SPV [Release date 26.08.16]
In their thirty five years of active existence, the Gelsenkirchen-based noisemakers Sodom have helped lay the foundations of the German Thrash Metal scene through sheer hard work and stubborn determination. An integral member of the “Big Teutonic Four”, Tom Angelripper’s outfit has toured the world over and produced some of the best-known and most-loved metal tunes, so it would have come as no surprise to anyone had they decided to slow things down a bit at this stage in their career, right?
Far from it, ladies and gents! In studio album number fifteen entitled “Decision Day”, what we have is a collection of eleven cleverly-crafted, massive-sounding and pretty varied compositions which portray Sodom not as a group in urgent need of retiring but as one going through second youth!
All the ingredients needed in order to make a top quality album are here: a powerful production, great solid riffs, catchy melodies and Tom Angelripper’s trademark vocal lines which, by the way, sound more menacing than ever.
Each composition is strategically placed within the album to keep things flowing in a natural manner- a thing perhaps lost to the untrained ear but one which ensures that the album’s impact is instantaneously felt and that it causes maximum damage to those brave enough to indulge in its charms.
Starting with the up-tempo seductive riffs of the Thrash anthem “In Retribution”, Sodom’s latest offering is powered by raw/unharnessed energy – a phenomenon also observed in its mid-tempo tunes such as “Rolling Thunder”.
Influences from bands like Slayer and Destruction are clearly audible in both the same-titled composition and the more technical piece “Caligula” while in “Strange Lost World” the band’s drummer Markus “Makka” Freiwald helps bring to life one of the grooviest pieces to date.
If speed is your thing then “Belligerence” is your track but those more in favour of melody and atmosphere in music will feel closer to tracks such as “Sacred Warpath” and “Refused To Die”.
A fan of the band’s music since 1986, I have experienced first-hand all the highs and lows in Sodom’s career and “Decision Day” most certainly belong in the former category.
This is a no nonsense Metal album ladies and gentlemen – one that needs to be enjoyed as loud and as often as humanly possible. Sodom made the tunes; what you need to make sure is that these tunes get the respect and recognition that they truly deserve.
Thrash still rules! ****1/2
Review by Ioannis (John) Stefanis
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