testament_brotherhood-of-the-snake2016 will go down as the year 80s thrash legends struck a blow for the AARP crowd. It’s the year Anthrax, Megadeth and Death Angel all shook off the dust and complacency, releasing shockingly good albums, and in what may be the final sign of the Apocalypse, even Metallica seems poised to drop something marginally listenable next month1. You can now add Testament to the list of revitalized geezers, as they triumphantly end a 4-year hiatus with Brotherhood of the Snake. With bass master Steve Digiorgio returning to the fold to join drum lord Gene Hoglan, Testament has their most potent line up since The Gathering, and can credibly claim to be the most talent-stacked thrash band around. But do all those magical chops and nimble fingers translate into hard-hitting, quality thrash for the filthy, High Top clad masses? Why yes, they do, as Testament picks up where they left off on Dark Roots of the Earth and continues to craft high quality, high energy speed with as much musical flair and panache as anyone out there.

Brotherhood is a concept album inspired by ancient Sumerian scripts dealing with power-hungry secret societies, serpents, and aliens, so in a nutshell: Scientology. The wonky subject matter doesn’t get in the way of the music however, as this is the Testament we know and love. The opening title track’s first strike is still deadly and heavy enough to please the most jaded thrasher. Chuck Billy’s bully bellows are as big and booming as ever and the music behind him is impressive. The speed is there, slick riffs are plentiful, and the melodic segment at 2:25 adds an interesting texture.

“The Pale King” mixes traditional metal ideas with their usual thrash for something akin to Nevermore and Brainstorm and it really clicks. “Seven Seals” is like their spin on “Creeping Death” with a goodly amount of classic Metallica influence skulking amid the flashy guitar wizardry and technical know-how, and they even toss off some Slayer-like whammy dives for regional solidarity. “Born in a Rut” sees a return to the swagger of their Practice What You Preach era, and the mid-tempo swing of the song is a nice change-up. Other fine moments include the vicious, quasi-death metal of “Centuries of Suffering,” and the vintage stomp and slash of “Neptune’s Spear,” which features some of the album’s best riffs and a ridiculous amount of guitar pyrotechnics.

testament_2016

There are no “bad” tracks, but closer “Numbers Game” is less memorable than its surrounding ilk despite some ripping performances. Another dent in the skull tank is the feeling the album runs a tad long despite its modest 10-track/45-minute length. Lastly, the production is a tad on the loud side, and though you can discern what’s going on, a richer mix would have helped the highly impressive performances really sizzle and pop.

Speaking of performances, this is essentially the A-Team of 80s thrash. Chuck Billy sounds as huge as ever, showcasing the full range of his vocal prowess. From manly roars to clean singing and death rasps – he is the Ageless One. The guitar tandem of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson is the best in the business and they go all out to show why. From memorable riffs to showboating but always tasteful shreddery, they have few peers and this may just capture them at their wanky best. On songs like “Centuries of Suffering” and “Neptune’s Spear” they run a Master class on soloing and dueling harmonies that simply has to be heard. And how many bands sport an equally impressive back line? Gene Hoglan can do anything with a drum kit, and here he does everything. From twisting, tumbling rolls and fills to lightning blastbeats, he’s like an ungodly machine. And through all his chaotic pummeling and percussive dynamism, there’s Steve Digiorgio right there with him, putting in a top-flight, surprisingly audible bass show. To call this band tight is to belittle their skill level.

I suspected Testament would keep the 80s thrash resurgence going and they did not disappoint. This is one of the most technically adroit thrash albums you’ll hear, yet that technicality doesn’t come at the expense of heaviness or speed. These old dogs have learned new tricks, opened the kennel gates and fled into the night with testicles intact. Thanks for putting a twinkle in all these old school wrinkles.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 275 kbps mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU][US]
Websites: testamentlegions.com/site | facebook.com/testamentlegions
Releases Worldwide: October 28th, 2016

 

Show 1 footnote

  1. Not having received the memo regarding  2016’s mission statement, Slayer opted to remain Repentless.
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  • herrschobel

    the amount of Reviews kills me. I love this site, but i said that before…now for some Testament !

  • Reese Burns

    If rate it a point higher, personally. But I guess that’s just personal taste.

  • GardensTale

    Unnnggggghhhhh fuck yes! I’m not big on thrash in general but I gladly make an exception for Testament. I loved Dark Roots, glad to hear this is not a letdown.

