley and Grey, team up with Rascal who brought his electronic concoctions with him from the German-based band The Fair Sex. Kineley and Grey have spent a considerable amount of time in New York and seem to bring that New York hardcore element into this electronic dance music. This is a whirlwind of industrial electronic music laden with samples and earsplitting guitars. In a nutshell, their unofficial mission statement proposed that they possess "a marked feeling for always applying the thorn to a spot where it causes most pain". If you have violent or sadomasochistic tendencies that you prefer to vent through the music you listen to,then this is a release for you. - Andy Sullivan, Gear Magazine
A.N.G.E.R video. Cool I really liked this video. I think that it was probably the glasses that they were wearing. Lots of really weird glasses and outfits about. Basically it is a combination of different shots of the band. I really liked the guy running around in the latex outfit with the mask. Raw cyber energy! - Chiko, Industrial Nation
Germany's club-notorious Rascal splits his talents two ways. Together with L'O (guitars/"mental strength"), there is with Kineley and Grey, Testify. In support of these brother bands, both with first-time US distribution, a certain ad had run: What Ministry Would Sound Like If They Had Balls. That sure took some balls to print, though it ain't far from true. In short, Testify is the unequivocal Germany Ministry. Egad! TFS is easier in the ear and easily comparable to FLA on a good hair day... Similar wanna-dance tempo and expansive good use of percussion and programming; similar dark and commanding lyrical tone. Machine Bites is a 10-year/tenure anthology, and one hell of a smorgasbord! - Rene Wakazk, Mean Street
Born from the remains of Germany's The Fair Sex, Testify are dead set on bringing their hard edged industrial onslaught to hungry industrialphiles in the United States. The band is already a phenomenon on the European club scene, where top DJs struggled to pick their favorite spins from their debut EP. The band's unique blend of metal, punk, grunge "electro terrorism" is best evidenced on tracks "Ride," "Spoil," "Killer" and "Get Busted." Watch for these ambitious Germans stateside as they hit the road with industrial mainstays Die Krupps (and keep an eye out for their latest video for the track A.N.G.E.R.I currently circulating through clubs and underground video shows everywhere). - DJ, Foundations
Testify creates a blinding electronic blend of music with elements of heavy industrial, metal, grunge and punk to form a nightmarish, dark cloud of instrumentation. Founded in 1992 by Rascal, from the German-based, hard electronic dance band the Fair Sex, Testify has already amassed a huge following throughout the European club scene, and the band's video for "A.N.G.E.R." has met with rave reviews after its MTV 120 Minutes Europe premiere. Now that Testify has a U.S. label, Americans will be able to experience the power of this brutally pounding German, techno/industrial noise band first-hand on Testify 01. With its swirling mix of sonicly-induced chaos and electrifying guitar wails, the music brings to mind a variety of bands, including Ministry, Sister Machine Gun, Bile and KMFDM. Filled with themes of lust, anger, violence and deceit, Testify 01 shudders with relentless industrial madness on songs like "You Got To Have Brains And You Got To Have Balls," "Killer," "A.N.G.E.R.," "One Man's A Gang (Gang Version)," "Deceiver Suck This" and "Testify 01." - Jenny Glenn, CMJ
This is the other band that the guys from The Fair Sex are in. To me it sounds like an electro/heavy synth band (which is what The Fair Sex is)doing thrash industrial. The vocals sound like The Accused or Kreator and the guitars are thick. This is where Testify pull of being a metal band, but the drums aren't programmed well enough to sound like a thrash drummer. They are solid and fast but they just don't have the same tension that a drummer from say, Slayer (who has a simular drumming style) would have. That aside this is good metal. The guitars are about 5 layers thick and crunchy. The riffs are heavy and the vocals are very cool. - Anon Devi, Interface Magazine
If you took Testify out camping they'd be sharing a cramped sleeping bag with Ministry, Skrew, and White Zombie. They have fast Metallic guitars, glass-imbedded vocalizations and mosh-inducing drum tempos. With their good production and overall sound quality, there's no reason why this band shouldn't go over great with fans of metal/techno cross over music. - Chase, 360/Rockpress
Upon first listen it is obvious that MINISTRY played a large part in influencing this band. Mainly around the time of The Land of Rape and Honey, which itself is fairly cool. TESTIFY are an oddity in industrial music. Opting for a much more old school approach as opposed to the slave to technology types who seem to be permiating the scene these days. Employing a drum machine with widdly diddly solos and gruff techno vocals is not something that is exactly new to industrial music, but in this context and with the power they're delivered with it works out fine and dandy. Both "Killer" and "Ride" are perfect music for a suicide. Buy it and wallow in misery. You'll feel better! - Michael Hope, Symposium Magazine
