Test-Site | Test-Site

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by Test-Site

From StonerRock.com: Formerly known as Blackwater, the Milwaukee trio Test-Site's debut album for Daimajin Records is a furiously heavy collection of metal that is comparable to Keelhaul, Player's Club, or a more straightforward, less erratic Mastodon.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Men Behind the Sun
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4:35 $0.99
2. The Vortex
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4:14 $0.99
3. Oasis Beyond the Dune
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5:03 $0.99
4. Newstylenumbertwo
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4:47 $0.99
5. Chin Strap
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5:04 $0.99
6. Nothing
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4:01 $0.99
7. A Moment of Clarity
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7:15 $0.99
8. King of the World
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4:18 $0.99
9. Beneath the Veil
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3:11 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
The first thing you need to know about Test-Site is that they were formerly called Blackwater. It seemed that there were a hundred other bands with the name. They are now Test-Site.

Test-Site is lead by guitarist James Potter. Potter has played in some of Milwaukee's heaviest bands. He wielded the lead guitar for the legendary Dr. Shrinker then went along for the ride when Shrinker morphed into the mighty Feck. Feck imploded under their own weight leaving Potter band-less. He even gave up the guitar for a while. Soon the Gods of the Mighty Riff came calling again. He teamed up with Tim Wick on drums (Epsom Blu) and Matt Budda on bass (Ballpoint) to form the crushing Test-Site.

The Test-Site sound is like the universes of Dr. Shrinker and Feck colliding in a Big Bang of crushing riff laden mayhem. Sparse harsh vocals pepper the decimated landscape leaving you devastated. Heavy, catchy, powerful and mesmerizing, taking the strength of Metal infusing it with 70's Prog-rock (leaving all the crap out). Throw the influence of Italian horror films and the psych films of Alejandro Jodorowsky into the mix makes Test-Site the powerful entity it is.


to write a review

Andy Shal

a new face emerges from the darkness and smacks everyone in the mouth
Whoa…this sure came straight out of nowhere. At least that’s what I first thought, until I saw this band was originally called Blackwater, whom I remember as having a surprisingly solid small-run EP a few years back. The name is new, and the sound is not only as good, it’s a hundred times better. Once or twice a year, a new face emerges from the darkness and smacks everyone in the mouth (Pelican, anyone?). Well, here you go.

Billed in the promo materials as cross from between heavy metal and ‘70’s prog, the result is not far off. Decidedly more “metal”, the band plays thundering riffs with immense tone. Not in the same atmosphere as bands such as Ufomammut, Sons Of OTIS, or Khanate, but still ranking above the norm in the bottom-end department. Immediate notice is given to the guitar work of James Potter, whom is simply phenomenal. Lumbering riffs mix with searing leads, leaving no doubt that this band deserves your attention. Potter also provides the vocals, which lean towards the harsher end of the spectrum (think Isis, Neurosis, and Mastodon, although not quite as “edgy”). The lyrics are few and far between, letting the musicians speak for themselves the vast majority of the time. Bass player Matt Budda has a heavy, menacing rattle, and drummer Tim Wick is no slouch either. My ears wanted a bit more variety from the latter, as too often the drums seemed to play back-up to the guitars. I can, though, certainly feel the ‘70’s prog influence, which is certainly always welcomed. It is tastefully done, however, and at no point did I feel they were simply aping A Tab In The Ocean. These guys know what the hell they are talking (or, in this case, playing) about, and the proof is in the record. The production is very slick and powerful, and like the technical chops of Mr. Potter, is noticeably ahead of the curve. The second track (“The Vortex”), in particular, is an album-defining moment.

In all, this is as worthy a “blind-buy” as you are going to find. Believe what other people are saying, it really is that good. I’d love to see this band pick up steam to the point that they can tour on a regular basis, as I feel they have the potential to really establish a solid footing in the rock world. On their next album, I’d like to see the drums pumped up (both in the mix and in the fills department) as that would make for a year’s best. As it stands, this is one of the most “front-to-back” solid records yet released in 2004, and demands a listen.

John Pegoraro - stonerrock.com

They’ve certainly raised the bar for the rest of the 2004 releases.
Formerly known as Blackwater, the Milwaukee trio Test-Site’s debut album for Daimajin Records is a furiously heavy collection of metal that is comparable to Keelhaul, Player’s Club, or a more straightforward, less erratic Mastodon.

From the opening track, “Men Behind the Sun,” with it’s military-like, distorted vocals over a simple yet effective riff, to the Karma to Burn meets Helmet playing of “The Vortex” and “Newstylenumbertwo,” to the all-out metal crunch of “A Moment of Clarity” and “King of the World,” Test-Site show their strength is in both solid hooks and musical dexterity.

There are prog/math metal leanings to some of the tracks, but the execution is subtle enough for non-fans of that genre to appreciate. Vocals are used sparingly, which underscores a good point – why bother singing if the song doesn’t need it? And on this album, the bass, guitar, and drums are formidable enough on their own, to the point where you don’t even notice a good chunk of the songs are missing the solos.

All in all, this is an impressive full-length debut. They’ve certainly raised the bar for the rest of the 2004 releases. Definitely worth checking out.