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Sodom said farewell to the 20 century with their 9 studio album, the second featuring the most stable line-up the band ever had: Angelripper-Bernemann-Bobby, for almost 14 years. These guys were one of the few exceptions of the old-school Teutonic thrash scene that survived the uncertain 90’s, although the previous album by that time, “‘Til Death Do Us Unite”, showed certain lack of direction and inspiration. The punk/hardcore days of Sodom were long gone and for this record, they tried to follow the same thrashy patterns of “Masquerade In Blood”, but this time bringing back the attitude and magic of their old stuff. There will be no more experiments, risks or radical sound changes in a time when the subgenre seemed to resurrect and rise from its ashes.
The action starts right after that bizarre intro taken from one of Angelripper’s favourite war classic movie, “Full Metal Jacket”. The title-track attacks straight and rough, along with other epic violent tunes in the pack like “What Hell Can Create” and “Book Burning”. Those killer cuts give you the chance to relive the magic of Sodom’s vintage thrash sounds, with a remarkable bunch of devastating riffs and hooks. Technically simple and humble, these guys music is plenty of power, energy and attitude, correctly developed and constructed. It might not be something extremely complex, but the decent abilities of the Teutonic trio manage to create absolutely professional solid thrash. We must be grateful for that, remember this was done back in 1999, who else did it this way? So yes, Angelripper and co. bring their extraordinary original bestiality and speed, with frantic cuts like “Warlike Conspiracy” and “The Vice Of Killing” for instance, but also some mid-paced quieter intense compositions. “Cowardice” and “Tombstone”, particularly that second one with that apocalyptic climax and cool sound effects, are slower, including weighty heavy riffs to support Angelripper’s depressing lyrics. The words of these numbers aren’t immature silly fillers that have nothing to say, this time Tom’s fantasy and imagination reach a higher level. He might didn’t take part in any war but he knows what is it about. The insistent lyrics also talk about alternative themes, like “Spiritual Demise” or “The Wolf & The Lamb”, both thrashy and harsh, slightly weaker than the rest, though. So this amazing collection of Teutonic violent metal is what we were really waiting for during the whole mid-90’s. This sounds pretty much like a back to basics album, back to the genuine concept of the group.
Definitely, this material is way stronger musically than the disappointing previous record. Now Sodom seem to know what they want clearly, the musical path they would follow until the present. However, I couldn’t obviously put these songs in the same level of the old 80’s classics. This album inherits a lot of the stunning attitude and ways of Sodom earliest work, but it features a little lack of consistence at times. Most of these numbers are no longer than 3 minutes (“Addicted To Abstinence” hardly reaches 2 minutes in total). That short lenght keeps this music from being ambitious and elaborated. On other hand, the variety of sounds here is limited, in general all tracks are executed and focused similarly. Some moments may sound repetitive and predictable. This line-up isn’t the most strengthful and competent Sodom had. Bernemann is a completely effective guitar player, his riffs are sometimes spectacular and his lines, in general, immaculately precise. Although he lacks some versatility and inspiration, abusing of pedal effects often. And Bobby is convincing too, controlling the essential double bass-drum techniques admirably well, performing superb blast-beats here. Not as incredible as previous drummer Atomic Steif work and astonishing abilities. But that’s enough, let’s forget the few weak spots and focus on the positive facts. Yeah, this stuff isn’t perfect or amazingly skilled, but that isn’t required in the nature of Sodom’s honest brilliant thrash. Velocity, violence and instrumental competence is what this stuff is all about. The final result is remarkable, enjoyable and glorious in its own way. And luckily, the production of Sodom’s old pal Harris Johns is powerful, clear and rich, making this sound as brutal, merciless and outrageous as it must. No lame sound engineering work ruined the result this time.
I would describe this CD as the best thing Sodom have done in the last 14 years. Nobody did it that great, with the exception of Artillery’s surprising “B.A.C.K.” the same year. I wish there would be more splendid records like this lately, when most of thrash old-school heroes seem to get stuck in their same predictable ways and cliches. The brilliance of the old good times won’t be reached again for sure, but at least some groups offer fresh entertaining material like this that save us from the monotony, tediousness and incompetence of modern music. So all old-school romantics and thrash maniacs in general, you should be listening and headbanging to this, you won’t regret!
The ninth full-length from German thrashers Sodom, “Code Red,” sees the band hurl forth a vicious, scathing return to full-throttle thrash that had long been the band’s trademark after leaving all the punk-infused madness behind and go back to what they used to make that made them so good in the first place.
Despite starting off with a slight punk-influenced sound that gradually got worked out in favor of an intense, more technical variant of thrash that is extremely pleasing to the ear, the fact that the band continued to go back to that sound repeatedly throughout their last few albums was a little agitating for they proved that there was a way of combining the two on the previous album to make for an interesting time. Here, however, all semblances of the simplistic rocking tunes that have been at the hallmark of their punk leanings have been stripped away in favor of a return to full-on thrashing glory. Featuring a bigger emphasis on technically-accomplished and skillful melodies that bring the material further into the thrash realm than anything they’ve done in the past few albums, this is a fun ride through which really kicks the thrash segments into more of the focus as the riffs get a lot more technical and complex than the raging-but-simplistic material that was the primary focus of the last couple albums, the drumming is a lot more dexterous while the writing is packed with much more dynamic and varied compositions that, even during several tracks which have a minor influence from their punk days, the more traditional thrash riffs are still in play enough for a complex wave of riffs to flow forth. That really leaves the old-school punk energy to remain the only real point of impact it has on the album, for the tracks are still quite up-tempo and raging enough for that spirit to be a major factor in the tracks, but that’s about it as this one does favor the more vicious form of riffing that tends to be featured in the traditional thrash bands. Several of the patterns here are straight from the bar area school of riffing that might even have this one confused for one of those bands if only the production didn’t give the group away with their trademark dirty vocals, pounding drumming and commanding guitars placed right at the forefront of the album so there’s no doubt at all about who the band is.
Aside from the return to a more technical way of riff-writing, there’s a decided difference in the two halves of the album. The first half of the album offers up a series of songs written around tight, blasting thrash riffs that really do melt the sense of energy and chaos from their punk days with those complex, intricate thrash riffs that are seemingly built to support a vicious brand of thrash the band hasn’t toyed with since their early days. The impetus for the majority of the tracks is the immediate impact, often-times not even waiting to segue from the previous track and just blasting forth with no real chance to breathe or take in what happened on the previous track as it barrels forth into the next one. Usually starting with a blasting, forceful intro that signals the intention right away without really changing things up at all, which does get old pretty quickly and is thankfully dropped on the second half, these tight, raucous openers are then turned into similarly tight, intense thrash tracks full of blazing riffing, absolutely pounding drumming and numerous tempo shifts that show an appreciable talent for variety and complex patterns that was missing on the last few albums. This ends up giving the album’s first half a lot more of a vicious streak that manages to nicely off-set the ambient noise intro and the one slower-paced track but otherwise, this is all about straightforward intensity throughout. As well, these tracks mostly feature the return of a celebrated part of their sound in an extended interlude within the song where the band just thrashes away at length, offering a chance to let their main riff sit comfortably alongside the music for a killer segment that keeps the energy blazing away, which was a part of their sound that had left them for a while but makes a thankful return here on the upper halves’ tracks, making them that much more important and deadly.
By comparison, the second half of the album is more of an old-school love-letter, not so much concerned with straight-up intensity and seems more concerned with letting the compositions breathe with those more traditional, slowed-down yet complex melodies injected into the fray that makes this more of a truer thrash sound. By deciding to drop the brutality these tracks have more of a life to them than the others and gives it more of a personality that’s dependent upon tempo variety and pattern change-up that’s quite fun. There are still a few scattered places of blasting, intense thrash that was found on the first half but there’s a lot more diversity spread out through these tracks which makes them a lot more fun overall. Managing to mix in some mid-paced tracks as well is a big plus here, making for more of a diversity factor than just the different effects thrown in for the full-effect here that makes this a fun overall for it doesn’t just rely on a few new pieces within the songs but rather it changes things up so there’s not just a constant bludgeoning going on but rather carries on the band’s constant tradition of experimenting with their sound on the back half of albums which they’ve done in the past and is carried on here, which is a nice touch and helps to balance the album out as a whole.
