- Megaforce Records

Testament's "Souls of Black" (1990) pushed thrash metal's boundaries. The album blends relentless aggression with surprising melodic depth and hints of progressive influences. While still a thrash powerhouse, Testament proved the genre could mature and evolve. "Souls of Black" on vinyl offers a powerful listening experience thanks to its raw, warm sound.

Large quality photo of album front cover

"Souls of Black" Album Description:

Released in 1990, Testament's fourth album, "Souls of Black," solidified their place as titans of the thrash metal scene. This ten-track sonic assault on Megaforce Records delivered a potent blend of aggression and melody, showcasing the band's technical prowess and Chuck Billy's distinctive roar.

The late 80s and early 90s saw thrash metal push its boundaries. While many bands were content to repeat the formula of breakneck tempos and unrelenting aggression, Testament dared to expand their musical horizons. "Souls of Black" reflects a maturation of their sound, evident in a greater emphasis on melody and diverse songwriting.

The album opens with the pummeling "Beginning of the End," setting the tone for a whirlwind ride of thrashing riffs, double-kick drumming, and scorching guitar solos. Tracks like "Face in the Sky" and "Falling Fast" showcase the band's ability to weave intricate instrumental sections with catchy hooks, while "Souls of Black," the title track, is a mid-tempo anthem that embodies the album's thematic exploration of darkness and despair.

"Souls of Black" also features moments of unexpected melody. "Love to Hate" injects a dose of punk rock energy, and "The Legacy" offers a melancholic ballad that showcases Billy's vocal range. The album closes with the epic "Seven Days of May," a powerful track that reflects on the horrors of war.

Album Description & Collectors information:



"Souls of Black" is the fourth album by American Thrash metal band Testament, released in 1990. It preceded several changes in style to rather diverse styles of metal.


Music Genre:

 American Thrash Metal 

Album Production Information:

The album: "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" was produced by: Michael Rosen and Testament

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Michael Rosen, Vincent "Bro" Wojno

This album was recorded at: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley California

Tom Coyne - Mastering Engineer

Tom Coyne (1954-2017) is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and respected mastering engineers in the music industry. With his exceptional talent, meticulous attention to detail, and a career spanning several decades, Coyne has played an instrumental role in shaping the sound of countless iconic albums.


Born and raised in New Jersey, Tom Coyne developed a passion for music at an early age. He was captivated by the sonic nuances of records and the transformative power of the mastering process. Eager to pursue his dreams, Coyne embarked on a journey to acquire the technical skills and knowledge necessary to become a mastering engineer.

Coyne's career began in the late 1970s when he joined the legendary Frankford/Wayne Mastering Labs in New York City. Under the guidance of experienced engineers, he honed his craft and gained a deep understanding of the intricacies of audio mastering. His exceptional ear for detail and innate musicality quickly set him apart, earning him a reputation for delivering exceptional sonic quality.

In the 1980s, Coyne's career soared as he collaborated with a wide range of artists across various genres. He worked with renowned acts such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, U2, and Miles Davis, among many others. His expertise in shaping the overall sound and balance of albums became sought after by both emerging artists and established superstars.

As the music industry evolved and entered the digital age, Coyne adapted to the advancements in technology without compromising his commitment to excellence. He embraced digital mastering tools while staying true to his analog roots, ensuring that his work retained its signature warmth and clarity. This adaptability and dedication to quality made him a trusted collaborator for artists and record labels alike.

Coyne's work has been recognized with numerous accolades and awards throughout his career. He has received multiple Grammy nominations and has been involved in Grammy-winning projects, solidifying his status as a mastering engineer of exceptional talent and expertise. Additionally, his contributions to the industry have been acknowledged by organizations such as the TEC Awards and the Recording Academy.

Beyond his mastering work, Coyne is known for his mentorship and willingness to share his knowledge with aspiring engineers. He has lectured at universities, participated in industry conferences, and mentored emerging talents, helping to shape the next generation of mastering engineers.

Bob Defrin - Art Direction

Bob Defrin, a prominent figure in the world of graphic design and album cover art, is best known for his significant contributions as the director, graphic designer, and head of art for Atlantic Records. Born on April 13, 1946, Defrin's creative journey began in Brooklyn, New York, where he developed a passion for art from an early age.


Defrin's career in the music industry took off in the 1980s, a pivotal era for Heavy Metal music. His unique artistic vision and ability to capture the essence of a band's sound through visual imagery made him a sought-after figure among musicians and record labels. As a director and graphic designer at Atlantic Records, Defrin played a pivotal role in shaping the visual identities of numerous Heavy Metal bands during this period.

