Testament
Brotherhood of the Snake


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chamberbelain USER (141 Reviews)
October 28th, 2016 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 21st Century thrash metal: 101

In a world where bands need to progress to continue to remain relevant, sometimes you just need to listen to some music which is nothing more than it ever has been. Contrary to the aggressive characteristics like rapid tempos, shredding guitar solos and straight lyricism, thrash is one of the most accessible genres of metal because it’s so simple to understand. As thrilling as it is to listen to death metal or black metal, it’s not until you dismantle these genres that you start to understand what is going on; whereas thrash has a very instant sound and just as immediate effect.

Another great thing about it is that the best thrash metal hasn’t dated, even after 30+ years, so when you listen to classic albums like “Master of Puppets”, “Reign in Blood”, “Bonded By Blood” or “Rust in Peace” etc, it’s not like you indulge in some sort of nostalgia trip-they’re still relevant now and still as intoxicating. Another album that still stands proud after 28 years is “The New Order” by Testament. Though not as renowned as The Big 4, Testament have remained firm favourites of the genre they belong to and have produced several defining albums while still remaining just as potent as they did three decades ago.

This potency is instantly affirmed in “Brotherhood of the Snake” as the opening title track slams into a full on thrashnado of rapid riffs, screeching solos and governmental lyricism and the rest of the album only continues to display Testament’s refusal to age. ‘Stronghold’ exhibits some brisk, jagged riffs that trample over anything in the vicinity and ‘Black Jack’ has a more rock ‘n’ roll feel to it but the furious pace of the song gives Testament that hefty metal muscle. As well as speed and toxic ferocity, the shimmering, melodious side of thrash metal is exposed during tracks like ‘Neptune’s Fountain’, which are the closest thing to a moment’s respite that this album has to offer.

With the typically masterful Andy Sneap mixing Testament’s eleventh album, you can be rest assured that the talents of each member are gleefully presented to their full potential. Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson are all over the place, spitting out venomous riffs and shredding solos relentlessly, particularly on ‘Canna-Business,’ and Gene Holgan’s finest moment of the album is on the closer, ‘The Number Game’, where his rattling drumming leads an unstoppable assault flanked by furiously fast riffing from his colleagues. Chuck Billiy is arguable what makes Testament sound so distinct, compared to their peers. Whether he’s snarling on ‘The Pale King’, growling on ‘Centuries of Suffering’, his barking approach is flawless. The huge choruses that made previous albums so accessible are few on this album however the lack of sing along moments is totally countered by the eclipsing thrashy elements.

There’s absolutely no sense of progression from previous albums: this is just standard Testament being Testament-but at the top of their game. “Brotherhood of the Snake” is an entirely predictable album and perhaps that’s why it won’t be considered as victorious as their first 2 albums but it’s heartening to know that 30 years later they still know how thrash should be done.



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user ratings (226)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
DrJohn (3)
Thrash 'n' Ladders you maggots! Move it!...

ChaoticVortex (4.5)
Intense, hard-hitting and dynamic, Testament returns with glory and take no prisoners in the process...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


10460 Comments


Can't wait to hear this

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MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


1237 Comments


I've never been so keen to hear something that's nothing I've not heard before.

CaliggyJack
October 28th 2016


1765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy nuts I love this

ChaoticVortex
October 28th 2016


444 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. Pos'd. Album kicks ass.

Itwasthatwas
October 28th 2016


1350 Comments


Chuck Billy has become such a good vocalist with the Gathering onwards.

StrikeOfTheBeast
October 28th 2016


1090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The band's never made anything bad so I gather I should check this?

Ebola
October 28th 2016


2709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome year for classic thrash, this and Death Angel both go hard as fuck

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Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2016


7490 Comments


I like the old school blues/hard rock vibe the album has stashed in the rear.

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ash5150
November 11th 2016


3 Comments


I discovered these guys with Practice What You Preach. I love Brotherhood Of The Snake for the same reason. It has a dynamic and a sound that's sorely missing from most thrash albums. But best compliment that I can give is when you hear Testaments music you know it's them straight away and there aren't too many bands that you say that about these days. I like it.

parksungjoon
November 11th 2016


5232 Comments


didnt even know theres a new one lol

parksungjoon
November 11th 2016


5232 Comments


"The band's never made anything bad"

i mean testament rule but cmon

Shadowmire
November 11th 2016


4387 Comments


it's pretty good park tbh but i don't dig modern thrash and i couldn't hear digiorgio

parksungjoon
November 11th 2016


5232 Comments


digiorgio is on this?!?!

and u cant hear him?!?!

prob a pass

i mean modern thrash is trash for the most part, dark roots was k

Shadowmire
November 11th 2016


4387 Comments


yeah i was hype and then i couldnt hear him so didnt spin again
i'm sure he's in there somewhere though

parksungjoon
November 11th 2016


5232 Comments


it should actually be a crime to ahve someone so skilled on ur album and fuck up the mixing or not give him too much to work with

Brewtality91
December 27th 2016


632 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is kinda boring. The Formation of Damnation is the last album that I could enjoy front to back. Dark Roots got boring after the 5th song, if I recall correctly.



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FirstStrikeIsDeadly
January 3rd 2017


908 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

peeping this right now and holy shit, the title and lyrics to canna-business

"Canna-business is away of life

Healing the sick while all the rest get high

Canna-business is living for the dream

Stoned world order is bringing in the green"

Maco097
February 1st 2017


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Listening to this right now and I'm asking myself when the fuck is going to end.

ViperAces
April 22nd 2017


12570 Comments


how is this compared to dark roots?

OmairSh
May 8th 2017


14175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't understand why so many modern metal albums are so heavily compressed. It's suffocating



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