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TESTAMENT Brotherhood Of The Snake

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 @ 8:01 AM


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TESTAMENT
Brotherhood Of The Snake

2016 Nuclear Blast




For those who thought that it was going to be a tenuous challenge for the legendary forbearers of thrash to measure up to 2012’s epic Dark Roots Of Earth, TESTAMENT responded to that challenge some tenfold with Brotherhood Of The Snake, an album rampant with lyrical imagery about secrecy, deception, greed and an insane amount of metallic riffs so tight you can feel the pick make contact with the strings.

Inspired by the TV series Ancient Aliens and named after an actual secret society that was bent on abolishing all religions with the end goal to enslave mankind and plunder its natural resources, Brotherhood Of The Snake kicks off with its mid-tempo title track, featuring the dual guitar assault of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson competing against the thundering blast beats of Gene Hoglan. “Stronghold” boasts a groove friendly rhythm that’s just as catchy as its anthemic chorus as it breaks the speed limit 20 seconds in, its mantra of “What do the people want to do?” resounding as the battle cry of the new era. “Centuries Of Suffering” is also a full-throttle apocalyptic masterpiece with Skolnick and Peterson’s twin solo work dominating the nucleus of the song. And the intro to “Neptune’s Spear” has both a catchy yet hard-driving hook that drives its way through the whole song.

As hokey as some of the musical inspiration for Brotherhood Of The Snake may appear initially at first glance - including the decision to title a song “Canna Business” about drug legalization - there’s not a hint of slowing down musically for TESTAMENT on this album at all. If anything, the band appear more strong-sounding and cohesive and have taken more risks in delegating the duties of writing the lyrics and music as much as they have in the tasks themselves.

Bassist Steve DiGeorgio has undertaken a larger role in penning the music for the album, a first since his work on 2001’s First Strike Still Deadly, though otherwise the production of the music was largely Billy and Peterson’s domain throughout. Alex Skolnick and Gene Hoglan also display some of their most hard-hitting performances on the album, particularly on “Centuries Of Suffering”, “The Number Game” and the title track - quite the accomplishment considering how tight their schedules outside of TESTAMENT had been throughout the past year while the album was in its planning stages. Incidentally, full credit goes to Chuck Billy for penning the lyrics to all of the songs separately from the music that Eric Peterson wrote before either had the chance to go over their ideas with the rest of the band.

Understandably, it’s a process he’s said that he doesn’t want to revisit in his manner of songwriting even if it did demonstrate his tenacity in adapting to a tight schedule, allowing for the band to really bond as one and produce a disc that not only coils and twists into new shapes, but also keeps its soft underbelly close to the ground.

Catch the brotherhood coming to your ‘hood in the spring when they hit the road with SEPULTURA and PRONG.

http://www.testamentlegions.us/
http://www.facebook.com/testamentlegions
http://www.nuclearblast.de/testament

4.5 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of Brotherhood Of The Snake in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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