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Sodom: Epitome of Torture

I'm not going to give a history lesson here—I simply want to remind readers that Sodom is one of the most important German thrash bands from the early 80s and that they've offered listeners a steady stream of new releases for over twenty five years. Since their inception, they've had quite a few changes in personnel, the only permanent member being Tom Angelripper (vocals and bass guitar). In addition to Angelripper, the current lineup includes Bernemann on guitars and Markus "Makka" Freiwald on drums.

I really liked this album, mostly because of its provocative lyrical themes and its consistent use of thrash elements. For those thinking that thrash is on its last legs, think again. These guys still have it. Like other thrash bands, Sodom offers up several songs that question the nature and purpose of human warfare through their music. In this sense, the music and the lyrics reflect on the messy nature of the modern world, its deadly politics, its endless warfare, its lack of respect for human life. On this album, Sodom turns their attention directly to the problem of torture in the modern in the modern world, particularly its increasingly nasty ways of inflicting pain on human beings. The band also addresses the odd human tendency to give weapons of war cute little names instead of calling them what they really are. The track "Katjuscha" epitomizes this point perfectly—the word is both a girl's name in Russian and the name of a powerful rocket launcher. The title of the album likewise brings to mind the brutal methods that are often used across the globe for political and other kinds of gain.

Musically, this album is strong from beginning to end. This band hasn't forgotten the importance of sticking to their thrash roots. Many readers will probably enjoy "S.O.D.O.M.," one of those band name anthems that get fans to pump their fists at live shows. Other highlights include "My Final Bullet," "Epitome of Torture," and the aforementioned "Katjuscha." It's a little unfortunate that Angelripper pronounces "epitome" with three syllables instead of the usual four. Still, the word fits well into the lyrics and the chorus well enough that I wouldn't ask for a correction. My copy of this release did not include the bonus tracks "Waterboarding" or "Splitting the Atom," two songs that obviously continue the dialogue concerning torture and modern warfare. I suspect they are pretty good songs. The LP release of this album also includes a cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades," one of the many ways Angelripper demonstrates his love for all things Motorhead. No matter the format buyers prefer, this is a release definitely worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1. My Final Bullet
2. S. O. D. O. M.
3. Epitome of Torture
4. Stigmatized
6. Shoot Today Kill Tomorrow
7. Invokating the Demon
8. Katjuschka
9. Into the Skies of War
10. Tracing the Victim

Added: April 30th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2237
Language: english

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