  • Pedro Morini Mietto

    Why not a 4.0?

    • It was right on the edge.

      • GardensTale

        I know we’re supposed to round down, but… Fuck that shit sideways in this case. 4.0 no brainer!

      • Pedro Morini Mietto

        Understood, but it sounds unfair to me put this on a lower level than For All Kings. But that’s just my opinion, anyway.

        • I think For All Kings is the better album overall. Opinions may differ.

          • Reese Burns

            See, I loved For All Kings, but this album resonates with me a lot more than it did on initial listen.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Both Death Angel’s “Lost” and Anthrax’s “Monster at the End” are among my favourite songs of 2016. However, the Anthrax album could have used a little trimming.

      • Kalsten

        When on the edge, just jump. I was used to told that, but I was fired from the anti-suicidal squad of the police department :(

      • Kill The King

        4.0!!!!

      • flashgordon

        9 days later: you really missed something here! Easily >= 4.0!

      • Greg Hasbrouck

        Have to agree with the prevailing sentiment; this is at least a 4.

    • flashgordon

      Judging by the title track, this really isn’t a less than 4 album!!

    • OzanCan

      yeah definitely why not a 4.0??????

    • dblbass

      My score for the album is a definite 4.0. My take on it is the AMGs made a mistake. It’s as simple as that. But that’s okay. I still like ’em.

  • Ferrous Beuller

    Basking in the First Strike Is Deadly reference.

  • Akerblogger

    For whatever reason I’ve always skirted around Testament, however with DiGiorgio on bass, Hoglan continuing his wizardry on drums, a dynamic Chuck chucking in some snarling rage and some blackened-death touches I might just delve into this with arms wide open.

    • GardensTale

      The track where it clicked for me earlier this year was “True American Hate” from Dark Roots. The groove on that track is insane.

  • Jason

    I can’t wait to pick this up Friday! Testament have been on a roll since The Gathering.

    • eloli

      Totally.
      The Gathering is my favorite Testament album, bar none, and IMO, is much better than The Legacy or The New Order, problem is, it came out during their career low point, popularity wise.

      • Jason

        Being released on the short-lived Spitfire Records (I think) probably didn’t help either. I’ve given The Gathering a lot of spins, but I still love The Legacy and The New Order. I think the album I give the least love to is The Ritual.

        • eloli

          IMO, Testament was Metallica lite + a hot shot guitarist until Low, they really delivered on that album. Too bad thrash was yesterday’s news by that point.

          • Jason

            That’s an interesting perspective. I didn’t discover them until Souls of Black was already out and I saw the video for Practice What You Preach on Headbanger’s Ball. (I realize that song is on a different album. That’s just the only Testament video I ever saw until “Electric Crown.”) I guess Chuck’s vocals were enough for me to not even think about Metallica comparisons at the time.

            I agree that Low was a career high point that happened to come while fewer people were paying attention. Didn’t James Murphy play on that record?

          • eloli

            Yup, and he also played guitar on The Gathering.
            The Gathering, IMO, had the best Testament lineup in history: Billy-Peterson-Murphy-DiGiorgio-Lombardo.

  • Mr T

    I might have to give this a few spins. Been a while since I gave them much attention… When was Low. 22 years ago?! Well damn, now I feel old :/

    • You are olde.

    • Jason

      Low was a good one. Love “Dog-Faced Gods.”

    • Wilhelm

      Low was awesome

      • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

        Hell, yes it was!

  • defjam

    Can’t wait to see them live on December 1st. Not overly impressed with The Formation and Dark Roots (since I will forever be an ’80s boy) but live they simply kill.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I haven’t listened to this yet but I have been triggered by this quote: “Anthrax, Megadeth and Death Angel (…) releas[ed] shockingly good albums.”

    Man, thrash fans are easy to please. For All Whinge (probably the best of the bunch), Chugtopia and The Evil Tryhard couldn’t lace Terminal Redux or Post-Society’s boots. Even Helstar’s latest was better than those and I wouldn’t give it more than 3.0.

    Btw, here’s a list of other thrash albums by classic bands that were not up to snuff: Artillery, Exumer, Flotsam and Jetsam, Protector, Destruction, Paradox, Sodom.

    I guess classic thrash bands released such awful crap before that releasing something mediocre is now celebrated. Thrash snob, out.

