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Sodom: Sodom

It's been five years since German thrashers Sodom released their previous album M-16, and while they did release a live album and DVD in between, this eponymous release sees the trio at their most consistent and perhaps strongest phase. The Angelripper, Bernemann and Schottkowksi trio is the most consistent Sodom lineup since they've been together for over 10 years now, and this has certainly reflected on their new album.

The most noticeable aspect of their new platter is the powerful guitar tone with remarkably improved soloing and melodic content. Produced by former Sodom axeman Andy Brings, the trio opt for a more guitar-heavy release, utilising Angelripper's trademark bass sound as a second guitar to generate a thicker and fuller rhythmic bottom. While this may turn some people off, Bernemann's guitar work should impress quite a few fans. One thing Sodom has always been criticised for was their guitar work, which, some felt, was lacking in their previous releases. This disc more than makes up for it, considering the diverse playing on "Blood on Your Lips", starting with ominous acoustic guitars before launching into a full thrash assault, backed up by a toxic vocal performance, and a great drum attack during the relatively calmer middle section. Though there aren't as many rhythm changes here as on some other pieces, this is one of the best songs on the album. Even Tom Angelripper went out of his way to try something different, using his deep whispered narrations, which you can also hear on "Axis of Evil", whose title was inspired by a quote by George W. Bush. Both of these songs have solemn acoustic breaks and moodier passages compared to much of Sodom's back catalog that may please or anger their fanbase.

Those anticipating a retun-to-form album should look into the shorter cuts, "Lords of Depravity" and "Nothing to Regret". Marked by all the classic Sodom traits, they are pure, direct, and full of energy, but perhaps a bit stale compared to the more driven and surging pieces on this disc. One of them is "Wanted Dead", packed with hundreds of riffs flying around and coming at you from all directions. The song is easily the fastest track Sodom have penned in a long time and it contains a furious guitar solo.

In addition, some of the best guitar playing can be heard on the simple and catchy track "Buried in the Justice Ground", clearly influenced by both Motorhead and Venom, where Bernemann plays one of his most melodic lead solos in a long time and Angelripper's vocals are multiplied into several harmonies. "Bibles and Guns" is almost proto-thrash or perhaps post-punk save for its updated sound. The main guitar riff on "No Captures" is amazing while the solo is gripping and melodically challenging as it is borders on Eyptian scales, one more novelty by Bernemann. Bobby Schottkowski's drumming is typical Sodom, always fast and hard-hitting. The cymbal work on the atmospheric "The Enemy Inside", littered with cold bass and mathematical guitar riffage, makes for one of the best Sodom cuts in years. "Lay Down the Law" is also a standout for Angelripper's killer bass solo and its brutal expression.

As you might guess, this is a good Sodom album and won't disappoint you unless you are still anticipating sequels to Better Off Dead or Tapping the Vein. Years have passed and a lot has changed over the years. So have the guys in Sodom. We should be thankful to them for still making music.

Track Listing

  1. Blood on Your Lips
  2. Wanted Dead
  3. Buried in the Justice Ground
  4. City of God
  5. Bibles and Guns
  6. Axis of Evil
  7. Lords of Depravity
  8. No Captures
  9. Lay Down the Law
  10. Nothing to Regret
  11. The Enemy Inside

Added: April 29th 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Sodom website
Hits: 3278
Language: english

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