Here we are already at day three of my annual countdown of the best albums released during 2016 as far as I am personally concerned. And, because the Blog Of Much Metal is a one-man blog, there is no voting system or complicated formula – the 30 albums that will feature in this list are those that have had the biggest impact on me personally this year. Simple as that.
If you disagree with my choices, tell me. I’d love to hear your opinions, whether or not you agree with me. Music is subjective and that’s part of the magic of it. So if I’ve put your favourite album too low in the list or if you hate a band in my list, let’s get some discussion going!
As I’ve mentioned before, I have reviewed justabout every album in this list, so I will keep the content here quite brief, whilst linking my full 1000+ word reviews if you want to take a closer look.
And with that, allow me to reveal my choice at number 28:
Brotherhood Of The Snake
“Speaking of sounding ‘fired-up’, this would be a worthy description for the vast majority of the material on ‘Brotherhood Of The Snake’ and explains to some extent why this is such a great album. There is an audible hunger and desire throughout the record that translates into the music to excellent effect. When you’re confronted with a bulldozing riff, blazing lead, full-on rhythmic assault or a snarl or growl from Billy, you believe it. The energy that oozes from the music isn’t forced or some attempt to recapture their early youth; this is the real deal. Five quality musicians delivering some of their most accomplished work and apparently loving every second of it.
With ‘Brotherhood Of The Snake’, Testament have produced a record that has truly captured my imagination, delivered enjoyment in spades and breathed life into a genre that had lost its spark for me. As a result, Testament have almost certainly managed the unthinkable – put a thrash metal album slap bang in my end of year ‘best of’ list. Yup, it’s that good.”
I think the last quote above says it all really. I’ve never been the biggest thrash metal fan to be honest and so, to find one mentioned in this end of year round-up should speak volumes as to its quality.
As the weeks have gone by, I had expected the sheen to wear off ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’. However, the opposite has happened. The blend of razor sharp riffs, snarled vocals and the juxtaposition between all-out aggression and strong melodic sensibilities means that this record remains on regular rotation in my house and on my headphones on these cold dark nights. There’s nothing like a bit of solo moshing to warm you up, am I right?!
There is something incredibly intoxicating about this record that makes it a compelling listen for me – in a way, I think it serves to remind me just why I got into heavy metal in the first place. The energy, the power, and the groove all come together expertly to create a listening experience which is intense but also a lot of fun. The performances all-round are on-point and the overall production takes everything to another level. ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’ is a behemoth of thrash metal, easily the best thrash metal album released all year.
In case you’ve missed any of the other posts in the 2016 series, here they are for you to explore and enjoy:
And from previous years: