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Sodom's 8th full-length, 'Til Death Do Us Unite arrived with a very interesting cover touting the entire birth/death cycle in an image both profane and provocative. Far different than the vivid warfare and gore we'd expect. As for the music, it's largely a welcome return to the thrash metal of years gone, with a few punk tunes that are thankfully more catchy than bombastic, more fluid than forgettable. The band had acquired yet ANOTHER guitar player here, parting ways with Dirk Strahlimeier. Bernd Kost had played on the sole Crows album, The Dying Race, which was great, and he seems a good fit here, bringing the band back fully into the balance of bass and guitar (where the previous albums favored the former at the expense of the latter). What's more, Kost was here to stay! That is correct, Bernd has remained in the lineup until the present time. Well over a decade...a clear record for Sodom.
There are a few stinkers on this album, which preclude it from ranking among the band's best, but there are also a number of excellent tracks that are almost worthy as career highlights. "Suicidal Justice" and "Sow the Seeds of Discord" are both bristling thrashes with a slight proximity to Megadeth classics "Holy Wars" and "Hangar 18" respectively (but solely in the primary guitar motifs), and both among the most exciting and intense the band had produced in about 5 years. "Hanging Judge" is sheer, ballistic speed/thrash with simple riffing, great loud bass tone; "Master of Disguise" following suit; and "Wander in the Valley" has this massive, desolate atmosphere worthy of the lyrics. The cover of Paul Simon's "Hazy Shade of Winter" is also pretty fun, at least more interesting than their closer to the belt covers from the metal field, and among the punk fare, "Polytoximaniac", "Gisela" and "Hey, Hey, Hey Rock'n Roll Star" do not disappoint with their brighter riffs, good lead hooks and gang shouts.
There are, however, a few slower cuts that I found pretty boring, including the title track. It has a nice atmosphere created through the feedback, but the riffs are incredibly pedestrian and I just wish it weren't here. I also don't care for most of the guitars and almost rapped out lyrics in "That's What an Unknown Killer Diarized", though the lyrics are pretty interesting. "Frozen Screams" and "Fuck the Police" are both very energized tracks to bang out the album's opening moments, but neither is really that interesting in the long run. But at least they're played with violent and vicious thrashing. With 'Til Death Do Us Unite, I got the impression that, while still incorporating some of the band's 'fun' mentality, Tom Angelripper had finally decided to consign those elements to his Onkel Tom side band, and thank the stars: the two albums following this one return to pure war-obsessed thrashing.
This was one of the very first Sodom’s albums I bought. I listened to it several times in these years and each and every time I did that, including now, I always think at two thinks that more or less lead to an only one. First one: this is the almost definitive return to good thrash by this band after the improvement of Masquerade in Blood. Second one: why is it so long? General though: it could have been great without some fillers, to thin out at least 10 minutes. Apart from this, this album contains a general idea of return to good quality thrash metal by this band. Now let’s describe it.
The period was really bad for thrash metal worldwide and Sodom was the only band to walk tall in this field in Germany. Destruction were on hold and musically dead while Kreator went gothic/dark. ‘Till Death Do Us Unite marks a definitive comeback under violent compositions that this time have even a more adequate production for the genre: the instruments are again pounding and they are able to display al their power under a good production. The one by Masquerade in Blood was good to but I think this one fits better for thrash. It’s also more polished. The band itself seems regenerated in these years and their violence knows no boundaries.
“Frozen Screams” is blasting and the riffs can bring us back directly to Tapping The Vein. The new members at the guitars and the drums are already great to me. Bobby at the drums is perfect and in fact this line-up stands still nowadays. The guitars riffs are fast and again malevolent, all supported by the psychotic vocals by the always great Tom. A video was shot for the anarchic, punkish “Fuck the Police” and I must admit that both the video and the song are great. This time the production is far more thrash and so also this song can be seen as a thrasher one even if it’s effectively punkish. With “Gisela” we are back to Get What You Deserve times and I’ve said everything with this. Very funny.
We can find also two more mid-paced tracks here and they’re “That's What an Unknown Killer Diarized” and the title track. The Motörhead influences are more present but we can find also more groovy influences in the rhythmic riffage and the crawling tempo. They are quite good and catchy too. Songs like “Suicidal Justice” and “Polytoximaniac” are truly fast and punkish with the powerful, loud bass sound behind the guitars. Going on, my idea is that Sodom put too many fillers in a row. For example, “Wander In The Valley” and the dissonant riffs on “Sow The Seeds of Discord”. The last one “Hey, Hey, Hey Rock’n’ Roll Star” achieve the goal of making me smile but nothing more. It’s far less vicious than the various “Ausgebombt” and “Bombenhagel”.
