SODOM has finally done it. With all the hard work that the band has put forth on its last few albums (“Code Red”, “M-16”) it’s a joy to finally hear that it has paid off. “Sodom”, the latest release from the German Thrash Metal gods nails the sound that SODOM has been striving for since 1995. And believe me, this is a glorious album.
Not only has SODOM pretty much perfected their groove oriented Thrash Metal sound but they have even pushed the boundaries of that concept too by adding even some more modern touches to the album. We’ll get to that in a second though. “Sodom” is quite possibly one of the best Thrash Metal albums to land in my hands in the last decade and with the resurgence of both KREATOR and DESTRUCTION as major contenders – it seems as though the Teutonic Thrash bad boys are back and gunning for the kill.
“Sodom” takes what their previous two albums did and erases all the mediocrity (not that there was a lot) and faults to present the best modern SODOM it can. With top-notch production values, this is quite possibly the best SODOM has ever sounded quality wise. Bernemann comes ripping in with some of SODOM’s catchiest and heaviest riffs all the while keeping the variety of the album fresh so that none of the songs sound too much like another. He blends the groove and the Thrash seamlessly and it never feels forced as it did before at times. Of course, there are those straightforward Thrashers on the album too like “Lords Of Depravity”. There is even the use of an acoustic guitar to open the album up on “Blood On Your Lips” that leads straight into one of the coolest riffs of 2006.
The riffs are heavy and Tom Angelripper’s bass lines sync perfectly with the guitars, so when Bernemann decides to get a little melodic or throw in some leads and his Thrashy solos the music never really loses its energy. In fact, the bass lines get their chances to come forward. “Bibles And Guns” has a great bass break section at :54 that really establishes the kind of bass breaks you are going to hear. They may not be the most complicated bass lines ever but they do the job perfectly.
Continuing with drummer Bobby Schottkowski has also paid off. His drum sound on this album is absolutely studly. The drums sound heavy and really keep the speed of the album up (with some well placed double bass) and his diversity is top of the line. The best think about Schottkowski is that he knows when to pull back with the drums as much as he knows when to be technical and it benefits this album awesomely.
Tom Angelripper’s vocals may not have changed all that much in the last 5 or 6 years, his well established snarling growls and group chants will forever be a SODOM staple. But what really puts this album above the rest is that he really has embraced the modern production. He uses a bit of variety too. He uses some great layering techniques on his vocals to punch areas that may have been missed. He also uses a bit of variety by doing some whispered/spoken sections like the mid section of “Axis Of Evil” or his drawn out snarls that are a little lower in his register for “Blood On Your Lips”.
It’s hard to really explain how much this album is just so kick ass. It seems as though not only has the band nailed all the performances but the song writing too. All the songs on “Sodom” are unique and their own without deviating from the modern SODOM sound. There is no filler on this album and every track could easily become a favorite in my collection. If you are a SODOM fan, a Thrash fan, or a fan of Metal – this album is a MUST HAVE in your library.
Songs to check out: “Blood On Your Lips”, “City Of God”, “Lords Of Depravity”.
(Online January 29, 2008)