TESTAMENT - Brotherhood of the Snake
Nuclear Blast Records
A follow-up from their "Dark Roots of the Earth" release and I think this one is better. It's catchier, better produced and more diverse. Chuck Billy has some hoarse throat here mixing his old style of metal voice with a death metal sounding one. Pretty cool for a thrash release. I just think that this album has more substance to it than its predecessor. I enjoyed all of the songs. Of course, to me "First Strike Still Deadly" is my favorite TESTAMENT re-recording. But this is a monument too. It's well laid out. On here they're playing heavy guitars, but yeah catchy and thick. I think after 4 years went by since a release they keep their longtime fans like me. They're not compromising and staying true to their roots. Production quality is exquisite definitely. Everything is well heard.
I'm not much into the band's lyrical concepts; the most that I'm into are the more philosophical lyrics of DEATH (the band). I just enjoy the music and here it's heavy, but bluesy based too. That would be Skolnick's influence but the heaviness of the album keeps it in a whole other level. They play from the heart and have never I don't think have ever compromised themselves.
The guitars are what keeps me interested even though I'm retired from playing I enjoy their energy and riff structure. It's technical and fast. Of course the whole deal meaning the whole band contributes to this one. They really busted ass to get this out to fans. You have to like Chuck Billy's vocals to really like the band though. I think he's pretty awesome kicking butt all these years that TESTAMENT has been around. That is, mid-80's. A lot has changed technology wise and the Internet interfering with musicians’ money making because so much is on YouTube or Spotify.
I don't agree that this is an average album at all. I think because of the intensity and unique songwriting quality, TESTAMENT has released their best record in a while. No way is this album boring or redundant. It's straightforward thrash metal. Everything about this album I like. I was impressed the first time that I heard this. I thought to myself "they're still shredding!!" Own it!!
Ryan “Death8699” Fanucchi