With distorted vocals that sound like Ministry, and guitars that recall Judas Priest's heyday, this collection of aggro-industrial rants walks a fine line between metal and industrial. The best tracks are those that blur the barrier by countering the overwhelmingly metallic guitars with more varied sounds. Not that anything is purely one or the other; even the most industrial moment (the sample-heavy "Ride") has raging metal guitars. Some of the lyrics also walk a fine line, this one between the stupid (as in the metal cliche of rebellion) and the inventive ("Killer" uses reverse psychology to draw you in), making this disc an enigma worth experiencing. - Paul Semel, HUH Magazine
Coming from the cross-over metal pastures of industrial, Testify plow through ten songs of andrenalin-packed, headbanger-soaked, metal mosh. The guitar work is definately above average for this genre, with power chords (especially on the excellent "Ride"), preventing the music from falling into the Ministry speedmetal bag (although they never do quite reach Ministry's apex of "NWO", they do give them a run for their money). However, Testify 01, does make the mistake of including a lyric sheet. Obviously coming from the Psychopomps school of sh(l)ock for shock sake, the politically correct will be mortally offended. The rest of us will be collapsing in gales of laughter. Even though they're written in english, setiments which may pass as profoundly disturbing in Europe just end up sounding silly here. Something lost in the translation I guess - for starters, when was the last time you heard someone say "bub" in this country? Not quite as daring asthe Pomps. Testify leave out the expletives, but the emphasis is the same. And Testify don't even appear to have the Pomps tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. For those strong willed enough not to peek at the lyrics, enjoy the album for the guitar licks, tension and energy. For the rest..well, you were warned. - Jo Anne Greene, Alternative Press
Aggro guitar Industrial is what you'll find on TESTIFY's 01 CD from VAN RICHTER RECORDS. This release may remind you of MINISTRY at first, but after repeated listens you'll agree that TESTIFY is infinitely more interesting. TESTIFY writes actual songs with structures that will hold your interest. You'll find no boring repetition here. All of the elements are layered well,creating a three dimensional sound not found within most Industrial. The guitar is very trashy and skillfully played. I feel that the guitar sound itself could have been alittle beefier in places, but it fits well within the context of the music presented here. The drum parts are heavy and the vocals subtly distorted and effected. The dialog sampling is sparse and efficient, none of it sounding out of place or unnecessary. I thoroughly enjoyed TESTIFY's 01 release, would highly recommend it to all Industrial, Thrash and Death fans alike. Tracks: "Killer", "A.N.G.E.R.", "Ride", "Get Busted", "You Gotta Have Brains", "One Man's A Gang", "Futurelust", "Deceiver", "Spoil", "Suck This", "Testify 01". - Bob, Worm Gear Magazine
The german outfit Testify(cmp issue #5 for an interview with the band) are formed by metal scene offspring guitarplayers are ex- The Fair Sex members, and are actually performing pulsing and aggressive aggro-industrial sonorities...Their sound is characterized by a typically hightuned black metal-like guitar sound which is particularly beloved by Ministry too... Vocals are treated and drum machine parts are speed in most part of this CD. As a matter of fact the first thing I noticed about the songs of this work is that they seemed to come from the repertoire of a black metal band converted to industrial music, yet continuing to explore it will give you the correct key to interpret this truly pushing electro-industrial-metal trio based on "mental insanity" and "mental weakness". - Marc Urselli-Scharer, Chain D.L.K.
"Ride" by Testify is a Gothic Rock creation that flies under the Van Richter label. This troupe of Gothic musician's was formed in 1993 in Essen, Germany. Testify is a six-piece gathering that includes Rascal Nikov, Myk Jung, Moses W., Eddie Logan, George McKinley and Mathias Black. They have cut five albums that include Testify 01, Ballroom Killer (The Blitzkrieg Mixes), Mmmmyaooo, Crack the Mind and Triviality Beyond Acceptance. A word worth spreading about is that Ministry crew Keith "Fluffy" Auerbach and Howie Beno mixed Testify's second album Ballroom Killer. Their song "Ride" runs for 4 minutes 43 seconds and contains intestine shaking music. The lyrics of "Ride" is made up of merely 4 lines that read,

I'm taking a ride.
Tell me what you want.
Tell me what you like.
By an unjust system of law.

