REVIEW: Testament Brings “Brotherhood of the Snake” Tour to NY

So Testament came to town on Saturday – or, more accurately, Testament went to Huntington and I came to town – to play The Paramount in the middle of nowhere, 90 minutes from the nearest major metropolitan city on a Saturday night, and managed to pretty well pack the house. That’s no surprise since it’s still Testament, after all, but an otherwise tall order is made even smaller by the fact that the band brought Sepultura with them to help rip the doors off the place.

I missed the first two acts, mostly because traffic and parking was worse, but also because I wanted pizza, but I made damn sure I was in the building in time for Sepultura. I’d never seen them before since there hasn’t been an original member of the band since 2006 when Igor Cavalera split, and it never really dawned on me to check out their live show after a couple lineup changes. They had about 45 minutes and ripped through 11 songs, 5 of which came from their most recent album, 2015’s Machine Messiah.

I’m not really sure what I was thinking, not seeing them sooner. Andreas Kisser is one of the most fun guitarists I’ve ever photographed, and Sepultura kicked ass in their limited time on stage. After seeing them as support, I’d love to see them headline. Derrick Greene has been handling vocals for almost 20 years for Sepultura and despite not being an original member, he’s become the voice everyone associates with the band. It’s no surprise, the dude can flat out scream metal lyrics and does a great job on stage. It was a long time coming, but Sepultura was worth every second.

Andreas Kisser of Sepulura shreds at The Paramount

After a set change, it was time for Testament to come out and take over, and take over they would. In a move you don’t see much anymore, Testament came out and owned the stage seemingly forever, tearing through 20 songs before all was said and done, making it one of the longest setlists I’ve ever been witness to. Coming out like a house on fire, Chuck Billy and the boys opened up with the title track from their 2016 album which they are on tour supporting, Brotherhood of the Snake and also played The Pale King in the opening 3 before Alex Skolnick ripped into a guitar solo, which was just the first of many solos by the band – we’d get a guitar solo from Eric Peterson, a drum solo from Gene Hologan and a bass solo from Steve Di Giorgio by the end of the night.

I’ll be honest, I can’t list 20 songs here. I’d have to be crazy to go through each and every one. You can find the full set list at the bottom, after the gallery, but let’s talk a bit about what they played. Throne of Thorns was included in the setlist, which is still one of my favorite Testament songs, along with Eyes of Wrath and The New Order. By that time, the band had run through 18 songs and nobody could blame them – or be angry – if they were done without playing Over The Wall.

Nope, the boys came back for a two-song encore and played Practice What You before closing the whole thing out with the aforementioned Over The Wall. 20 songs later it was time to go home, and Testament left me wired for my hour drive back to Brooklyn. What a band, and what a show. Chuck Billy still has it all these years later, and the rest of the guys haven’t lost a step either. This one’s definitely worth seeing, I just kind of wish traffic would have cooperated so I could have seen Prong. Oh well, Testament and Sepultura were worth the nearly 2 hour drive out and the hour back. Definitely catch these guys if you can.

Chuck Billy and Testament rocked The Paramount on Saturday night