The first half of the album is quite enjoyable and gets a lot of good mileage in here from its intense tracks. After a pointless-but-eerie ambient intro with creepy background noises and effective mood-setting, the albums start off proper with the killer title track, full of barreling drumming, technical thrash guitar riffs that retain more of an old-school feel with blazing patterns and a sense of urgency that includes a series of tight riffing, extended thrashing sections of up-tempo material and a violent, chaotic vocal performance to match the music, making for a stellar highlight and equally memorable way to start the album off. Follow-up ‘What Hell Can Create,’ segued immediately from the previous track, offers frantic riffing with tight, controlled patterns full of pent-up, chaotic energy barreling forth with blazing drumming, utterly demented bass-lines and a knack for dialing back on the throttle for an effective series of melodic, extended thrashing segments, making for another highlight. ‘Tombstone,’ with its bass-heavy, groove-filled riffing, restrained tempo and pounding drumming tries to get the track going but it just never picks up the speed as it remains in the mid-range though is still packed with plenty of groove in the riffs amidst the blaring bass, at the very least sounding like it belongs on the second half instead of placed here in the first part. Thankfully, ‘Liquidation’ returns to form with rocking guitar riffs, steady-but-pounding drumming and a relaxed pace soon kicks into full-on thrasher incorporating a punk-like spirit with its blazing pace, simplistic performances and frantic energy though gets some exemplary thrash with a barn-burning solo section. Ending on a high-note, ‘Spiritual Demise’ blasts right in with pounding drumming, up-tempo thrash chops and technical riffing patterns that makes for an up-tempo blazer with an urgent sense of dynamics with a tightness to the riffing that never lets it breathe for too long, creating a steady, impacting song that’s quite enjoyable overall.
The second here, as mentioned, is more-or-less, the experimental half of the album though it’s still within the realms of traditional Sodom experimentation, meaning its killer thrash with a wide variety of different effects thrown in to change things up somewhat. ‘Warlike Conspiracy’ starts off with rocking up-tempo drumming and chugging riffing follow along the quick pace with a tight, blazing pattern that only gets a relaxed atmosphere once it changes to an extended thrash segment which slows the pace and lets the drumming prepare the majority of the time as the guitars chug along. ‘Cowardice’ is filled with charging mid-tempo riffing with pounding drumming carries along a plodding pace that struggles to get any real traction despite a blazing drumming pattern before it kicks into high-gear in the later half with a better sense of pace and speed as a lame shouting vocal tries to make the chorus catchy. That’s changed nicely with ‘The Vice of Killing,’ as the vicious up-tempo drumming and stylish old-school riffing pattern keep the pace up along the way as it blasts away with abandon and full-on traditional thrash riffs that still sound sharp and vicious despite the familiarity due to the intensity of the performances and relentless attacks from the biting riffs, marking a nice addition to the album. The oddly-paced ‘Visual Buggery’ is loaded with sharp, vicious guitars that slowly let the drums take over with a pounding and pummeling pattern that lets the groovy riff thrash away throughout without any real variation in the patterns or rhythms and lets it fade out at the end. ‘Book Burning’ contains vicious, violent riffing and appropriate drumming to compliment the up-tempo pace that lets the guitars take over the first half of the track before the second half turns into a blasting and chaotic drumming performance to compliment the increased and urgent speed with cavernous, epic vocals. The total old-school blaster ‘The Wolf and the Lamb’ features a stylish drumming intro with vicious, biting guitars that blast away with full-on old-school patterns that lets the dexterous drumming take more of a hold as it whips through a vicious rhythm set that’s quite intense and up-tempo that again sounds sharp and vicious despite the familiarity due to the intensity of the performances and relentless attacks from the biting riffs, making it one of the best tracks on the album. Still not totally eliminated from their sound, ‘Addicted to Abstinence’ shows up as a vicious and blasting punk-rocker filled with energetic drumming, tight vicious guitars that whip through their paces with unbridled fury and tons of punk swagger and energy with a simplistic pattern that retains a highly up-tempo and vicious attitude nonetheless, ending the album on a high note and shows off the only real punk part on their album.
