Release Date: Oct 28, 2016
Record label: Nuclear Blast
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Speed/Thrash Metal
A new peak for the veteran thrashers The arguments have raged for years about whether Testament should be part of thrash’s Big Four. Well, that’s an irrelevance. Because right now the band are getting on with creating some of the best music of their career. And Brotherhood Of The Snake is arguably their best album in a quarter of a century.
Just in time for Halloween, two of metalâ€™s heaviest hitters have dropped scary new snake themed LPâ€™s. Testamentâ€™s Brotherhood of the Snake and Crowbarâ€™s The Serpent Only Lies take different approaches, but both are essential listening for the witching season. Both albums also have exquisite serpentine artwork by Eliran Kantor.
If there is anything really different about the jams on offer here, it's the preponderance of killer guitar breaks by Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick. There are solos everywhere, but they are woven so tightly into the fabric of the riff and breakdown structure, they are inseparable. The title-track opener is a primer for everything that follows. Gene Hoglan's hard-grooving double-time drum thunder is appended by the octave-bridging guitar interplay anchored by Steve DiGiorgio's bass thrum.
These are troubling times for classic metal. Greats are fading from the public consciousness, not helped by recent lacklustre releases, and even arguably the biggest metal bands on the planet are releasing massive double albums in bids to stay relevant.Throughout this uncertain time, Testament have been one of the few acts to weather the storm. Long considered to be the honorary fifth member of thrash metal's Big Four, the band sparked a renewed following after reuniting their original '80s lineup in 2005 and releasing two excellent albums in the ensuing years, 2008's The Formation of Damnation and 2012's Dark Roots of Earth.