Testament’s “Brotherhood of the Snake” builds off the momentum of their previous two studio releases, 2012’s “Dark Roots of Earth” and 2008’s “The Formation of Damnation.” This album is fast, heavy, intricate, extremely aggressive, and does not quit from start to finish.
Brotherhood of the Snake is loosely strung together with bits of a concept about a secret society that anonymously controls the general society around them , inspired by ancient Sumerian scriptures that a the secret Sumerian society. One of the factors that adds variety to this album are the stand-alone tracks not involving this concept, such as “Black-Jack” and the political “Canna-Business,” which tells us how Testament really feels about the devil’s grass. SPOILERS: They like it. For the most part, each track provides a glimpse into this secret group of control.
From the opening self-titled track “Brotherhood of the Snake,” to the closing “The Number Game,” there really is no “lull” or “filler” on this album. What stands out most is the band’s endurance, as each track keeps a consistent aggression. With that said, this album does not become repetitive. Releasing a collection of constant hard-hitting/fast-paced songs brings the risk of each track blending together, becoming boring for the listener. This album does not fall into that trap. The addition of SADUS bassist Steve DiGiorgio could be partially responsible for the high-energy on this album, but as a whole, Testament stepped up for this effort on every level.
Long-time fans will likely agree this album was worth the wait. And for those not familiar with the thrash legends, GET WITH IT. Testament should not be ignored, and this is an excellent jumping off point if you’re open to working backwards through their catalog as a newcomer. Notable tracks include “The Pale King,” “Neptune’s Spear,” and of course, the opening title track.
Metal bands, particularly thrash-metal bands, have consistently stepped-up to the plate in 2016. From Megadeth, to Slayer and Anthrax, our Thrash forefathers have been eating their Wheaties or something, because this year has been Christmas-come-early for the metal community. Testament’s newest effort is no exception, and helps to close out the year on a high note.
Testament’s Brotherhood of the Snake” was released Oct, 28 2016 and is now available. For more album reviews, concert reviews and news, visit us at Alive N' Loud.