As a real, sharp return to all-out thrashing that brings back more old-school riffing patterns, more technical variations than what was being done in their immediate preceding albums, offering up elements that were part and parcel to their sound and bringing back a bigger sense of grandiose formulas that were made-up to present this as a full-on, intense and raging monster of an album in the grandest sense of Sodom’s storied discography. That they sound this focused, this intense and urgent on beating the listener into a pulp after what was an admittedly fun series of punk-influenced albums that showed the band regressing more to their roots rather than evolving forward to blend their deadly brand of thrash with more brutal influences that was more than possible beforehand, to go back to their total thrashing past is a deft move that’s to be celebrated overall, marking this as one of the better efforts in their career and highly recommended overall.
When I talk about Sodom, the first album that comes to mind is this one... Not because remind me some good memories of youth, when I used to walk to the college having a beer and listening Code Red in my Walkman at the loudest volume, but to consider it, undoubtedly, the best of all their works. It may not have classics like Agent Orange, Nuclear Winter, Sodomy and Lust, Tired and Red, but, in the overall, it brings back the old formula that consolidated thrash style in the 80's and shows a very mature and cohesive band without turn their backs to its violent and aggressive personality.
The record begins with a noisy, annoying and dispensable intro, that soon give way to the title track, which is the best and the heaviest song of the album, showing, with property, a great business card... we barely have time to breathe and the German trio shows us What Hell Can Create: overwhelming riffs, drums fast like missiles and the certain that many metalheads will break their fucking necks!. The prevalent structure of the next songs follow the line present in "Reign In Blood" (which consecrated it): songs with an average duration of 3 minutes, abbreviated and full of energy, virtually ending with the beginning of the next, leaving no time to stop banging! So Liquidation, Spiritual Demise and Warlike Conspiracy sound like a "Sodom tribute" to Altar of Sacrifice and Jesus Saves or Postmortem and Raining Blood... Fast, direct and furious! Even mid-tempo songs, that are usually boring, here are quite interesting, like Tombstone and Cowardice (which gets even nice when accelerating)
Nevertheless, the strongest point of the record aren't those brilliant songs, but its purely thrash essence. It may seem so insignificant, but it drew much attention at the time this album was released, because the old-school thrash was almost ostracized, since its greatest exponents (the "Big Four", Kreator and Sepultura) were increasingly distant from their roots, and amidst all this, a band created in the 80's rescued masterfully the dying thrash metal, releasing an album where every song would fit in any fair classic from the 80's, when everyone took for granted its replacement for nu-metal or metalcore.
The only 'sacrilege' here is the production, which could have been better looked after, the sound was a bit dirty and messy, especially when the bass tones mingles with the double bass drums, however, is not a factor compromising, or coming to overshadow the metallic sheen of this hellish creation!
I imagine that "Code Red" probably allowed a lot of thrashers to breathe a sigh of relief; after 1992's seminal (in my estimation) "Tapping the Vein," Sodom did what a lot of other classic thrash bands from the same era did in the mid-'90s: switch from pure thrash to something different. To be completely fair, Sodom's shift to a more hardcore punk-influenced direction is far less shameful that Kreator's move to erectile dysfunction-rock or Anthrax's shameful embrace of... god, whatever the fuck it was they were doing, but undoubtedly they still left many disappointed who were hoping for at least ONE of the greats to stick with a pure thrash sound. "Code Red" announced Sodom's return to a purer, more intense, less punky thrash style, and really stands as the member of the Teutonic thrash triumvirate that survived the test of time best. "Code Red" ain't bad, even for a band that had been out of the thrash game (more or less) for nearly a decade. Still, something is lacking from this release for me, and I'm still trying to figure out what it is exactly. "Code Red" just doesn't do it for me in the way that previous or even later Sodom albums did, leaving it languishing in a middle-of-the-road position that's the most uncomfortable for an album to be in.
That thing may be that it doesn't sound that much like Sodom, really. As others have said, "Code Red" bears more than a passing resemblance to Slayer, which I'm not going to chalk up to "influence" since the bands basically developed parallel with each other. That being said, the similarity is pretty unnerving at times, and more importantly, the exact form of the similarity. "Code Red" sounds most similar to "Seasons in the Abyss" and occasionally "Divine Intervention"; you know, the albums Slayer released when they were teetering right on the edge of a descent into more or less execrable displays of nu-metal? I actually like "Divine Intervention," but much to this album's misfortune, it sounds a lot more like "Seasons in the Abyss," an album I always thought was the sluggish, sort of senile Slayer album the band crapped out when they had no inspiration. "Code Red" isn't that bad, but the similarity is stark and obvious; if it weren't for Angelripper's vocals and the band's custom style of rolling 6/8 passages, you could hand this to me, call it a product of Araya and company and call it a day.
