|1.||Brotherhood of the Snake|
|2.||The Pale King|
|5.||Born in a Rut|
|6.||Centuries of Suffering|
|10.||The Number Game|
Begining with one of the most anticipated albums in the thrash metal history, Megadeth’s “Dystopia”, and continuing with Anthrax’s “For All Kings”, Death Angel’s “The Evil Divide”, Metallica’s “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct“, Sodom’s “Decision Day” and Destruction’s “Under Attack”, 2016 is a year that has blown thrash metal fans’ minds.
Four long years after the release of their impressive classic, “Dark Roots of Earth”, the thrash titans Testament return with the most powerful line-up since their eighth studio album, “The Gathering”: furious Chuck Billy on the vocals, dynamic guitar duo of Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson, Gene Holgan known as “The Human Drum Machine” and Steve DiGiorgio with his great bass work, who rejoined the band in 2014, thirteen years after the album “First Strike Still Deadly”, the last album he recorded with the band.
The storyline of this conceptual album is filled with the elements of dark fantasy, telling us about Sumerian scriptures dated to more than 6,000 years ago, which were written by a secret society of Draconian aliens during the human history. Metaphorically, the Brotherhood , founded by an alien Ea, represents “New religion”, whose particular task here is to enlighten the mankind and free it from Christianity regarding it as an existential threat and in some way “social illness”.
The record opens with the “First strike still deadly” track, Brotherhood of Snake, with Chuck Billy’s noticeable volcanic roars and growls. In comparison with the title track, “The Pale King” introduces some melodic parts, influenced by the elements of the album “The New World Order”.
With the third song and the first highlight of the album, “Stronghold”, the snakes really show the magic they can create. Unfortunately, most of the other songs on the album, with the exception of “Neptune Spear” with some interesting new patterns by the formidable Skolnick/Peterson guitar duo, suffer from the same symptom: a lack of fresh ideas, relying on their old things from “The Legacy” and “Souls of Black”.
The monotony is killed with a punishing breakdown guitar sections on the last track and the second highlight of the album, The Number Game, which Billy wrote with Exodus frontman, Steve “Zetro” Souza.
Despite the excellent production, and good old Chuck Billy’s voice getting better with time (like wine), in comparison with “Dark Roots of Earth”, which contains various degrees of heaviness, this album does have some defects: all songs are near-identical, there are no melodic passages and the riffs have been heard over a thousand times.
This time, the fifth band of the Big Four and the most consistent thrash metal band, delivers a solid, though a little bit stereotypical and generic thrash metal album, confirming their excellent technical skills, superhuman, ageless voice of the metal superman Chuck Billy, a man who survived a near-death experience with cancer in 2001, with youthful vigor and aggression. However, the album just isn’t original enough to keep one’s attention as much as a Testament album could.
Rating Album: 6/10
Cover Album: 7/10
Rating album: Fleur Du Mal
My name is Jovana Marković. Fleur Du Mal, the name I chose, is about the muse that you invocate when you need inspiration for mathematical skills, photography, poetry and some adventure.