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Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake Award winner

Brotherhood Of The Snake
by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 20 October 2016, 10:27 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns, and is proud to present to you: TESTAMENT; signed via Nuclear Blast Records and hailing from the United States of America – performing Thrash Metal, on their 10th album entitled: “Brotherhood Of The Snake”.

TESTAMENT needs no introduction; as a big fan of Thrash Metal and the quintet in question, I was anticipating this release with exquisite hype. “Brotherhood Of The Snake” is the follow up to the astonishing 9th album, “Dark Roots Of Earth”, which I personally hold dear as a Thrash Metal masterpiece. What to make of this new outing? Well, I can certainly say with confidence that, while the previous record was masterful in its own right, “Brotherhood Of The Snake” transcends from that eminence, and updates the quartet with aggressive, yet proficient sound production that just sounds astounding for Thrash Metal. The titular track, “Brotherhood Of The Snake” released on September 2nd 2016 on YouTube; so we all surely have witnessed the excellence of that first time upon stumbling across it? Releasing on October 28th 2016; I get to enjoy the magnificence of this brilliance a few weeks early!

Now, I might be sounding like a typical fanboy…however, as a thrasher myself, I have listened to past releases such as their debut, “The Legacy”, “The New Order” & “Practice What You Preach”, for example, classic records yet their sound production isn't extravagant…80's sound production will do that though; they are however absolute classic records that I hold dear, just because their sound production isn't extravagant shouldn't mean that they should not be listened to.

Consisting of the legendary Chuck Billy on vocals, who emphasizes on complexity with clean and harsh vocal ranges at the same time is a feat in itself; the man's cords get better with age. And with age comes persistence as they say. The equally famous Eric Peterson on guitar – in his time and now, has some of the most diverse thrashing mechanics in his repertoire that practically begs to be admired with air guitar riffery. The second release in their YouTube library “Stronghold” is a fine clarification of this; it is also my personal favorite on the whole record. It basically defines the word “brutality” for me and at first admiration; it easily became my most listened track. Let's not forget the proficiency of Alex Skolnick, who is yet another -with assuredness- prominent player in this stunning inquisition. The intense powerhouse of Steve Di Giorgio on bass and Gene Hoglan on drums also contribute instrumentation that excels TESTAMENT's musicianship greatly.

Comprising of 10 spot-on tracks, ranging at around 45 minutes long, sees songs like “The Pale King” laying the hammer down. When TESTAMENT announced “Brotherhood Of The Snake” to be their most darkest record, they certainly were not wrong there. Some sinister riffery of the highest degree inhabit this album where “Seven Seals” and “Born In A Rut” are evidently prime examples of this and the record just gets better with every listen.

Centuries Of Sufferings” tells the story of a life as an outcast, which I can relate to, and it hit me hard on how accurate this song is…not only that, it's another equally pummeling track that just gets better with every listen. “Neptune's Spear”, “Black Jack” and “Canna Business” show diverse bestialities that create unique personalities of epic storytelling and songwriting. The latter exploits a story of the drug business…hence - “Canna” while implementing fierce instrumentation and continues to excel their thrashing intelligence tenfold. “Brotherhood Of The Snake” doesn't slow down and I can't praise it enough, “The Number Game” ends this album on a high note, and keeps the musicianship present making this one of their most memorable records to date. I think I've said enough; if you love your Metal as a virtuosi that takes itself to another level, TESTAMENT assuredly guarantees to ascend their Thrash proficiencies with stunning precision.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Originality: 10
Sound Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Brotherhood Of The Snake
2. The Pale King
3. Stronghold
4. Seven Seals
5. Born In A Rut
6. Centuries Of Sufferings
7. Neptune's Spear
8. Black Jack
9. Canna Business
10. The Number Game
Chuck Billy - Vocals
Eric Peterson - Guitar
Alex Skolnick - Guitar
Steve Di Giorgio - Bass
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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