One of Defrin's notable accomplishments was his work on album covers. He understood the power of album artwork in conveying the spirit and energy of a band's music. Defrin's ability to translate the raw power and intensity of Heavy Metal into captivating visuals earned him widespread recognition and accolades. His designs often featured bold, eye-catching imagery, intricate details, and striking typography, perfectly complementing the music within.

Defrin's portfolio boasts an impressive array of iconic album covers. Among his most renowned works are the covers for AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" (1979), "Back in Black" (1980), and "For Those About to Rock We Salute You" (1981). These covers captured the band's energy, attitude, and electrifying sound, becoming iconic symbols of Heavy Metal culture.

Additionally, Defrin's artistic contributions extended beyond AC/DC. He collaborated with numerous other influential bands, including Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Krokus, and Skid Row, among others. Each album cover he designed encapsulated the essence of the respective band's music, making a lasting impact on the visual landscape of Heavy Metal.

Bob Defrin's expertise in graphic design and his ability to understand and interpret the musical vision of Heavy Metal bands made him an invaluable asset to Atlantic Records. He left an indelible mark on the music industry, helping to shape the visual identities of some of the most influential Heavy Metal acts of the 1980s.

Beyond his work with Atlantic Records, Defrin's influence continued to resonate in the field of graphic design. His unique style and contributions left a lasting impression on album cover art, inspiring generations of designers to think creatively and push the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Bob Defrin's legacy as a director, graphic designer, and head of art for Atlantic Records endures as a testament to his immense talent and profound impact on the Heavy Metal genre. His ability to merge music and visual artistry has forever left an indelible mark on the history of album cover design.

Album cover design: William Benson, Eric Peterson

Album cover photography: Hiro Iro

Record Label Information:

 Megaforce 7567-82143

Album Packaging:

This album "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" includes the original custom inner sleeve with album details, complete lyrics of all songs by and artwork/photos

Media Format:

 12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year and Country:

 1990 Made in Germany
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: TESTAMENT - Souls of Black
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Chuck Billy - Vocals
  • Alex Skolnick - Guitars
  • Eric Peterson - Guitars (Eric Peterson (Guitars) together with his cousin "Derrick Ramirez " founder of the American Thrash Metal band: "Legacy", which will be later renamed into "Testament".)
  • Greg Christian - Bass
  • Louie Clemente - Drums (Louis Clemente is founder of the Testament band.)
Complete Track-listing of the album "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black"

The detailed tracklist of this record "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" is:

  1. "Beginning of the End" (Eric Peterson) - 0:35
  2. "Face in the Sky" (Chuck Billy, Peterson, Alex Skolnick) - 3:53
  3. "Falling Fast" (Billy, Skolnick, Louie Clemente) - 4:05
  4. "Souls of Black" (Billy, Clemente, Peterson, Skolnick) - 3:22
  5. "Absence of Light" (Billy, Peterson, Skolnick) - 3:54
  6. "Love to Hate" (Billy, Clemente, Peterson, Skolnick) - 3:40
  7. "Malpractice" (Billy, Peterson, Skolnick) - 4:43
  8. "One Man's Fate" (Billy, Clemente, Peterson) - 4:49
  9. "The Legacy" (Billy, Clemente, Peterson, Skolnick) - 5:30
  10. "Seven Days in May" (Billy, Peterson, Skolnick) - 4:40
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black"
High Resolution Photo #1 testament souls of black

 Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Album Back Cover  Photo of "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black"
High Resolution Photo #2 testament souls of black
Inner Sleeve   of "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" Album
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Photo of "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" Album's Inner Sleeve  
High Resolution Photo #4 testament souls of black
Photo of "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" 12" LP Record
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Close-up Photo of "TESTAMENT - Souls of Black" Record Label 
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Testament: Four Decades of Politically Charged Thrash Metal.

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TESTAMENT - The Legacy  album front cover vinyl record

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TESTAMENT - Live at Eindhoven album front cover vinyl record

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TESTAMENT - The New Order album front cover vinyl record

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TESTAMENT - Souls of Black 12" Vinyl LP
TESTAMENT - Souls of Black album front cover vinyl record

The album opens with the pummeling "Beginning of the End," setting the tone for a whirlwind ride of thrashing riffs, double-kick drumming, and scorching guitar solos. Tracks like "Face in the Sky" and "Falling Fast"

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