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Review: Testament - Brotherhood of the Snake
Brotherhood of the Snake

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 45:26
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 17, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Brotherhood of the Snake


Venerable West-coast Thrashers Testament are back in 2016 with their 12th full-length album Brotherhood of the Snake, their third since signing with Nuclear Blast in 2008. This album is no different from those that preceded it, filled, as it is, with Eric Peterson's crisp riffs, Alex Skolnick's squealing solos, Chuck Billy's gravelly shouts and the inhuman drumming of Gene Hoglan. Even bassist Steve DiGiorgio makes his presence felt with some thundering bass ("Seven Seals" literally vibrates with bottom end). What is different is the songwriting which is noticeably inferior to the band's last album Dark Roots of Earth, an album full of atmosphere and attitude. Sure "Brotherhood of the Snake" and "The Pale King" cover some cool topics but then Chuck drops a goofy ode to Las Vegas on us with "Black Jack." Featuring thought-provoking lyrics like "Aces high, and so am I" this track is then outdone by "Canna-business" Testament's love song to weed. "Now that society is smoking up what's legalized, America profiting 'cause cannabis is not a crime." Wow, that's deep. I guess we know where Testament stands on that legal issue. It's not only the lyrics that aren't up to snuff but the vocal lines aren't great either and Chuck sounds like he's forcing a bit. I really like some of the riffs and melodies on Brotherhood of the Snake but even the good songs aren't as good as Testament is capable of and this album is a let down from the last one. For die-hard Testament fans only.

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