    • The above rant is insane and irrational.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Excellent argument. I must concede.

        • It’s not like you bothered to put together an argument other than “these albums are shit”, so Druhm can be forgiven for responding in kind.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Well, that was part of it. What else do I have but my opinion?

            I’ll put it to you this way, here’s that same list of bands, their best, worst and most recent albums and let’s see what kind of pattern we get:
            Anthrax: Persistence of Time > We’ve Come for You All > For All Kings
            Megadeth: Rust in Peace > Super Collider > Dystopia
            Death Angel: Ultraviolence > Frolic Through the Park > The Evil Divide
            Artillery: By Inheritance > My Blood > Penalty by Perception
            Flotsam: Doomsday for the Deciever > Ugly Noise > self-titled
            Destruction: Eternal Devastation > The Least Successful Human Cannonball > Under Attack
            Helstar: Nosferatu > Multiples of Black > Vampiro

            I’ll save the german bros Exumer, Paradox, Sodom and Protector from this analysis because I think their latest albums are their worst.

            Pattern: legendary album > absolute dreck > subpar album. So, my thesis here is that these are being apologetically given higher regard than they should because they are not pure unfiltered shit.

            “These albums are shit” is surface level stuff. I ain’t mad at Druhm, he’s a cool chap who obviously disagrees with me. Which is fine. But I do have an argument. Whether it’s “irrational and insane” is a matter of where your bar for “good thrash” is. Feel free to disagree.

          • Dethjesta

            For me ‘Among the Living’ is Anthrax’s best album (with Persistence of Time 2nd) and that the latest is better than subpar as it would appear in the top half if I were to rank all their albums in order.

            But this is just my opinion.

          • Morrowind542

            In one sense I agree with you; most of these new albums aren’t as good as the classics, and I do think that people are rating them higher than they would have if the bands weren’t coming off a string a shitty albums.

            However, the albums are still fairly good. I can’t speak to all the recent releases, but I quite enjoyed Dystopia and For All Kings. IMO, Testament’s latest albums have been the best in their discography, and this album doesn’t break that streak

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Yeah, well, they are not horrid but if For All Kings and Dystopia were released in 1990 they would be ridiculed. Like, literally ripped to shreds.

          • theburningdown

            Nah I don’t think Dystopia would have been ridiculed in 1990 – it would have followed So Far, So Good…So What if it came out in 1990 instead of Rust In Peace and okay Dystopia is no Rust In Peace but So Far, So Good was an uneven record (In My Darkest Hour and Hook in Mouth excepted) which was a bit of a disappointment at the time

          • André Snyde Lopes

            You make a very good point. But I was talking about in relation to what was coming out at the time. Stuff like Coma of Souls, Never Neverland, By Inheritance, Twisted into Form, From This Day Forward, Suiciety, Think This, Swallowed in Black, Slaughter in the Vatican, Seasons in the Abyss etc etc, not to mention all that had come out in 1989 like No More Color, Nosferatu, Alice in Hell, Victims of Science, Extreme Aggression, Handle With Care, The Years of Decay, Dreamweaver, Beneath the Remains, Agent Orange and the list goes on.

            Against a list like that, you have Dystopia, For All Kings or The Evil Divide? No dude. Never.

          • theburningdown

            Fair point when you reel off those albums. I just found Megadeth so maddeningly inconsistent at the time (they still are!), I loved the Peace Sells album but So Far, So Good was so up and down, thankfully Rust In Peace was a stone cold classic from start to finish. Always enjoyed listening to Testament but felt they lacked that memorable killer song or two to challenge the big 4. Formation and Dark Roots are as good as their 80s heyday in my opinion. Yes, sometimes there’s just a sense of relief that the 80s thrashers aren’t embarrassing themselves on modern day releases, especially when one considers some of the crap Metallica have subjected us to over the last two decades (hopefully to be redeemed next month)

          • I grew up in the original thrash era and naturally I loved all the big names. There is a sense of nostalgia when bands like this release something, no doubt, but I also expect more from them than I do some other retro-thrash act. Of the releases this year, I think only For All Kings comes close to the band’s classic era. This one is very good, but not quite there.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            As a young’un I can’t really relate, sorry. My nostalgia for metal (outside of my brother’s Rammstein tapes) only goes back 9 years…

            Rest easy, Druhm, Multiples of Black was my example of a terrible Helstar album.

          • I know. I was going to make a joke about it but it wasn’t working.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            Which in turn justifies my own opinion that Terminal Redux is only good because it is comparatively better than the current thrash scene.

            IMO, Terminal Redux is a 3.0 at BEST. It suffers from a lot of the same issues as the new Allegaeon, but because tech-death is so over-saturated right now, it is fine to bolster a “crap heap” sticker and call it a day.

            Uninformed snob, out.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            I think you’re being overly picky by comparing something a band is doing now to something they did 30 years ago.
            I’ve really enjoyed the Sodom, Death Angel and Anthrax albums this year. Also the Fates warnings album is on my EOYL. Dark Roots was a great album and early indications are that this BotS is a good time too.
            For All Kings to me is the album I’ve been waiting for since Persistence of time.. I don’t think it’s really a thrash album anyway, more like a straight up metal album. Either way it’s a completely different beast to Vektor and in my mind they’re not in competition with each other at all…

          • André Snyde Lopes

            I tend to agree with most of what you said, mostly. Anthrax did release more of a straight up heavy metal album rather than thrash. Fates Warning stopped being power/thrash a long time ago. They’re decidedly prog now as well even if they still carry (rather proudly, I must say) their tech-thrash influence.

            I am comparing something from 30 years ago to now. That was precisely the point: to show the abyss of quality between them. I’m not telling you to not enjoy them. I enjoy Helstar and Anthrax’s latest albums but they’re just not that good.

        • Sophocles

          I am 41, I am not into thrash as I was back in late 80s, early 90s and I will never try to compare this year’s albums of the classic names with the old ones, it is pointless. Thrash was and always be about the sentiment, what makes your head bang, that’s it. This years albums of Anthrax, Testament are really good albums in this context. They dont redefine the genre but they have great ideas. They still have it and they have nothing else to prove.
          Vektor on the other side, since they try retro (a word that negates anything prog about it), well they have hell of a lot to prove. They are technical, they have lightning speed, they write good instrumentals but that voice is awful and the album is way too long to become memorable. And since they dont have a back catalogue like the classic bands to deserve my respect, I judged them harsh and after a couple of spins I moved on.
          * Sorry if I misplaced this comment, I meant to put it in the end of this discussion :)

          • Bob

            Calling the new Anthrax “thrash” is beyond stretching it. I couldn’t handle their last two, as to me, an old school trasher raised on the 80’s stuff, feels they sound like pop metal. This new testament still has some edge and grit to it, in a very refined and polished way. Anthrax and Testament are not part of the same genre anymore.

          • Sophocles

            I guess you are right, after 4-5 albums they took different paths, just think of “attack of the killer bees” or Stomp 442… But they were both thrash-driven and considered pioneers of thrash. And now that I think of it, the new Anthrax has some pop in it but also sounds more mosh than some of their previous works. Goddamn we are talking about bands that survived the stupid grunge period *vomit*!

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Thank goodness because I was about to start listing all the ways in which you are wrong!

    • The Nerd.

      Vektor was highly overrated and wouldn’t have gotten a 2.0 from me.

      • Reese Burns

        Whaaaa? I can usually understand how tastes differ and all, but I can’t wrap my head around a 2.0. Where do you feel it falls short?

        • The Nerd.

          Vocals are completely fetid, so that drops it 1.5 points for me and it’s too damn long. So 1.5 points lost there.

          The instrumentals are awesome which saves it from a lower mark. I don’t rate too many things high. The new Devin Townsend was 3.5 for me and I’m a huge Townsend fan. Insomnium is my highest mark in 3 years at 4.5

          • Reese Burns

            It’s been said before around here that vocals are usually the main reason for disagreements on what’s a good and what’s a bad record, and I guess it’s true, I really liked them. Fair is fair though.

          • The Nerd.

            For me vocals make or break an album. Take for example Avenged Sevenfold, City of Evil. As he’s gotten older Shadows has gotten better as a vocalist, but he was just so damn whiny on the album and it turned me off for a couple years. Even with the great instrumentals .

            Nightmare was when I first noticed he had gotten really good with his clean vocals.

          • Reese Burns

            City of Evil I feel needs a rerecording, some of the songs are unlistenable to me because of that, but the riffs underneath the vocals are begging to be heard

          • The Nerd.

