Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

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On 21 November 2016
Last modified:22 November 2016


Another slab of thrash greatness from the ever reliable Testament.

Testament have always been a staple of the worldwide thrash scene, first introduced to the world supporting Anthrax in 1987.  This is the 11th studio album, unfortunately their history has been fraught with continuing line-up changes, illness and the general fickleness of the music industry. Throughout this, Testament have continued to release records that have been entertaining and have not strayed too far from their original blueprint.  “The Ritual” may have been a little light and “Demonic” may have been a bit too death metal. However, when you look at the calibre of musicians that have been through this band and the powerful body of work they have delivered all is forgiven. Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson are the heart and soul of Testament and now they have produced “Brotherhood of the Snake” which is very much a statement.

On “Brotherhood of the Snake” Testament have combined their songwriting strengths from across their vast back catalogue. The title track  begins with a gut wrenching riff which is backed up with a blast beat intro. Whilst this still sounds weird with Testament it sits very well in context. It is a bold opener and sets the tone for the album. “Seven Seals” is a slower groove orientated track which brings to mind the “Practice What You Preach” and “Souls in Black” era but with much more grit built in.  “Born in a Rut” is spawned from the same womb complete with catchy chorus. The band sound really coherent on this record which is surprising after the stories of it being a difficult album to bring to fruition. Alex Skolnick’s playing on this is sublime and he does not overdo the shredding but balances it just right. The interplay of drum legend Gene Hoglan and bass beast Steve Di Giorgio is quite something to behold. “Black Jack” takes us right into “The Gathering” territory, again with little flourishes of blasts which take you by surprise but fits well in the song.  The production is what you would expect with this calibre of band – big and brash. Eric Peterson still appears to have plenty left in his tank at a time when many of his peers have taken the foot of the gas. This is another massive dose of thrash which is a worthy addition to the Testament arsenal.


  1. Brotherhood Of The Snake
  2. The Pale King
  3. Stronghold
  4. Seven Seals
  5. Born In A Rut
  6. Centuries Of Suffering
  7. Neptune’s Spear
  8. Black Jack
  9. Canna-Business
  10. The Number Game

Band Members

Chuck Billy – Vocals
Eric Peterson – Guitars
Alex Skolnick – Guitars
Steve DiGiorgio – Bass
Gene Hoglan – Drums


Another slab of thrash greatness from the ever reliable Testament.

About Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.