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Snakes on a higher plane: The story behind Testament's philosophical new album

What links snakes, aliens, an ancient secret society and their rad new album Brotherhood Of The Snake? Allow Chuck Billy, Testament frontman and philosopher extraordinaire, to explain all...

"The Brotherhood Of The Snake were out to debunk and put down religions. That was their task. Did they believe that we were put here by extraterrestrial sources? Yes, they did. And when you look at the connections – the holy books, the writings on the wall – they also all showed these ‘alien’ beings, with the big heads. They looked like typical aliens, and there were flying ships and stuff like that. And the landmarks we have on Earth – Stonehenge, the Pyramids – they could be celestial markings...”

Metal Hammer is sitting on the top floor of our London office trying to keep up with a six-foot-three, brick shithouse of a heavy metal singer whose current thought trajectory is running so far into unexpected territories that we’re starting to feel less like we’re conducting an interview and more like we’re auditioning for a really weird X Files reboot. The man in front of us, Chuck Billy, is not only one of the most beloved, fascinating and generally badass dudes our scene has ever produced, but with Testament, he’s crafted a new album that has allowed his somewhat...uncommon interests to run riot.

From the archive

From the archive

From the archive


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