“BLOOD, blood on your lips
Measure my faith
Come on to die with me
BLOOD! Blood on your lips
You’re falling down
Into a pitiless sleep”
SODOM have returned to slaughter the weak and cull the herd with this fabulous stab at Thrash of old, which manages to land relatively close to the mark. We have gripping and nasty shouted gang choruses, stellar axe-work and nice fervent attitude which bleeds conviction. That unique spark which dignified the 80’s Thrash album and charged the riffs to the point the listener lost control of all bodily functions, is in fact rediscovered here which is a feat in and of itself.
The riffage is number 1 on a Thrash disc. You know this, I know this and SODOM fucking knows this. Listen to opener “Blood On Your Lips”, with that tantalizing acoustic cover which piques your interest before scalping you and defecating on your head-wound. The main-break experienced directly after the intro is probably the best riff found on the entirety of the album and will have you attempting to crack your neck for days to come to remove that goddamn crick. The track builds perfectly with the bridge and sucks you into its bowels so that you may revel in perverted riff debauchery. The bending over only continues with the break-neck “Wanted Dead” and “Buried In The Justice Ground”. You hear that solo 2 minutes into the former? Pure unadulterated bliss.
Of particular note are the reoccurring and completely old-school chorus structures. We get group shouting which is a bit deeper than the norm for a gang chorus, highlighting the strong lyrics and book-ending the riffage with blood-curdling fury. Nearly every single track contains these group shouting passages which could grow to annoy a casual listener, but certainly not this reviewer. Angelripper’s voice is still holding up strong, however and he proves throughout that the vocal assistance is by choice rather than necessity. His bass-work is also solid but not the easiest item to pick out in the mix. Bobby Schottkowski’s battery is strong without being flaunty and we even have a couple of drum intros offering a lending hand in dragging you into madness.
Many have complained of this album’s guitar tone; yes it’s somewhat weak and could be a great deal thicker. What one must keep in mind is that this is merely one pot-hole on a long stretch of highway which demands to be trekked. “Persecution Mania” was no “Slaughter In The Vatican”, yet that did not stop you from screaming “SODOMY AND LUST!!!!!” at the top of your lungs every fucking chance you got. “Sodom” is no different as the ultimate factor, the riff gallery, is inherently intact and in your goddamn face like a scrappy fighter taking down the leading heavy-weight. You know, I was pleased with DESTRUCTION’s latest album; “Inventor Of Evil” is non-alcoholic in comparison to this.
If you like Thrash or SODOM you will heavily enjoy this self-titled riff-fest. Not only is the feel of that long lost decade ever present, it is manipulated expertly in a time when it is so goddamn easy for a titan of old to churn out a groove infested self-parodying atrocity which tarnishes one’s record. Tom and company have not lost that spark and they continue to prove that day in and day out with each subsequent album. (Online June 14, 2006)