Number 11 in the Testament catalogue, Brotherhood of the Snake, is a killer album. With the hype of the other albums coming out this year, this kinda flew under the radar but deserves every accolations. This is how thrash should be! Testament deserve to be included in the Big Four since day one like whole bunch of other thrash acts... but that’s a whole different discussion.
With changing personnel for this album once again the master behind the drum kit is Gene Hoglan. The stalwarts Eric Peterson, Chuck Billy and Alex Skolnick hold the band are tight as ever. Opening up with a furious riff which is quintessential and shows Peterson destructive power. The thing that grabs me is the unrelenting growl in Chuck Billy’s voice, as many of his long time predecessors are losing their touch he just seems to get better and better and can reproduce that same in a live setting too. The theme of the snake is right throughout this album with the title track like a basic history lesson in Sumerian life back in the days of old.
The whole album is as pure a thrash can be from the old masters, with my personal favourites being Stronghold and Born in a Rut. The latter, Born in a Rut, reminds me of classic Testament with the cymbal use and the groove that makes the Testament album very distinctively Testament. With the rest of the big thrash acts releasing material earlier this year for me Brotherhood of the Snake is held high amongst them all, the most consistent of the others being Slayer’s Repentless late 2015. The other I liked also was For All Kings by Anthrax, but once again this is on its own level. All I can say is that this album made me freak out like a teenager once again. This is a great album worthy of the listen to and the money spent on it.