Quite often, when a band has been around as long as Testament, there is always a risk of a lackluster effort. Let’s face it, some established artists release “okay” material and it is
wildly successful. If it was their debut, there probably wouldn’t be a follow-up album.
This is NOT the case with Testament. Brotherhood of the Snake is solid through and through. From the opening notes of the title track, the listener is pummeled by their trademark sound.
The riffs are breakneck and precise. The interplay between Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson is astounding as always. Passages are intricate, but never too busy. Solos are soaring in one moment and then biting in the next. Production quality is first rate. There are a lot of subtleties that merit repeated listenings.
These things have been the hallmark of almost any Testament album, especially in recent years. There isn’t much here that is groundbreaking, but you really don’t need it. Every song on this disc delivers.
Highlights: Brotherhood of the Snake. Lightning fast intertwining riffs, heavy drums and Chuck Billy’s guttural roar let us know this album means business.
Stronghold. Another furiously paced song, this will undoubtedly be a concert staple with built in audience participation moments throughout.
Seven Seals. Filled with haunting Biblical imagery, this song will elicit as much conversation as it will horns in the air.
Testament has been around for 30+ years. With that comes a certain level of maturity.
Lyrics are more insightful, more varied, from politics, religion, self-reflection and even space aliens.
Even so, they haven’t lost sight that the main purpose of Metal is to Kick. Your. Ass.
This album will do just that, guaranteed. 9-10 rating.
Craig E. Ob / Metalheads Forever Magazine