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Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake album review

A new peak for the veteran thrashers

Testament Brotherhood Of The Snake album cover

The arguments have raged for years about whether Testament should be part of thrash’s Big Four. Well, that’s an irrelevance. Because right now the band are getting on with creating some of the best music of their career. And Brotherhood Of The Snake is arguably their best album in a quarter of a century.

To call it ‘thrash’ is misleading. While there are speed-metal bumps here and there in the mix, what you get is more power metal blended with a dark sophistication. The way Chuck Billy’s vocals merge with the guitars of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson on tracks like Centuries Of Suffering, Neptune’s Spear and Black Jack is exciting, thrusting and potent.

It’s obvious that under the production guidance of Andy Sneap, the band have been pushed on every level. The result is one of the best metal albums of 2016 – one that proves Testament can match anyone.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.