California headbangers Testament have made their fans' wishes paramount on its current Damnation Vacation Tour.
The quintet, supporting "The Formation of Damnation" -- its first new studio album in nine years -- held an online poll to lets its faithful choose from three perspective sets. Two feature the entirety of Testament's first two albums, "The Legacy" (1987) and "The New Order" (1988), and guitarist Eric Peterson describes the third option as "a brutal set...just a lot of heavier, crazy songs."
"We're pretty excited about it," Peterson, 45, says. "It gives the fans something special. If you're a band that's lucky enough to have a 'classic' kind of album, it's fun to play the whole thing and get into stuff you haven't played in years -- or maybe never played at all.
"We're all better musicians now, so the stuff just sounds that much better."
Peterson, meanwhile, says the group plans a much shorter interim leading up to its next album, with "a good four, five musical ideas" already in hand.
"We'll probably start writing a new record when we get back from Japan in late September," he predicts. "We'll probably start looking into recording or at least working on new stuff (in) October, November, December and then see where we're at. If we're ready, we'll start recording in January-February for, like, a June release."
Testament, Unearth and Lazarus, A.D. perform Saturday (May 16) at Harpo's, 14238 Harper, Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 824-1700 or visit www.harposconcerttheatre.com.
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