The official 360-degree visualizer for the song "Stronghold" from San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans TESTAMENT can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's twelfth album, "Brotherhood Of The Snake", which will be released on October 28 via Nuclear Blast. The cover was once again created by renowned artist Eliran Kantor, who also handled the art for the TESTAMENT's last album, 2012's "Dark Roots Of Earth", and also worked with bands like HATEBREED, SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM in the past.
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" track listing:
01. Brotherhood Of The Snake
02. The Pale King
04. Seven Seals
05. Born In A Rut
06. Centuries Of Suffering
07. Neptune's Spear
08. Black Jack
10. The Number Game
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), guitarist Eric Peterson and singer Chuck Billy and was mixed and mastered by British metal producer Andy Sneap (ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, CRADLE OF FILTH, KREATOR, MACHINE HEAD, MEGADETH).
Regarding the lyrical themes covered on "Brotherhood Of The Snake", Chuck told Metal Wani: "Well, it's kind of like a concept record. I know, going into it, the past records, I was writing songs that were more personal and there were topics that were kind of real — losing a family member or anything that's real; that's what we were kind of writing. And Eric really wanted to kind of get back to, 'Let's write some cool stories and cool words and cool lyrics.' And so I was, like, 'Okay, that's cool.' And then, I kind of, at the time, was watching a TV series; it was a show called 'Ancient Aliens' that was on once a week. And it showed a lot of the connection between aliens and religion. And it kind of got my attention, because there was different religions all around the world, different spots in the world, where there was always the same alien being with big heads and strange bodies and flying objects in the sky. And it kind of made me realize, wow, how, that many thousands of years ago, did they communicate and see these same things unless it was real, unless there's something about it. So it really made me think, maybe there is something to these aliens and our existence and religion and everything. And then I stumbled on to the 'brotherhood of the snake' and the story of that. And that was about a secret society over six thousand years ago that were out on a crusade just to dig down religions. And there was an alien king, Anu, who basically created mankind as a slave for them to mine the minerals and gold from our planet earth. So it was kind of, like, 'Wow!' From an 'Ancient Aliens' show to this… There's something there that we can kind of run on and get the lyrics going and tell the storyline about. So that kind of got the ball rolling."
Peterson told Kaaos TV about "Brotherhood Of The Snake": "The only difference on this one is we're trying to be a little bit more organic, and getting away from Andy's perfection sound, and get more of a looser… you know, still keeping the slickness of it, but trying to get a little bit more raw. So it's kind of a hard way to describe it. But we don't want it too perfect. And I didn't record four guitars; I did two this time. So there's a lot more air going on with the rhythms and stuff like that."
Asked whether the musical direction of TESTAMENT's new material is a throwback to the band's early albums or if it's more similar to the recent TESTAMENT records, Eric said: "More like the modern [TESTAMENT sound], but, you know, like I was saying earlier, having that more raw feeling. Of course, our influences have changed a lot. For me, I always get accused of listening to older stuff [and I am told that] I need to listen to more new stuff. But I always like to go back and listen to records from the '70s and the '80s. And I won't name the bands I listen to, but I listen to a lot of different stuff that has nothing to do with metal, because I hear things differently. I don't hear it, like… You know, like if I listen to [American blues rock guitarist] Joe Bonamassa or something, I'm not, like, 'Wow, I wanna sound like that.' I just kind of get ideas of key changes and the way he hits certain notes or whatever and apply it to what we're doing. And that's the same thing with anything."
TESTAMENT will promote "Brotherhood Of The Snake" by teaming up with AMON AMARTH for a European tour this fall.