When the “big four” came to fruition I was not on board with Anthrax being a part of that group.In my opinion it just didn’t seem or feel like they were ever able to be at the caliber people brought them up to be, the metal heads that is, as far as thrash metal goes. Over time Scott Ian and the guys proved me dead wrong, especially when Joey was brought back into the fold, but it still felt like something was lacking. Had Dimebag not fallen victim to some psycho piece of shit, Pantera would be riding and downright dominating with Megadeth, Slayer, and Metallica. I guess I’m wishing I could cram all these other exceptional thrash metal acts into this four slot group. Maybe we can expand it and make it the “elite six” or the “royal nine” or some shit.Anyway with so many excellent thrash metal bands the question begs, who could be the fifth horseman to the “big four”? Ah, I can already see the poll. I guess it really depends on who you ask. If you ask me the answer is Testament.
Their latest effort “Brotherhood of the Snake”proves thrash metal is still alive and fucking well. Rallying back from their last release, DarkRoots of Earth, Testament is back and ready to once again claim their throne next to the aforementioned big dogs.Chuck Billy’s vocals have never been better. Hearing him over the deadly dual guitar attack that is Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson in BOTS simply proves that Testament is still a force to be reckoned with. The first and title track of the album permeates the sound waves like wildfire.Gene Hoglan on drums blasts his way through the track, and album, the only way he can, carrying the superb riffs and bringing the thrashing frenzy. Steve DiGiorgio on bass proves he can still deliver as he did in 2001 with the re-recoding of several Testament classics on FirstStrike Still Deadly. BOTS does not, in anyway, compromise Testament’s sound as it has stood the test of time and boy is it a fucking relief. I always freak the fuck out when a band with a legacy announces an album fearing they might pull a Metallica or Slayer by dishing out music outside their scope of practice or just plain old lazy riffs just to keep it going. Do I dare ask though…….was there ever really any doubt? Not to talk shit about SlayTallica as they both seem to have made a return themselves and fueling what may just be thrash metal’s second coming. My favorite track on BOTS is The Pale King which may very well be the story of an eternal Sargon living out his centuries on this earth. The pale king has seen a thousand moons and, as Chuck Billy eloquently sings, he holds your fate. Other notable highlights are, of course, the title track and the second single Stronghold. Neptune’s Spear is also a great song which I believe tells the story of how Bin Laden’s assassination was carried out. The lyric “one shot kill” resonates and paints a nefarious yet just picture.
All in all Brotherhood of the Snake brings all the awesome elements that makes for a good thrash metal album. As with any album release a tour is of course in order. This is going to be one for the books. Metal heads rejoice.
Long live the legion and see you in the mosh!
Reviewed By: Clash The Impaler