TESTAMENT drummer Gene Hoglan spoke to Agoraphobic News about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album. "Eric [Peterson, guitar] and I are in the process of writing it," he said (hear audio below). "We've got about six songs together. I scoot up to Sacramento every week, essentially — every couple of weeks — and Eric and I take three or four days and we lay down a bunch of ideas. And we've got about five to six serious formations of songs — big, fat skeletons. Nothing is quite finalized yet, because we'll be tweaking these until the album gets recorded, I'm sure. We could get in the studio and tweak a bunch of songs. So nothing is truly done until the album is out, but we've got six or seven ideas, five or six ideas — right around there. Alex Skolnick [guitar], he's bringing some killer ideas to the table too. So it's gonna be a killer, kick-ass TESTAMENT record. Everybody's gonna enjoy it. TESTAMENT has a good grasp on what TESTAMENT does, so it's gonna be just another kick-ass TESTAMENT record. Totally."
Peterson recently told Guitar World that he hopes TESTAMENT's next album will 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.
Alex Skolnick told Heavy New York that TESTAMENT's new studio album, which is tentatively due later this year, 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 producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap.