TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy spoke to Inquisitr about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album. He said: "I think because we're feeling good about the new record and what we did on this new record — we have a continuance of what we've been writing. We've still got some songs on us that probably could have been on the 'Brotherhood Of The Snake' album. So I think we'll head down that road first, and see where it goes."
He continued: "Eric [Peterson, TESTAMENT guitarist] has told me, 'I've got a ballad on this record, so be ready!' I was, like, 'All right…,' because we haven't done a ballad in 20-something years probably. 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.
"I'm excited," Billy added. "We only finished our tour a few weeks ago, but I'm gonna start going out there next week. They'll start showing me riffs and I'll start putting my head to them. So it's the beginning."
Chuck also talked about TESTAMENT's musical evolution, saying: "I think we're fortunate — TESTAMENT as a band — we're lucky to have Eric Peterson. He writes most of the music. He doesn't really follow a lot of other things. He has his black metal that he enjoys, and he likes his DRAGONLORD [Eric Peterson's side project] and loves playing that stuff. But he doesn't really listen to something current — that which is playing out there — which I think keeps him in his own creative groove. His own 'Eric Peterson TESTAMENT writing blinders' on. Which is good for us, because it's always kept TESTAMENT sounding like TESTAMENT. But, you know, Eric is also trying to squeeze things in there. Sort of like 'The Gathering' record. Elements of black metal with the blast beats and different elements that he enjoys — he's tried to work them into TESTAMENT. I think it's really kind of expanded us, and I'd say from that 'Gathering' point, we really kind of found our identity as a heavy metal band. It's kind of like a culmination of everything we did up to that point. Thrash, death, melodic vocals. Death vocals. And then when we came to 'The Gathering', all of it kind of got put in there. And the songwriting just started getting better."
He added: "I don't know. As with anything you do in life, the more that you do it, you're only gonna get better. So, I don't know. I'm glad that I have Eric as a writing partner."
"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 Sneap.
TESTAMENT's U.S. tour as the support act for SLAYER wrapped on August 26 in San Jose, California.