            Fully agreed. And I listened to The Stage and it has me really hyped for the new record. So good

          • Reese Burns

            I’m excited too! I heard it’ll be out December ninth, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for that!

          • Reese Burns

            Update: the album is actually out tomorrow, it’s going to be called “The Stage”, and Amazon already has a page for it, I’m pretty stoked! The closing track is almost 16 minutes long, so I’m really curious to hear it!

          • The Nerd.

            Wait are you fucking serious!! Hype HYPE HYPE!!!

          • The Nerd.

            The whole album is 70+ minutes so I’m a little concerned.

          • Reese Burns

            I’m listening now, it’s super weird, not in a bad way though!

          • The Nerd.

            I listened to it last night. Very Prog like. It’s a huge step up from Hail to the King.

          • Reese Burns

            I loved the spoken word bit by Neil DeGrass Tyson on Exist, it made the whole thing sound a lot more hopeful and uplifting, it was cool

          • The Nerd.

            Tyson got Pluto demoted from a planet. For that he can kiss my ass.

          • [not a Dr]

            He can kiss Uranus.

          • The Nerd.

            Oh man……HOW DID I NOT USE THAT!!!!!!

      • herrschobel

        that´s just insane.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        This is a safe space where your terrible opinion is OK and the laughter you hear is not at you it’s with you… I mean about something else…

        • The Nerd.

          I know it’s not a popular opinion.

    • eloli

      Completely agree with your rant, as a thrash fan, I’m very easy to please.
      Regarding this year’s thrash records, except for Exumer, who write better songs now than they did back in the day, and maybe Death Angel which was better than I expected I agree with you… my take on the love Dystopia and For All Kings have generated is just because they’re not complete pieces of shit, it’s that simple.
      Regarding Vektor… these guys are no Voivod, and Terminal Redux gets really old after a couple of spins.

    • herrschobel

      yeah…kinda true….there is Vektor and then…nooooooooo((0))oooooothing….a looooo(((o)))ooooong dark cold void of nothingness…Testament is not going to change that….

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Check out Ripper

        • herrschobel

          haha…thanks mate…my kind of Thrash ! dirty and mean

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            My pleasure someone did me the same favour :)

          • herrschobel

            there is so much good stuff coming out lately that a lot just passes me by…so much good music and sooooo little time :-)

    • Bas

      I’m an old thrash fan and easy to please .. I love the last ones from death angel, voivod and Testament (never been a great Antrax fan; I do love old Megadeth.. but I have been disappointed too many times by them…him… to love the new one).

      As classic doom metal fan I am even easier to please !!!
      ;-)

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      No need to be grumpy…

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Grumpy is my middle name! Well… It’s actually Snyde. Close enough, right?

    • Norfair Legend

      I think the F&J album was really solid and I still put it on quite often, the others I completely agree with.

  • David Christian Dalton

    I don’t know if there has EVER been a more lame fashion statement than Dad Metal bands wearing sunglasses (especially wraparounds) in band photos. The absolute worst. Oh, Metallica, yet another thing you have to answer for…but 28 years later and it’s still a MANDATORY CLICHE.

    • eloli

      I’m 44 and still go to work on black band t-shirts on casual Friday.
      It’s not a fashion statement, is that dads like me tend to dress like we dressed back when we were in our late teens, early 20s, aka, the last time we were actually cool. It’s much worse when we try to look up to date on our wardrobe. :D

      • David Christian Dalton

        I’m 48. My son is 17. I go to work in black band shirts. It’s that “marketable update” that these photos represent. It’s the cliche. I just sent ten similar band photos to two other friends from high school, complaining about the same thing.

        We did NOT look like that in 1984, 1988, 1992 or 2001! That and the “old bald guy wears dew rag” just make me lose my mind!

        • David Christian Dalton

          Ol’ Tom Araya…sad that it is total disengagement from and absolute disinterest in his job that causes him to actually NOT participate in the “fall-in-line” group-mentality of these promo shots. Heh… ;) http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4e458275cf3e32deca359421317bbb0433bced254c8d9f75580785adc597ad14.jpg

        • eloli

          Well, I looked like that in 1988 and 1992, and except for the wraparounds, I might look a lot like that on a casual Friday. Mind you, I’m still prettier and skinnier than those guys, but I did use wraparounds back then. :D

      • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

        A quote from “Tester” from John Bush off Anthrax’s Stomp 442: “I change by staying the same…”. Stay the course eloli!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Why is it lame? I bet they all normally wear wrap arounds like most blokes of their vintage do.

      • David Christian Dalton

        Posing for pictures. Petulant posturing. It is horrible!

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          That makes no sense

          • David Christian Dalton

            I am generally perceived as incoherent, at best, most days of my life. I understand! :)

  • Dethjesta

    Really looking forward to this album coming out. Glad to hear that the trend of good thrash records is continuing this year (and we really don’t need another Slayer album).

  • dedseed1

    Man, I remember using my hard earned paper route money to buy Practice What You Preach as my very first musical purchase. Wore that fucking cassette out! That being said, love me some Testament and looking forward to this release.

  • sir_c

    I like the embedded track and Gene is doing a good job. Only I don’t like the clickety sound the drums make.

  • Meshuggah, Opeth and now Testament all get 3.5 that means nothing .

  • The Nerd.

    This truly is the best Thrash band right now. They don’t fuck around. I’ve been underwhelmed by the Thrash this year unfortunately. Vektor is HIGHLY overrated, Megadeth and Anthrax had really good albums but overall just hasn’t been a good year in my opinion. Now it’s time for Testament to change that.

    Can’t wait till Friday.

  • Sharp-Blunt Boy

    Testament and alliteration make this sharp blunt boy very happy. Cool review.

  • Treble Yell

    I need to buy this but I have so little time to listen to it. I bought the new DEP last week and still haven’t spun it. Bleaurgh.

  • Luke_22

    Looking forward to this, not much thrash has stood out for me this year, aside from Vektor of course and Ripper. I hope it’s a speedier album than Dark Roots.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      As far as full-lengths are concerned those are (imo) the only two that matter. Did you try Voivod’s EP? Watchtower also released Concepts of Math’s first part but it’s not really thrash anymore. It’s great, though.

  • Dead1

    Very promising review. I can hardly wait until my copy arrives.

  • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

    Testament has rarely ever released crap. They’ve been on a roll since coming back with Formation of Damnation. That came out the same year, hell, almost the same month as Death Magnetic and all I heard in the media was how Metallica was back! Yeah, right… Formation blew Magnetic out of the water and it just flew over most people’s heads. Too bad for them for missing a great album while spinning a less than mediocre album (I’m being kind with this statement).

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Demonic was pretty crap, man. The opener was absolutely exquisite but the rest of the album was rather bad.

      • Belgian Tom’s Hat Trick

        I’ll grant that Demonic wasn’t their finest hour. I don’t know why they went off in the death metal direction, but it was a far cry from crap. Even at their worst, they were staying firmly within the extreme metal realm with Demonic. And Demonic still beats the crap out of anything Metallica has been able to come up with for the past two plus decades. My whole point (and I admit I really didn’t explain it in the above post) is that they stayed the course and never had to have a “back to their roots” album like many of their contemporaries.

      • The22ndPilotof21Pilots

        Really? I just listened to that album this week and The Gathering. Those 2 to me, especially the Gathering are a peak for them. I know fans are turned off by various thrash band’s output in the 90s due to trying to more accessible no thanks to the Black Album and rise of grunge, but both have aged rather well IMO.

  • Duchess88

    Anyone else pick up on the ‘princess of the dawn’ tribute during the melodic bit around the 3 minute mark? Bitchin.

  • Wilhelm

    From the songs I’ve heard, it’s way better than the last few albums which I didnt like at all. I have a major gripe about the production/mastering; they should really find someone who gives them dynamics, Sneaps clean production sucks, thrash is supposed to sound a little dirty.

  • Scourge

    I totally love Dark Roots… so I’m really excited about this! Regarding the loudness thing: I found the Dark Roots cd to sound wayyyyy inferior to the vinyl, so I’m hoping Brotherhood on vinyl will sound killer too. I mean I was actually shocked and astounded by how much better the vinyl of Dark Roots sounded…

  • Vic279

    What’s impressive about 80s thrash bands is that despite the mediocrity of most of their later releases (Testament exempted) is when they come out with a new album, they still generate so much fuss. I can only imagine how big was thrash in the 80s for them to still be able to do this.

  • Jeremy Freeman

    I’m not understanding these reviewers, as a Testament fan since 1988 (when ) I was 12, I’ve never heard an album this bad from them. And never thought I would. Chucks voice is great, but they went in without hearing a single note, and just threw it together, from what Eric had written. I mean really? Songs like Born In A Rut, Canna Business, Blackjack are suppose to stack up with classics like The Preacher, Into The Pit, First Strike Is Deadly and even Legions In Hiding or D.N.R? I don’t think so, I can’t believe Chuck even agreed to some of these tracks. Guess I’m a Minority. Oh well. Also Skolnick even said he wasn’t happy with the album.

    • Firstly, huh?? Secondly, I never said this was as good as their classic albums. It is however, a very well done thrash album with a lot of musical and technical know-how. I find it hard to believe Skolnick was bashing this.

      • Jeremy Freeman

        The band I use to be in have some connections with bigger bands. I won’t name my X band. But i wouldn’t say any Testament album has sucked. Just like Overkill have had lesser albums. But not one that was unlistenable, but this one is close. Yes some of the music is great, but it’s mainly the lyrics. They sound like they were thrown together (Which they were). But more from an 8 year old kid. That’s my biggest disappointment. Chuck wasn’t happy about the recording process at all, in an interview I heard. And read. He just said he hoped people dug it. Nothing against the review, but I just don’t hear what I’ve heard in the past. And that’s the GREAT Testament that I know and love. Make more sense? :)

      • Jeremy Freeman

        Also I wasn’t meaning any one person was comparing it to those Classic Tracks. That’s just my personal view.

  • loke

    instant classic …awsume as fuck….listning to this makes m/ tighter than ever..listning to this nonstop..they destroyed everything guys…too powerful and heavy thrash..u gonna enjoy every single second of it…

  • Rich

    Some great music on this. One thing that I do not like however (and I felt this way about the latest Anthrax outing) are the the lyrics. I think they got away with this when most of their audience was 13 year old kids in the late eighties and early nineties, but now it seems pretty dumb. I guess thrash always was dumb though!

    • GardensTale

      I heard that Trials had some pretty good lyrics. I don’t care much for the drinking and gambling type lyrics some of the later tracks here have.

      • Rich

        Cheers for the tip. Checking out Trials now!

  • Weirwolfe

    Will purchase today in physical form. Yep a cd for an old dinosaur. I haven’t bought a testament album since Demonic which lacked solos. This however, sounds intense.

  • beurbs

    Hoglan is killing it every second of this thing, he’s like the new… uh… Hoglan

  • exodusbandrevenue

    Is it just me or has Testament’s records become more and more accessible since More Than Meets the Eye. It does sound heavier than Anthrax’s newest one most bands except maybe Slayer and the new Megadeth. To their credit there is no fake-sounding rage like Metallica’s latest. But they appear to embrace a lot of modern metal stylings, xtreme/prog metal faux djent shite I can’t stand which makes it sterile.

    The whole rah-rah lets go team songs like Native Blood on that last album, makes me think some of these songs can be used as sports anthems. I’m sure they exactly disapprove either since it helps them out saleswise. I know they’ll never give us another Legacy and at least Steve Souza is not singing on this one or any future Testament release.

  • De2013

    Great review. I’ve been listening to the album and really like it. I’m wondering though if the album should be characterized as a concept album with song titles like “Canna-business” (based on legalization of marijuana), “Neptune’s spear” (navy seals-esque themed) and “Black jack” (gambling in Las Vegas?).

    Speaking of thrash: Will Metallica’s latest be reviewed?

  • Dead1

    Weak album compared to Dark Roots, especially in terms of less than memorable song writing.

  • Tristan gummow

    This certainly exceed Dark Roots of Earth and reminded me quite a bit of The Formation of Damnation. And Im with many of the others here 4.0 that sucker or even a tad higher. End of the day its friekin Testament and that alone is like 3 points outta 5 :)

  • disqus_1S1GyNUnq5

    careful there with that unconditional praise… chuck billy does not sound bad at all on brotherhood of the snake, but you ARE aware that there are technical possibilities to make an old man sound young again? ;-)

  • Tired Science Guy

    Commenting more than a year after release because I just realized you guys had this review. This album was definitely a 4, the only weak point being Number’s Game. I don’t agree with the overly long sentiment at all, as nearly every time I finish this album I reach for the replay button. Hoping to see a Contrite Metal Guy for this album.