Published on March 2, 2013 by Casey
Chuck Billy (born June 23, 1962) is an American vocalist, who is best known as the vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament.
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Chuck Billy replaced Steve “Zetro” Souza, future Exodus vocalist, in the mid-1980s when the band was still called Legacy. Following his arrival, Testament released their first album entitled The Legacy in 1987. The only song written by Chuck Billy on The Legacy was “Do or Die”. Although the lineup of the band has changed over the years, Billy has remained constant as the vocalist alongside guitarist Eric Peterson who also was an all time permanent member. However, his vocal style has changed considerably over the years from a clear, high pitch thrash style to a deeper low register approaching a death grunt. Since the Low album, he has mixed both styles and sometimes performs both on the same song.
Prior to Legacy and Testament, Billy was the guitarist of a local metal band called Guilt. No records by the band exist, but they recorded one demo in 1984.
Chuck has also appeared on the solo projects of James Murphy, playing on both albums as a guest musician. He also has sung lead vocals for Exodus during at least one concert recently (October 28, 2004 at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, opening for Megadeth).
In 2006 Chuck Billy provided vocals on the Sadus song “Crazy” and, along with several other musicians from other bands, did a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Fear of the Dark” for their Numbers from the Beast tribute album. On Light This City’s 2008 release, Stormchaser, Chuck Billy provides vocals on the song “Firehaven.”
Chuck Billy also joined with musicians including Steve Souza, Greg Bustamante, Steve Robello, Chuck’s brothers Eddie and Andy Billy, Dan Cunningham & Willy Lange to form the band Dublin Death Patrol.
In 2008 Chuck Billy did the vocals for Silent Night on the album of Christmas carols We Wish You a Metal Christmas and Headbanging New Year with the likes of Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse and John Tempesta.
In 2009 Chuck Billy appears on the song Live My Dream from the band Susperia’s album Attitude.
For the live presentation of the album Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend, he provided the voice of the Planet Smasher on the track of the same name. This happened at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2010 in Helsinki.