Moreover, it simply sounds restrained. My pet Sodom album is "Tapping the Vein," mostly because it sounds more like death metal than thrash even if it is, taxonomically, a thrash album. "Code Red" doesn't expand on this; it retracts those influences and makes for a much more straightforward release. It has its moments of aggression: the opening blaster of a title track is probably the most gripping part of the album, and there are other moments throughout where the band shows some vigor. For the most part, though, this tends to sound a little phoned-in and too ordinary for its own good. The songs are rather indistinct and after "Tombstone" I lose track of exactly what's going on with the album- the songs are all very similar to each other and often too midpaced for my liking; the latter half of the album sees some tracks which are almost nothing but midpaced thrash breaks, which brings the sound much closer to later Metallica than I'm comfortable with. Sodom never quite steps over that threshold, but the threat, in essence, is real.
Sodom pulled it together much better on the following album and to characterize this album as a misstep seems sort of inappropriate- I suppose it's more the band finding their feet again than anything. Still, it's easier to pass on this one and get any of the surrounding albums if you're looking for a fix of Sodom. While this is hardly unlistenable, it's one of the weaker records in their catalog, and with a history as extensive as theirs, you might as well set your money towards a more reliable release.
Though 'Til Death to Us Unite took some baby steps towards returning Sodom to the rightful monarchy of German thrash, it was Code Red that would fully blow their punk deviation to smithereens and give us exactly what we wanted: unhinged, devastating war thrash, loaded with the aggression and slick, infectious guitar work the likes of which we really hadn't heard since Tapping the Vein, Agent Orange, or Persecution Mania. I actually credit this to the fact that Tom was able to hold the lineup from the previous album intact; it had been quite awhile and it really shows in the tight execution of the new material, with Bernemann rapidly growing into his position as default axe man until the present, with a slew of riffs that hearken back to the glory days when Frank Blackfire was in the lineup.
Code Red isn't perfect, but there are certain songs here which are damned close, such as "Spiritual Demise" with its excellent mid-paced plotting and waltz of grooving, precision guitars that will strain the neck of any non-poseur to the brink of vertebral collapse; and a nice fast break in there which serves as nothing more than to highlight just how good its verses and bridge are. "The Vice of Killing" is like a "War Ensemble" for Sodom, axes charging as if the business of war were about to be joined by a squadron of professional threat assessors and eliminators. But probably my favorite track on the entire album would be "The Wolf & The Lamb", in which Bernemann creates these lightning fast, cascading patterns that collide incredibly with the thick tone and echoed vocals of Angelripper. "Code Red" itself is another of the strongest tracks, but it sounds quite familiar to their previous hits "Agent Orange" and "Nuclear Winter", so it doesn't possess that same surprise as the others.
Otherwise, the tracks are just average to good Sodom fare that's about the same quality as Tapping the Vein. "What Hell Can Create" is sure to thrill fans of the band's more extreme material, while "Addicted to Abstinence" is thankfully the closest the band get to the punkish thrash they'd be engaged in for the past 6-7 years. There aren't any particularly weak tracks to be had here, though "Visual Buggery", "Tombstone" and "Book Burning" get a little lost in the shuffle. Regardless, the mix of this disc is about as pro as the band would find in their career, with the guitars thick and juicy like a human steak lying medium rare on the field of war, the bass delivered with sufficient bombast without going overboard (as on Get What You Deserve), and battering ram drums and vocals. It's kind of exactly what I look for in a Sodom record, even though a good half of the tracks are not exactly memorable. Worth owning if you enjoy the band, however, and I'd easily place "The Wolf & The Lamb" and "Spiritual Demise" on any career playlist.
