TESTAMENT's ERIC PETERSON On 'The Brotherhood Of The Snake': 'This Is Gonna Be Our Kind Of 'Reign In Blood' Record'

May 31, 2016

Anthony Morgan of Metal Forces recently conducted an interview with TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On material recorded in latter half of '90s being under-represented in TESTAMENT's current setlist:

"We're slowly starting to add stuff like that in there. We used to play that stuff a lot, but then when we kind of got 'The Ritual' lineup back, we went back to the old stuff. We've just recently been bringing in some of the stuff from the era where Alex [Skolnick, guitars] and the other guys weren't playing with us — we're starting to bring some of that stuff back in.

"Lou [Clemente, drums] and Greg [Christian, bass] aren't in the band any more, but when we got that line-up back together, those guys didn't really see the evolution of TESTAMENT and how those records really kind of brought us back from the dead. I mean, after 'The Ritual' [1992]… It's a good record, but I don't think it was a thrash favorite. I think once we kind of had a rebirth with 'Low' [1994], 'Demonic' [1997] and 'The Gathering' [1999], we saw TESTAMENT's status rise again, if not get bigger. Then when they came back, we went back to the old stuff. Like I said, we're starting to bring that other stuff back in, but the last records have been pretty good, I think.

"We've been getting back to our roots, and recording-wise and just songwriting-wise, I think we're as strong or as crazy as we used to be – especially with this new one. 'The Brotherhood Of The Snake' is gonna be… I don't wanna… I'm just trying to give you a name to describe it, but it doesn't sound like that so don't take it out of context. This is gonna be our kind of 'Reign In Blood' record [SLAYER, 1986], because it's just super-brutal but still melodic."

On forthcoming album "The Brotherhood Of The Snake":

"It's different. This one is more thrash. I mean, this has got some of the fastest stuff that we have ever played. Usually, we have one or two thrash songs, and then we have some mid-tempo, and then we have a slow, heavy one, and then up-tempo kind of stuff. Half of the new record is thrash, which we've never done before. Even with our first record ['The Legacy', 1987] , there's 'Over The Wall' and 'First Strike Is Deadly', but then there's stuff that's back and forth from mid-tempo to thrash like 'Do Or Die' or 'Apocalyptic City'. Full-on thrash though, like six or seven songs, has never been done by us. It's kind of a trip to hear it."

On previous album "Dark Roots Of Earth" [2012] being critically acclaimed:

"That's one thing, too. With each record getting good reviews and critical acclaim and stuff like that, it's always like 'What can you do with this music?' Everything's been done with it. There's so many bands that are a part of it, but we have the TESTAMENT card. We were one of the originals of this type of music. I mean, there are bands out there that are just doing some crazy shit, but they're number 120 out of 500 thrash bands, so maybe they get overlooked.

"Luckily for us, we were in the right place at the right time 25 or 30 years ago. With that being said though, all this time later, we're still delivering the goods. I can honestly say with this new one, it's hands down gonna be the heaviest record TESTAMENT has ever put out."

On how heavy "The Brotherhood Of The Snake" will be:

"It's kind of like 'Demonic' and 'The Gathering', but a little bit wiser, I think. Chuck's [Billy] not singing so death. I mean, he does some death stuff but he's singing more like he did on the last record and then with the craziness of 'The Gathering' or even heavy stuff like 'Demonic'. Yeah, I'm excited to put out this record. It's gonna be killer."

On the album's release date:

"It's gonna be coming out September, October. It's gonna get delivered at the end of June, and it'll be probably be delivered to the record company by the end of the summer just in time for a really big tour we're doing of Europe. I can't mention who it is, but we'll be doing a big tour in Europe at the end of the year. And yeah, it's gonna be killer. We'll have a new record out, and be on tour."

Read the entire interview at Metal Forces

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