For over three decades, the Bay Area quintet - ChuckBilly (vocals), EricPeterson (guitars), AlexSkolnick (guitars), SteveDiGiorgio (bass), and GeneHoglan (drums) - has consistently delivered unadulterated, unbridled, and unbreakable metal in its purest form without compromise or any signs of slowing down and now they present us a brand new album whilst being on tour with Amon Amarth!
I saw them on stage in Brussels and absolutely adored them. I wasn’t alone (my 8 year old son also loved them, just as the rest of the crowd around us) and picked up the news that they just released a new album and right after that I got it on my desk! Their gig was pretty much amazing with the fire and the snakes! It’s also clear that this band is still alive and kicking after 30 years! The artwork is also what I would call a work of art and very inspiring!
Brotherhood of The Snake sounds hard, heavy fueled with great guitars, hammering drums and cool vocals (wandering how long the vocal will survive this brutal sound). On stage it already sounded like a hit (and yet it was to be released), imagine how the fans will react once they have more time to listen to it?! It’s clear that the darkness reigns! I can describe them as the occult version of Metallica, with more energy and more grunts and growling! The Pale King sounds like the old school Metallica, but a bit sharper and younger (yup: it sounds a bit strange, but that is what my perception is telling me). Feel the venom of the snake getting into you and putting your veins on fire! The voice over gives it a bit of an Iron Maiden touch, followed by some cool guitar licks and heavy speed metal riffs.
Stronghold is the perfect rager: what a blast, what an energy and cool speeded up heavy metal riffs! Rage! Rage! Rage! Next to the opening track the best one from this burning new album! Seven Seals is a dark one, with a nice bass and an occult feel. Chuck’s voice rages on, tells us the story that sounds like a video game! It’s simply like how I want to new Metallica should sound like (but I fear I will be disappointed, for sure after hearing this pearl). I really don’t get it why Testament is bigger, this is pure quality! I hear no fillers: only killers and hard hitters! Each track is like a big smack in my face and keeps on smashing and hitting like Hulk on XTC! Born In A Rut is a hard hitter with cool backings whilst Centuries of Suffering is simply harder and heavier: guitars and vocals are on fire! It’s all pretty much fueled. Welcome to hell and scream it out! It’s a blast! Neptune’s Spear goes for the kill whilst Black Jack sounds a bit like Ace of Spades revisited (hail to the king). The Number Game is ending this gold digger with a blast, unveiling the last gold hidden in the back of a huge treasure chest!
I’m more than happy to review Testament for the very first time and am pretty sure it won’t be the last time! I can only say that they sound so much better than loads of commercial metal bands! This was fun time whilst burning in hell!