The Formation of Damnation is the ninth studio album by Testament, which was released on April 29, 2008. It is the first album Testament has released of new material since 1999's The Gathering, although the band re-recorded some of their early material for 2001's First Strike Still Deadly. It is also Testament's first release with original guitarist Alex Skolnick since 1992's The Ritual and bassist Greg Christian since 1994's Low.
The follow-up to The Gathering was first mentioned in 2002 and was originally due for release in early 2004, but was not yet completed. Due to the band's touring schedule and many line-up changes, the album was set aside for a number of years before finally being completed in 2007/2008.
The album debuted at no. 59 on the Billboard 200 Chart, selling 11,900 copies in its first week. It won the "Best Album" award at Metal Hammer's Golden Gods Awards ceremony on 16 June 2008, beating albums by Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Children of Bodom and Down. They later named it the 4th best album of 2008 in their end-of year top 50 albums list. In addition, Metal-Rules.com voted it the best metal album of 2008.
Testament first mentioned their follow-up to The Gathering in May 2002, stating that guitarist Eric Peterson was "busy writing new material" for the album that would take "little more time since The Gathering" and be "a challenging act to follow". It was also confirmed that the album would be brutal "with a lot of dual lead trade-offs between guitarists Peterson and Skolnick."
On February 15, 2004, it was announced that former Forbidden/Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph would join the band to record the album. It was also announced that the band was planning on entering the studio in April/May, with an intended release date of late 2004.
On October 12, 2004, Testament posted a long update about the album:
“Eric Peterson has been given the green light to drive again by his doctor following his long recovery from a triple-fracture le...