The lyricist had a quick and easy job! I'm glad that Testify have their lyrics typed up on their site because it's a difficult task deciphering them by listening to the track. I have my suspicions that there are more words in Ride than documented! It's interesting to see a Gothic group in the year 2001 still complaining about a system that groups in the sixties used to sing about! It's true what they say history repeats itself. The musical content on this track is of superior quality and is well mixed. Of course heavy guitar work with plenty of overdrive and big drum mix. There's way to many effects on the microphones but I guess that's normal for this style of music. Perfecting the correct sounds for gothic rock would take some time and Testify has succeeded in this field. The musicianship is of a very good caliber and these guys know their instruments inside and out. I'm sure a Testify gig would be an entertaining and extremely a moving experience. As I mentioned previously, Testify is under the Van Richter label, which is a huge concern and has an elite site on the net. I like Testify. Why not be game and step into the realms of Gothic Rock? - Billy McMahon, Gods of Music Webzine

Testify is sideband from The Fair Sex-de Van Richter Records. What started as a sideband from Germany's The Fair Sex is now also a full band on San Diego label Van Richter. TFS started in the late 1980s. Testify started later. Yes, they've been compared to Ministry but don't pass them off as a trendy clone. Both bands did this sound parallel to each other in the mid-90s. Unlike most other similar bandwagon bands that came later, Testify don't come off sounding like a metal band with industrial tints, nor do they quite sound like a industrial band that went metal, but comfortably somewhere in-between. It's too bad most newbie kids today think Rammstein started this whole trend. LIYL: NIN, KMFDM, Skrew. - Tsanger Banger, Amazon.com
The sound employed on Testify's "01" is an unfortunately under-populated one. For anyone that thinks that the average dancey industrial artists would sound way better sped up, with trebly production and a couple of borrowed Slayer riffs. While there are plenty of quality bands blending metal and industrial based in either genre (the blossoming industrial black metal scene and the handful of coldwave groups still hanging on) there aren't very many bands that utilize the trinity of classic Ministry elements this well. Those elements being upbeat trashcan drum programming, dried out crunchy guitar and a garnishing of bassy analog synth. On top of this we have snarled, shouted nihilistic vocals along with dialogue samples, sirens, buzzers and more. The basic sound is quick and straight to the point. Some dynamics are thrown in with slower, more deliberate tracks like "Ride" and "Spoil" but the energy never wanes. There's just enough variety to give needed dynamics without sacrificing the constant adrenaline injection. "Future Lust" has a kind of soundtrack feel to it, leading into the bullet spray that opens "Deceiver." The opening riff develops and subsequently deconstructs for the opening verse only to return and develop more. Simple tactics but cleverly executed; always just repetitive enough, balancing the guitar riffing and synth work. It's tough to pick a favorite but "Suck This" is a likely contender. A near-blastbeat fast opening drum syncopation, angst-ridden vocals, some great riffs, a perfectly-placed solo and an infectious chorus vocal shout. All of this topped off with an overdose of attitude and snot. Stompy, greasy and full of energy, this is definitely a release worth checking out for anyone into Ministry's material under either Bush administration, Skrew, Front Line Assembly's "Millenium," Bile before they got too melodic or anybody who ever wanted to hear what Chemlab would sound like on steroids in a faded Sepultura shirt.
Most of the songs manage to sound genuinely nasty and catchy at the same time. "You Gotta Have Brains and You Gotta Have Balls" has a great chorus hook that segues into a flet-furying solo. Speaking of solos, I would love to hear this band with way more injected into the fray. That and a juicier guitar tone would be the only major things I would change on this disc. Testify definitely benefits from the crackly production, but sometimes things just get a bit too dry. Considering this is an older release and the band has already built upon this, their debut album, into a heavier but less thrashy sound my first issue becomes somewhat irrelevant (shredding solos wouldn't fit nearly as well) and my second issue has been addressed. The newer Testify sports a meatier guitar sound and more subdued but still well-performed vocals. Digressions on their newer material aside, this is an enjoyable listen. Old-school but not overly dated or tongue-in-cheek retro, I'll take this over big beat modern EBM (which is slowly turning into something only a little darker sounding than rave music) any day. While metal's experiencing a thrash revival, maybe we can hope for more industrial groups to strap on the dusty Doc Martens, remember how much Mad Max kicked ass and when 14 year olds weren't wearing goggles to accent their Hello Kitty merch and more people grew dreads instead of buying them. If you worship at the altar of Ministry, thought that that Die Krupps Metallica tribute was their best release or just want a hectic dunebuggy ride through harsh thrashy industrial terrain, seek out a copy of Testify's "01." As for me, I'll be playing catch up to see where this band went after the original release of this album. - Sokaris, Heathen Harvest Zine

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