Released: 2007, SPV
Sodom. The band is legendary, their contributions to thrash metal well documented over the course of their 25+ (!) years of action. Yet somehow, I’ve never really gotten into the band. Sure, I’ve heard a few songs here and there, perhaps all of AGENT ORANGE, but I’ve just not invested the time that I should have in the band. So, keep that perspective in mind when reading this review.
See, for the band’s 25th anniversary, main man Tom Angelripper decided to re-record the band’s debut EP IN THE SIGN OF EVIL, and complete it with the remaining seven tracks the band had completed at the time (1984) but never officially released. To boot, he’s even gathered up his old cohorts Grave Violator and Chris Witchhunter to add to the validity/authenticity of the project. Clearly, Tom’s heart and mind are in the right place with this release.
That’s all well and good, but how’s the music? Well, given that it’s Sodom, and early ‘80s thrash metal, it’s exactly what you’d expect: throat-ripping, black & grimy heavy metal. The whole smear is topped off with frozen in time production that sounds like it really was recorded in 1984. As for the music, the “new” songs fit perfectly with the old, and the band’s playing is appropriately wild and loose – they’re not technicians and nor should they be.
From the opening blast of “The Sin of Sodom” to the final shredded howl of “Defloration”, Sodom go for the through, barely letting up the assault for a second (although “Sons of Hell” slows things down...a bit). After hearing all of the songs side by side, I’d say that the band chose well 25 years ago for the original track list of the album as, for me, the classic five songs are clearly better than the seven bonus tracks. I mean, I’ll take “Witching Metal” over “Where Angels Die” any day. Through it all though, you can hear the immaturity of the song writing, which drags album down a bit.
All in all, this is a great package for Sodom fans –a definite must buy. For a newbie to Sodom like me, it’s merely an OK old-school metal album and a enjoyable nostalgic trip.