TESTAMENT Part Ways With Guitarist STEVE SMYTH

April 20, 2004

Veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT have parted ways with guitarist Steve Smyth and are looking to secure a temporary replacement in time for their upcoming European tour, BLABBERMOUTH.NET can exclusively reveal.

Although no official word has yet come down on the matter, it is believed that former HALFORD/current PAINMUSEUM guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak is the leading candidate to fill the slot. It is presently unclear if Chlasciak would be joining TESTAMENT on a permanent basis or if he would only be assisting the group during their upcoming European tour, which is scheduled to kick off in early June.

Smyth, who has been playing with TESTAMENT since 1999, is believed to have left TESTAMENT in order to join NEVERMORE on a full-time basis. Steve has been performing with the Seattle-based group as a session/touring guitarist for the past two years and is said to be more compatible with the other members of the band (on a musical and personal level) than has been the case with any other session guitarist NEVERMORE have ever had.

As previously reported, TESTAMENT are continuing work on the material for the follow-up to 1999's "The Gathering" and are planning on entering the studio later this spring to begin recording the album for a late 2004 release through Spitfire Records.

TESTAMENT, whose most recent drummer, Jon Allen (SADUS),left the group over an "extremely fragile and urgent family situation" involving the health of his 11-year-old daughter, were recently joined by former SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph, who had previously played several live dates with the group in 1992 and appeared on the band's 1993 live EP, "Return To The Apocalyptic City".

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