Earlier this month, TESTAMENT drummer Gene Hoglan spoke to the "Talk Toomey" podcast about the progress of the recording sessions for the follow-up to the band's 2016 album "Brotherhood Of The Snake". He said (hear audio below): "I know the band was shooting for completing the album by June 12th. I know that they had that as a pretty hard target for completion of all the tracks. And then I don't know what [producer] Andy Sneap is up to — I think Andy's probably out on the road with JUDAS PRIEST [as the band's touring guitarist] — but I understand Andy will be mixing it. We tracked with Juan Urteaga, like we have the past couple of things. And Juan's great to work with. People might know him from the MACHINE HEAD albums that he's done. And he's done a lot of tracking for TESTAMENT in the past, as well as Ted Nugent, NIGHT RANGER — God, you name it. Juan's awesome to work with. I love tracking with Juan. He's a cool guy, super positive, and that's always fun."
As for when fans should expect to see the new TESTAMENT album released, Gene said: "I am not the person to be making the official statement, but I believe the band wants to get the album out in 2019, I think. And in order to do so, it had to be completed by the middle of June, so if gets mixed, whenever it's mixed and pressed and whatnot, so I would imagine TESTAMENT is shooting for a 2019 release. And I would also imagine if that didn't happen, then early 2020."
Hoglan previously told Agoraphobic News that TESTAMENT's upcoming album is shaping up to "a killer, kick-ass" record. Everybody's gonna enjoy it," he said. "TESTAMENT has a good grasp on what TESTAMENT does, so it's gonna be just another kick-ass TESTAMENT record. Totally."
Guitarist Eric Peterson said in an interview with Guitar World that he hoped TESTAMENT's next album would be a more collaborative effort than "Brotherhood Of The Snake", which saw him writing all the music in about three months and then e-mailing the songs to his bandmates.
For his part, guitarist Alex Skolnick told Heavy New York that TESTAMENT's new studio album will not necessarily sound like a direct follow-up to "Brotherhood Of The Snake".
"I think anytime we make a record, we don't think about the last record," he said. "That's done. Actually, the last thing we wanna be influenced by is the previous record. And I think it's pretty safe to say there's never been two records in a row where they're really that much alike. We don't have a 'period.' Sometimes bands release a pair or a series of records where there's a big similarity. We've never done that. So I think it's gonna be starting fresh. And we'll see where it goes… It's not pre-planned."
Last September, singer Chuck Billy told Inquisitr that TESTAMENT's next record would likely include a ballad. "We haven't done a ballad in 20-something years probably," he said. "I mean, a full-on ballad. 'Born In A Rut', off the other one ['Brotherhood Of The Snake'], it's soft and has melody, but it's not really a true ballad."
"Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of Urteaga, Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by Sneap.