Bay Area Thrash Metal pioneers TESTAMENT will release their upcoming 12th album "Brotherhood Of The Snake" on October 28th via Nuclear Blast.
Berlin-based artist Eliran Kantor, who created the images that adorn TESTAMENT's previous two albums - "Dark Roots Of Earth" (2012), and "The Formation Of Damnation" (2008) - talks about the cover art he created for "Brotherhood Of The Snake", which can be seen below.
"Eric (Peterson, guitarist) told me of the title, referring to a secret society group - and I wanted to focus on the occult aspect of it without leaning on the already available myths.I pictured a ritual involving blindfolded figures coming out of chalices of black oil, holding scythes forming the teeth of a three-headed snake.
"Looking for ways to incorporate the masonic pyramid felt like a great opportunity to use the classic logo while adding something new to it, and also give it an active part in the plot. There are many tiny details adding to the atmosphere: red tongue bookmarks in the books, two more ancient-looking figures in the shadows hinting at the brotherhood's lineage, two serpent-shaped fountain tubes pouring the black oil etc etc. The latter two were suggested by the band."
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" track listing:
- Brotherhood of the Snake
- The Pale King
- Seven Seals
- Born in a Rut
- Centuries of Suffering
- Neptune's Spear
- Black Jack
- The Number Game
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (Exodus, Machine Head), guitarist Eric Peterson and singer Chuck Billy; it was mixed and mastered by well-known metal producer Andy Sneap (Accept, Megadeth).
Peterson: "It's very diverse, but it's very epic. There's nothing on there that breeds commercial. And I think for thirty years of recording music and trying different formulas and stuff, I think we've found a formula that is very metal. I think for the metal fan that is looking for something for the nook and crannies… not just your normal, 'Oh, it's got a thrash beat and a riff.' There's a lot going on here."
In another interview the songwriter stated: "It's different. This one is more thrash. I mean, this has got some of the fastest stuff that we have ever played. Usually, we have one or two thrash songs, and then we have some mid-tempo, and then we have a slow, heavy one, and then up-tempo kind of stuff. Half of the new record is thrash, which we've never done before."
He continued: "It's kind of like "Demonic" and "The Gathering", but a little bit wiser, I think. Chuck's not singing so death. I mean, he does some death stuff but he's singing more like he did on the last record and then with the craziness of "The Gathering" or even heavy stuff like "Demonic"."