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Sodom: 40 Years at War-The Greatest Hell of Sodom

Whenever a band, especially a band with beloved classic material, decides to retrace their former steps and re-record that material it always comes with a healthy dose of skepticism from the fanbase. Will the band be able to discover anything previously hidden in the material and bring it new life or will it serve as a painful reminder that the band's glory days are far behind by delivering up lifeless shells of their former glorious music? We’ve all seen this play out many times before. Manowar’s re-recorded Battle Hymns immediately springs to mind as being a prime example of the latter. So that brings us to Sodom and 40 Years at War-The Greatest Hell of Sodom.

To celebrate the incredible 40 year career of these teutonic thrash legends, Sodom have decided to re-record one song from each of their albums ranging from their debut Obsessed By Cruelty to their latest Genesis XIX and including “Sepulchral Voice” from their In The Sign Of Evil EP. Main man Tom Angelripper has said about this collection “Our goal was to re-record one song from each of our previous albums. Not necessarily the most obvious ones, we wanted to go for rarities or tracks we`ve never or very rarely played live.” and he also said “We cover the songs unaltered, that’s to say: in exactly the same key and with the original lyrics. We’re better musicians now than we were back then, of course, so the new versions sound tighter and more up-to-date. But the arrangements of the songs were deliberately kept unchanged.”

Those who buy the box set configuration can expect a book with full color prints detailing each album and some band history, Bonus tracks and even new material too.

So how does it stack up? Well I will admit that my Sodom knowledge is fairly limited, besides Agent Orange, Persecution Mania and In The Sign Of Evil which I own and have always loved especially Agent Orange. So I can only largely judge this album on face value. Obviously the older material sounds a lot less raw and underground but no less savage and what those songs lack now in youthful rough around the edges energy, they make up for with a profoundly higher level of musicianship and precision which gives the tracks an even more direct and bludgeoning feel to them. They also unlock the original technicality of the material too. And with the clear and powerful modern production everything just pops and goes straight for the throat. The band is absolutely on fire throughout and sounds as energetic and powerful as ever. Brimming with piss and vineger and ready to say fuck you to the world. Having Frank Blackfire back on the lead guitar also adds legitimacy to the process and besides that the guy absolutely brings his A game to the proceedings. Tom sounds as snarling and vicious as ever and the new guys, guitarist Yorck Segatz and drummer Toni Merkel are perfect partners in crime delivering fantastic performances as well.

I know many old school fans love the lo-fi rawness of their early material and may not want to hear a new version of those underground classics. However, for my own money I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed. I love how especially those earlier songs like “Sepulchral Voice”, “After The Deluge” and “Electrocution” have remained faithful yet in the now far more musically capable hands of the guys' older selves it sounds even more kickass. This album has reignited my love for Sodom and has already begun my deeper dive into better acquainting myself with the parts of their catalog I was yet to explore. Highly recommended for Sodom fans and fans of top tier Thrash.

Tom Angelripper-bass, vocals
Frank Blackfire- guitars
Yorck Segatz-guitars
Toni Merkel- drums

01. Sepulchral Voice 3:55
02. After The Deluge 5:00
03. Electrocution 3:20
04. Baptism Of Fire 4:00
05. Better Off Dead 3:40
06. Body Parts 3:05
07. Jabba The Hut 2:30
08. Gathering Of Minds 4:10
09. That's What An Unknown Killer Diarized 4:30
10. Book Burning 2:35
11. Genocide 4:30
12. City Of God 4:30
13. Ashes To Ashes 4:20
14. In War And Pieces 4:10
15. S.O.D.O.M. 3:35
16. Caligula 4:15
17. Euthanasia 4:00

17. “Equinox” 3:18
Boxset Bonus CD:
01. 1982 3:23
02. Witching Metal 3:27
03. Victims Of Death 5:14
04. Let’s Fight In The Darkness Of Hell 3:07

Added: February 24th 2023
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 508
Language: english

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