Code Red is another Sodom album in which something is missing. Since the thrash metal comeback, this band always released good albums that featured some great, easily recognizable songs along with some less memorable pieces of music and this album doesn’t differ. Sodom are now a well solid reality in thrash metal, they have a long career as musicians (at least Tom Angelripper) and they do their job very well, but sometimes I believe they go downhill for some moments and, like the previous Till Death Do Us Unite, there even fillers. By the way, for the heavier thrash metal approach, I prefer this album. Finally the punk influences are gone.
As always, they know also their job when it comes on the production side. It’s always clear, pounding and perfect to sustain the thrash metal assaults. Fortunately, they left behind the too raw and dry out one of the mid-nineties punk/thrash albums to regain something in power and brutality. So, we start this album with the title track that, after a small intro, explodes in all its brutality. The riffs are compact and fast while the drumming is precise and always classic thrash in the ways it’s done. All the instruments are perfectly audible and Tom’s vocals, even not being the ones of the past, are always nasty and raw.
The up tempo sections are really blasting thanks also to the high volumes. “What Hell Can Create” is another hammered in pure Sodom style. The palm muting riffs are fast and they already show something of how the following M-16 would be. The structures are dynamic and the refrains are catchy and brutal. With “Tombstone” we have the first mid-paced track. It’s quite good and dirty in its slow progression. “Liquidation” is a return to the fast pace with fast switches of tempo and sudden restarts. The impulsivity reign supreme here but the mid-paced riffs is groovish and not that good. “Spiritual Demise” and “Warlike Conspiracy” are two examples of goodish tracks but nothing exceptional.
I mean, the fast tempo parts are present but the structure is quite common and not that good as the previous tracks. “Cowardice” is another quite common mid-paced track. The riffs have nothing new or exceptional inside and the band seems a bit tired. The time of “Remember the Fallen” are too far now. A special mention must be done for Tom’s vocals because they are always suffered and they give something more. “The Vice of Killing” is a return to high levels with angry parts and also the whole structure is far different from ones on the other songs. You can hear it. It’s undeniable. In “Visual Buggery” is liked the main riff and the impulsive approach. Even the atmosphere is darker.
“Book Burning” is hyper fast and this time we don’t find the punk elements anymore. Finally, Sodom has learned to play again fast and brutal without filling their sound with punk influences. “The Wolf & The Lamb” has inside a catchy refrain and the riffs are numerous even if the song is never too fast. I’ve always loved this contraposition. The last “Addicted to Abstinence” is the classic fast paced track to close an album. This time a sort of punkish worshipping is present but the guitars are too thrash metal in the distortion to result punk like in the recent past. I like the burden of anger and impulsivity of this track.
Overall, something is changing in Sodom. Globally taken, I prefer this album to Till Death Do Us Unite; it has fewer flaws and less boring parts. Everything is in a more extreme direction and in a thrasher one too, and that’s not an insignificant thing. In Till Death Dom Us Unite I love the first three tracks and they cannot compete with the three ones at the beginning of this album but Code Red hides inside few small gems that are too overlooked, even by the band itself.
This isn't anything special. If you were expecting a bunch fast paced, riff-laden songs under 3 minutes in length each then you might be contented with this album. And for those who expected a Sodom album will certainly be disappointed. Sodom have managed to put a lot of aggressive riffs into this album but it feels as though they started off very optimistically, then put in a few fillers, then again reignited their passion, only to shove up more fillers again.
The intro is nothing much.The album really kicks off to flying start with "Code Red", easily the best track with aggressive riffing and breathtaking guitar work. The next track "What Hell Can Create" at first sounds like "Code Red Pt. 2" but in fact it is yet another brilliant track with a distinct sound to it. "Tombstone" is of a slower tempo but it completes the trio of songs that get this album off to an amazing start.The three songs that follow are horribly similar, especially "Liquidation" and "Spiritual Demise".They are just 2 and a half odd minutes of riffs, nothing more. Just when you thought you'd wasted 5 $, the album is bought back to life by "Cowardice" and "The Vice of Killing", 2 tracks reminiscent of classic thrash without the raw production.But again, the album goes downhill spectacularly soon after, owing largely to lack of thought behind songs; just simple riffs on a constant tempo.
