The forbearers of thrash resemble a Lovecraftian brotherhood. They're the elder gods who set everything in motion for generations to imitate, while still ruling the roost from on high. Testament stand proudly among the same vanguard that boasted "The Big 4" and beyond. For over three decades, the Bay Area quintet has consistently delivered unadulterated, unbridled, and unbreakable metal in its purest form without compromise or any signs of slowing down.
And in 2016, Testament returns with more teeth than ever on Brotherhood of the Snake. "The first record is always classic because you form the band, you're totally into it, you go through the club scene, find yourself, and write your initial album over multiple years," explains Eric Peterson. "Then, you get signed and end up in a cycle. We took some time to do Brotherhood of the Snake, and it shows. Different influences came in. Normally, there are a few straight ahead thrash songs. We haven't had this many thrash tracks since The Legacy. It's a new era."
Recorded with Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Exodus), Brotherhood of the Snake commences on a deadly note with the title track. A whiplash-inducing riff catapults vocalist Chuck Billy's unmistakable growl forward before snapping into mind-numbing leads. It's a brutal breakneck basher on par with the band's best. Elsewhere on the record, "The Pale King" gallops ahead on an apocalyptic barrage of drums and guitars before culminating on an unshakable chant. And the album concludes aptly on the crushing yet cinematic "The Number Game," which evinces Chuck's knack for a vivid lyrical story.