The true brotherhood of Californian Thrash Titans, Testament who have been consistent since their formations in 1983, release their 11th bone-crushing offering of the damned. Starting with title-track, Brotherhood of the Snake, the band return in fine form since we heard them last in 2012 with the epic Dark Roots of Earth, which I’m sure I among many punters caught them down under at the late Soundwave Festival. It is no doubt the band deliver on stage but does this album stand up to its previous opus? The answer is yes absofuckinglutely!!!
The distinct voice of Chuck Billy is what separates him from his peers. The Pale King is a standout with the Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick combo coming forward with their constant slaughter of the fret board. Billy‘s vocal delivery is stellar and one catchy chorus makes for a classic metal track. The spoken word adds that dark edge which leads up to exactly that, some infectious leads and inspiring guitar solos. Testament comes at full force with the anthem, Stronghold. An absolute behemoth behind the drums is the legendary Gene Hoglan, my favourite drummer without a doubt. Just look at his Resume with bands such as Death, Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, Fear Factory, Zimmer’s Hole and even Dethklok. The man is a site that has to be seen to be believed. His drumming on this record paves the way for some first class thrash.
The headbanging Born in A Rut features a bass groove by Master of the four string, Steve Di Giorgio sure to get you in the mood for a good sing-a-long Chuck style. You can picture legions singing in and out of sync from the pit. Other highlights include the thrash fest that is Centuries of Suffering. This heavy hitter along with other greats such as Neptune’s Spear; just check out that guitar solo at around the 2:43 mark, and even closing off with a bang on final track the Number Game. Time to hit repeat and give this mighty disc another spin. It looks like this will be one record not to leave the stereo anytime soon.
All killer, no filler; every tune has the potential to be another Testament favourite. With 10 solid tracks, Testament prove yet again why they are at the top of their game when it comes to releasing killer thrash records and metal in general.