Saturday, January 15, 2011

Initial Impressions: Sodom: In War and Pieces

Sodom is one of my favorite thrash metal bands. A pioneering band that had an influence on the beginnings of three different metal genres (thrash, black, and death metal), Sodom is also one of the most consistent thrash metal bands. Sodom has never really put out a bad album, although some albums were not quite as good as others. They have also never really softened their sound. Sodom is about intense and aggressive, raw and primal thrash metal. They may have experimented with some other influences, such as hardcore punk, at times, but, unlike their contemporaries, have never abandoned to any degree, their signature core sound. Sodom has never gone modern rock (Metallica, Megadeth), groove (Anthrax, Exodus), industrial (Kreator), or death metal (Testament).

So what do we have on this album? Well, it is plain and simple: Sodom. From the opening salvo on the title track, through the Slayer-esque "Hellfire", on through the entire album, this is definitely, defiantly Sodom.

Sodom has not released an album full of original material since 2006, but the band proves on this release that they still have plenty of fight left in them. The riffs are some of the best the band has written in years. The riffs are violent, which is typical for the band. As usual, the riffs and the vocals are the stars here. The drumming and bass parts are impressive, but it's the guitar and vocals that lead the charge here. Bernemann Kost has only been with the band since the mid 1990's, but he can play riffs that sound like they would have been at home on Sodom's prime albums.

Tom Angelripper also once again sounds great. His vocals are very distinctive, sounding a bit like Lemmy after drinking a bottle of acid.

The lyrical themes have softened in a few places. "God Bless You" is actually a very impressive tribute to soldiers at war. The music is suitably more melodic on that track than on most of the others. The album also features "Knarrenheinz", which is the story of the band's mascot character.

Sodom has once again released a powerful thrash metal album. One of the most consistent acts going, Sodom shows why they are one of the leading bands in the German scene.


  1. I have to say, I was surprised that I actually liked this album. I know it makes me something like a blood-traitor to metal, but I have to admit that I really dislike pretty much all the old Sodom stuff I've ever heard. The current vocal sound, though, seems to me like a huge improvement over stuff like Agent Orange and helped me to enjoy this album.

  2. Traitor!

    No, just kidding. I have been a huge fan of Sodom since I first heard them, but everyone's tastes are different.