The rest is quite good and the first three songs are surely the best ones on this album. The title track is fine too but a sense of tiredness invades my mind while I’m going on listening to this album. There are too many tracks and in these cases you should put out always good ones to avoid the listener’s sleep. Seems like that in the 90s, the thrash metal bands forgot that in the century before 9 tracks were perfect to show the power to everybody without resulting boring. The mark for this album is inevitably pulled down by this particular and that’s a pity.
This new Sodom line up works well, after all it's now 2007 and it hasn't changed since '96, which in Sodom terms is pretty impressive.
I will admit that whilst Sodom are my favourite thrash act, they aren't always the best song writers. Several of their albums that show great potential are let down by sloppy half arsed riffing and incosistent style changes. Not so here though. The writting here is even tighter than on Agent Orange. This release finds a re-invigorated Sodom exploring several different styles that have influenced them over the years: From the brutal early nineties material to the head banging straight up thrash and occasionaly punkish material of the eighties era as well as Venom and Motorhead. But whilst this may sound like a recipe for another inconsistent sleepathon, thanks to the great new guitarist and drummer and a decent production job that just aint the case.
Ok so enough of the politics, onto the actual music: You may see the word "Punk" crop up from time to time in reviews for this album, don't panic it really works. Most of the songs on this record barely break the three minute mark, and they're all crammed full with energy and attitiude not felt since the passionate screams of "Remember the Fallen!!!". The new guitarist; Bernemann, plays like he has something to prove to the world. Catchy chugging breaks and furious tremolo picking sit quite comfortably alongside the simple chords of punkish riffs in most songs and every solo is actually memorable for a change. And whilst the punk riffs do crop up from time to time they don't over-power the songs or destroy all the brutallity that is built up, neither do they dominate any one song.
Tom's filthy bass lines are really high up in the mix and so are his heavilly accented rasps and growls. The bass in a three piece band like this is very important to really give the music depth, cos it sure as hell ain't the lyrics (hence not 100%). Gone are the days of lines like "why are the innocent dead and the guilty alive?" and hello unsubtle "Fuck the Police" ramblings, I fucking love it. Just don't expect any passionate anti-war lyrics here, actually I can't remember any wars that were on at the time anyway.
Every song here is memorable and great for head banging to, even the last almost party anthem-esque "Hey, Hey, Hey Rock'n Roll Star". No Sodom fan should be without this album. Ok so it hardly plumbs the depths of human emotion like they tried to on previous albums but its still a great slab of thrash metal. Don't be affraid to check this album out because of all the dfferent styles mixed in, its very well put together, you won't regret it.
When I first heard of Sodom I’d heard nothing but good things. I received recommendations on what album I should listen to first and I was told ‘Till Death Do Us Unite was one of their best albums. Since I’d heard such good things, I approached the music with an optimistic attitude. Sadly, when I was done listening to this CD I was feeling pessimistic. This is supposedly one of the best thrash bands of all time?
I find that hard to believe. A good amount of the songs are far too short, which is a good thing in this case, because most of the songs aren‘t very good. Most of the songs are repetitive, boring, and bleak. For the people who like change in their music, the most interesting parts of this album will be the solos. Sorry guys, but playing the same riff fifty times in a minute doesn’t make you sound good.
The song structures aren’t interesting nor do they vary much. This seems more like a band that say to themselves “how many times can we play this riff in a minute? The more times we play it, the better it will sound”. Yes, this album is packed with speed and riffage, but there is little variety to be found here. Playing fast doesn’t always make you good, especially when you are just playing the same thing over and over again. How can these guys be one of the best thrash bands when nothing about them particularly stands out?
I really did try to listen to this album but I simply could not get into it. It sounds exactly like most other thrash bands. There’s not much unique about the album. I can tell Sodom are good musicians, but I thought this album was as boring as watching flies eat a steaming pile of deer shit, and I wouldn’t buy it even if I had a million dollars in spare cash. Unless you’re a hardcore thrash fan, stay away.
This crisply (and I mean crisply) produced piece of hammer-thrash is an amazingly underrated hook-fest from Tom Angelripper and co. The songs all bear wonderfully memorable refrains, hammering riffs and an energy/fun not heard in any thrash band for years. From the menacing title track to the gunfire riffage of "Fuck the Police" and even the odd Megadeth on steriods styled "Seeds of Dischord" this record is killer.
One of the benefits is the bassy, beefy mix that allows the music to sound thick while the guitars slice and dice through speedy (yet not so fast that any of them sound blurry) riffs that will stick on your mind like fresh penut butter. This record, in my opinion, is that good.
You have Ramones-on-steriods punk such as "Polytoximaniac", grinding Motorhead styled riffs in "Gisela" and angry death-thrash in the pounding "No Way Out". Angelripper himself is in fine form, bellowing his suprisingly well-written lyrics to shocking catchy music tracks that borrow from the best rock and roll hook-craft.
This might not be your dads Sodom, but this Sodom is a Sodom with heft, hook, skill and speed that will leave you singing along for hours.
BUY THIS OR DIE.