The production is crisp. Angelripper is in fine form. Bernemann is good at certain parts. Yet the album has failed to live up to its expectaions. It's received 65 basically because the tracks in it are either very very good or absolutely horrible. Also because it's not mallcore (Yes, the time is such that you get a 65 for not sounding mallcore as well)
Sodom follow the amazing "Til' Death Do Us Unite" with this slightly expirimental "Code Red". I t's not so expirimental as some people have claimed, but the playing/production is somewhat modern compared to past works. It isn't as catchy OR violent as the formerly mentioned record, but it IS very good nonetheless. The playing is oddly compressed and tight, the production is modern and not unlike most releases mastered through Columbia records, and the mood is one of technocratic violence and modern conspiracy being put to sound. Tom Angelripper pays attention to the world around him and the band has grown with his constant awareness to the moods of the changing public. (Though he filters this through the traditional Sodom sound which keeps them relevant, instead of forcing them, like most thrash bands to sell out.)
The amazing "Code Red" has some great stop-start riffing and intense vocals that drive the point home. "Warlike Conspiracy", "The Wolf and the Lamb" and a few others also impress with their compisition/lyrical edge. It's obvious that in his old age Tom isn't going soft on us. This may not be as raw as the early years, now swinging as the last few records...but it's forward thinking, intelligent and somewhat clinical in it's approach to songwriting. Tom knows how to push just enough to please himself, but not leave us (the fans) in the dust of his intended progression. Good show!
Sodom have yet to dissapoint me, even though many old fans have pushed them away. This record shows them growing, but keeping the "more bang for your buck" sound they have always used.
Sodom are still the kings...
After all these years, Sodom still is a great band and has changed its sound without selling out like the throng of other trash bands from the 80's. The guitar work and speed are just amazing on this album. These guys shred faster than any other thrash band out there these days.
Every song on this album has a ton of riffs, some fast, some heavy, and some fast and heavy. Code Red has a great intro riff, then followed by a another great rolling riff to carry the vocals through the song. The Vocals are intense and loud, a harsh yelling during the chorus adds some power to this song. What Hell Can Create is cathcy, the riffs and vocals have great rythym and make you want to scream along with it. Tombstone has the best chorus on the album, its delivered with the same style as the Code Red chorus, but with ten times more power and intensity. Tombstone is definatly the best song on the album. From Liquidation to Warlike Conspiracy the album remains good, but offers nothing different than what the first 3 songs did (after the intro). Cowardice has slower riffs delivered with a shreding guitar. It probally has the deepest and most growling vocals. Angelripper extends the chorus when he sings making it sound longer and more death metal. Other than that though the song is pure thrash. The Vice Of Killing and Visual Buggery are more of the same, thrash shreding guitars with harsh vocals done well. Book Burning is the fastest song on this album, just think regular a sodom song, then played in half the time, its fast. The album ends strong with The Wolf & The Lamb and Addicted to Abstinence.
If you haven't noticed, this album is basically a ton great riffs. There are so many in each song, all great, some fast, some slow, most heavy, but they all shred. The solo's are decent, there aren't really that many and are usually overshawdowed by the vocals or riffs. The drums are played well with power and match the guitars and bass nicely, they are just a bit slow though. Overall this is a great album. I think its faster and better than M-16, this is the heavier side of Sodom.
Sodom's Code Red is a good example of a heavy metal band in these new years. The band has changed its ways; from fast thrash style riffs and some crude death metal vocals to all out fast blazing 90's style thrash. There are some songs that continue this growling vocals, such as Liquidation, however it is more of a growl, instead of growling vocals.
All these songs kick ass, there isn't a song on this album that doesn't have a heavy riff or fast solo. The best way to describe it is like old school Slayer, like Reign in Blood. You can pick out certain riffs, like the main riff in Spirtual Demise, and say "Wow, is this Slayer?" Even the singing sounds like Slayer, just a pinch of rough low sound though. Especially the drums, the fast paced double bass leaves you headbanging for hours.
I wouldn't say this is the best Sodom album, but it is a nice one to check out. It is good to see that in these times, heavy metal can change and still remain heavy. Plus the production is nice, adding a great intro, and a lot of kick ass songs and added sounds (like the gun sounds at the end of Tombstone). A nice quality thrash/speed metal album, not Sodoms best, but definetly one to check out!