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Testament Brotherhood Of The Snake Review
TESTAMENT
BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE

NUCLEAR BLAST
Release Date: October 28th 2016

Tesla

Bay Area thrash veterans Testament have done it again with their latest album "Brotherhood Of The Snake", making it one of the contenders for metal album of the year. The signature Testament sound, the thrashy speeds, the groove oriented tracks, brilliant solos and Chuck Billy sounding in top form. This is Testament at their very best!
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"Brotherhood Of The Snake" is an absolute beast of an album from start to finish. No fillers, no ballads, no meandering around. Just straight up balls to the wall thrash metal from start to finish. That's not to say the album is one dimensional and contains only the speed stuff, that couldn't be further from the truth. But the amount of solid material contains within one record is enough to question whether Testament can really ever top it. At this stage of their career and to be putting out albums like this is truly mind blowing, the opening title track gives a fairly good indication of what to expect but it can give the impression that there is so much more to come, and there is.

The album follows on from the last few albums like "Dark Roots Of Earth" and "The Formation Of Damnation" where the band blend all the best parts of Testament , from the old school thrash hits to the modern and more aggressive, heavier stuff that the band played around with in the 90's. The signature stuff is still there though, "The pale King" naturally following the title track is groove oriented with a brilliant riff that mixes in time with Gene Hoglan's kick drum. The old school vibe continues into the chorus with a very traditional early '80's sound too which shows some of the band's roots. "Stronghold" has that strong Bay Area sound to it but there's a modern feel injected into it so it doesn't sound so rehashed whereas "Centuries Of Suffering" is Testament at it's heaviest and most aggressive form, it's blast beats, double kicks and Chuck's growls just scream metal through and through.

Some of the highlights though are the throwbacks to albums like "Practice What You Preach" and "Souls Of Black" where the band started to add more groove into their music, "Born In A Rut" is a great example of this with a catchy as hell chorus that is sure to be a winner live. When Chck sings the line 'I don't really give a damn, I was born to lose', you can't help but sing along and it's moments like this that are all over this album. 'Neptune's Spear" is another great track and kinda reminds me of "Down For Life" off "The Gathering" album. And it continues on right through to the end of the album, even with closer "The Number Game" which has got to be pretty close to being the best song on the album. And that's the final song on the album too!

Overall not just another solid effort from these Bay Area veterans, it's an album that will contest anything in 2016 for metal album of the year. 11 albums in and Testament not only deliver again but show absolutely no signs of slowing down or suffering from a lack of ideas and below average songwriting. This is Testament at their very best!


TRACKLIST
Brotherhood of the Snake
The Pale King
Stronghold
Seven Seals
Born in a Rut
Centuries of Suffering
Black Jack
Neptune's Spear
Canna-Business
The Number Game


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Review by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie