Brotherhood of the Snake (2016) by Testament: Good ol’ west-coast thrash metal in a contemporary package

California thrash metal legends Testament released their eleventh studio album Brotherhood of the Snake on October 28, 2016 through Nuclear Blast. Being mainly written by Eric Peterson (guitar) and Chuck Billy (vocals), it picks up where its predecessor albums left off, with good ol’ west-coast thrash metal. As some reviews have stated before me, the album does not bring anything groundbreaking to the table, and there is absolutely no need for that in my humble opinion.

Brotherhood of the Snake combines all the dark and thrashing sounds and songs we’ve come to know and love from Testament in the past half a decade with contemporary production as well as mood and feel. I don’t have a specific favourite song on the album and no specific song that I don’t like. It is a great album to listen from beginning to end without having to skip one song. Not many albums these days that have that characteristics.

That said, it might not become a favourite of their general fans, given that the album does not necessarily include a ‘hit song’. But that is just my opinion. For me, Brotherhood of the Snake depicts a very strong Testament that delivers an excellent contemporary thrash metal album characterised by a sky-high energy level. If you like thrash metal, you’ll like this one.

Here a few excerpts from album reviews across the web:

“I am so glad he did because ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’ is one of the best albums by the band in recent times (if not the best). Right from Eliron Kantor’s stupendous artwork, the band’s compositions and the immersive production, there are zero complaints. ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’ will devour you with its massive sound.” – Owais ‘Vitek’ Nabi, www.metalwani.com

“Fantasy and disaffection go hand-in-hand, and Brotherhood of the Snake is fantastic escapism of the highest order.” – Jeremy Ulrey, www.metalinjection.net

“If you like Testament and have enjoyed their two most recent albums, Dark Roots Of Earth and Formation of Damnation, you will probably find plenty to like as there are no real departures here.” Mike McMahan, www.heavyblogisheavy.com

“Testament returns with a brutal, powerful and what you would have to call an “as expected” release. BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE brings all the heavy you would ever want from Testament.” – Chris Akin, www.theclassicmetalshow.com

“Brotherhood of the Snake is an album that can crush you like a boa constrictor or sink its fangs into you like a rattlesnake. Thankfully, the only venom is that in Billy’s voice, and the antidote is to play it repeatedly at maximum volume.” – Chad Bowar, loudwire.com

Sebastiano Mereu

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer