Sunday, 20 November 2016

Album review: TESTAMENT - Brotherhood of the Snake



Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake

1. Brotherhood of the Snake
2. The Pale King
3. Stronghold
4. Seven Seals
5. Born in a Rut
6. Centuries of Suffering
7. Black Jack
8. Neptune's Spear
9. Canna-Business
10. The Number Game
 
Testament are one of those legendary thrash bands from the 80's who've been a huge influence on their scene worldwide, and have kept going in the face of adversity. However, unlike many of their peers (*cough* The Big Four) they have never lost their way or put out substandard records. Testament always deliver. They manage to progress with each album without diluting their core sound. Every album they put out has its own individual character and is an essential part of their legacy. Whilst other bands take the easy road and regurgitate the same formula each time and milk former glories, Testament continually prove that they are masters of their art and remain on top of their game.

Brotherhood of the Snake is their eleventh studio album, and the third since the return of guitar legend Alex Skolnick. The previous two albums, Formation of Damnation and Dark Roots of Earth, were awesome and the band saw a well deserved resurgence in popularity. The good news is that Brotherhood of the Snake is even better.


Brotherhood of the Snake is a thrashing beast of an album. The musicianship is very technical but retains the ferocity needed for this kind of record. Drummer Gene Hoglan is an absolute powerhouse and again reminds us why he's so highly in demand. In my opinion he's one of the best (if not the best) metal drummers in the world. Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick deliver the world class shredding solos and heavy riffing they've become famous for with a level of class that has to be heard to be believed. Chuck Billy's vocals are also on form. He's sounding better than ever, and his distinctive voice oozes charisma. Lyrically, the album is influenced by an 6000 year old secret society which debarred all religions. It's a cool concept and works well with the music.

If you're already a Testament fan, I'm sure you have very high expectations for this album, based on the previous two. They've surpassed my expectations and Brotherhood of the Snake is one of their best albums yet. It's certainly my favourite thrash album of the year so far.

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