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For their sixth full-length LP, Get What You Deserve, Sodom went in a vastly different musical direction from their previous efforts. Gone were the thrash metal theatrics of such records as Persecution Mania, Agent Orange, and Better Off Dead. Also nowhere to be found were the flirtations with death metal showcased on their previous studio album, 1992's Tapping the Vein. These were replaced with a full-on adoption of the stripped down punk ethos, with sixteen bass-driven compositions of varying quality.
If Get What You Deserve had to be described in one word, it would be grimy. The production on the album sounds gritty, and rough around the edges. Tom Angelripper's fat, overdriven bass, and shouted vocals are the focal point of the record, as the guitar is merely an afterthought. Although he is somewhat buried in the mix, Andy Brings, on his second and final outing with Sodom, turns in a serviceable performance as a background piece, and his treble-laden tone provides a nice counterpoint to Angelripper's rumbling bass. Newcomer Atomic Steif, who had replaced longtime member Chris Witchunter on drums the previous year, is far more precise and cleaner as a player than Witchunter ever was.
Although it is sonically pleasing in a lo-fi sense, the compositions make for an album of peaks and valleys, with great songs and completely forgettable ones often alternating throughout the record, one by one. You can two memorable songs, such as "Jesus Screamer", and the German-language punk rager "Die Stumme Ursel", separated by a totally unspectacular crossover/thrash workout, "Delight in Slaying". Angelripper's lyrics have taken a turn for the seriously meat-headed on this album, as well. Songs such as the delightfully stupid "Eat Me" are peppered with lazy and sometimes uncomfortably specific sexual metaphors. Despite this, there is an undeniable energy to Get What You Deserve that is hard to ignore. Cuts such as "Sodomized" and the title track, which opens the album, are chock-full of riffs that can send one into a frenzy. The aforementioned "Eat Me", despite the ridiculous lyrics, plods along with a delightful Motörhead-esque simplicity. The instrumental "Tribute to Moby Dick" hits the listener like a ton of bricks, with whale noises superimposed over plodding, doom-ish guitars. The song it leads into, "Silence is Consent" is probably the best song on the album, and has some semblance of melody, a rarity for Sodom.
Despite the many memorable cuts, there are the aforementioned forgettable tracks which really bog the record down. Tracks such as "Into Perdition" and "Fellows in Misery" come of as pretty stock and boring, and nothing really sticks out about them. "Unbury the Hatchet" is more Motörhead worship, but the track comes and goes without much fanfare. Overall, while Get What You Deserve is a highly uneven affair, It is a decently fun listen, made worthwhile by songs such as "Die Stumme Ursel" and "Silence is Consent", and the atmosphere of grime and grease. As far as the paths taken during the 1990s by prominent thrash metal bands, one could definitely do a lot worse than Sodom did.
The sixth effort from German thrashers Sodom, “Get What You Deserve,” is quite easily the odd-man-out in the bands’ discography, for while it has plenty of merits on its own the fact that it appears out-of-place where it is in their collection of albums makes this one stand out all the more so.
More than perhaps any other album in their history, this one demonstrates the band’s punk-influenced leanings front-and-center for all to see, which as a whole seems to be a rather curious placement for this one in their discography. Their previous efforts had already shown the band dropped the vast punk elements that had been a part of their early sound in favor of a devastating blend of technical death/thrash with minor hints of the ferocity of black metal, with touches of punk energy being the only remaining influence found within. However, rather than keep up with that style or experiment with the sound as they had so capably shown could happen on the last record this one decides to abandon nearly all those elements in favor of what could arguably called war-punk as it’s more in feeling and tone with the original sound the band debuted with. Any and all semblance of technicality is gone as well as the lengthy, complex compositions that had become the band’s trademark, replaced instead with punk-ragers filled with simplistic, vicious and intense riffing that carries the energy and tone of the band’s past works but hardly has any of the thrashing madness they were known for. Occasionally it’ll whip itself into a frenzy with some thrash beats and riffing, but far too much of the album contains rocking punk-like riffs built on simplistic chords carried throughout the song as a whole and varying only slightly along the way. Armed with loud, pounding and simplified drumming that retains far more thrash in it due to the momentum and surprising dexterity afforded to the playing that is usually a part of their playing anyway so to see it carried over anyway is a nice connection to the past. Still, the shortened lengths for the songs are what really stick out here, with an equal running time for the whole album generated through an additional number of tracks as only three go over three minutes in length while everything else is barely two-and-a-half on average, one of which doesn’t even generate two minutes running time. This abbreviated time is a heightened example of the punk influence on the writing not allowing for a lot of really complex ideas to be integrated into the proceedings, instead getting down to business and moving on regardless of the destruction of the target that’s in total conflict to their past works where the band preferred to wait around and devastate with total authority to move on only when that total devastation was assured to have been accomplished. To have regressed in such a manner is quite curious and is overall more of a personal preference manner of attack that has nothing to do with the album as a whole. All of this practically means that there’s no real change or difference in the album from one-side to another. The halves aren’t split into changes that are drastically different, for if you found the songs good on the first half that style is repeated in the second.
There’s not a whole lot here that really sticks out in terms of the individual songs as this one tends to be pretty straightforward how it goes about its business. The opening title track features strong drumming with plenty of vicious riffing, steel-faced punk-like attitude and energy with thrash riffing around the solo before a return to hybrid punk-like riffing to start this off nicely. The somewhat-bizarre ‘Jabba the Hut’ features screaming schizophrenic riffing and blasting drumming that keeps the energy going strong in a blazing punk-rocker without too many thrash influences. That’s rectified in the shorter-but-vicious ‘Jesus Screamer,’ which goes through a blasting intro with pounding drumming, totally chaotic riffing and actually manages to mix the punk and thrash quite nicely with slightly more technical riffing than before and with pure thrash vocals in its devastating, tight package, emerging as one of the album’s highlights. ‘Delight in Slaying’ features simple riffing in a straight-forward, frenetic-paced rager with blasting drumming at vicious speeds and minor tempo changes for a somewhat thrash-like feel that gets the closest to the band’s classic sound as the record gets. One of the few experimental tracks here is the simple, rocking ‘Die stumme Ursel,’ which stays a punk-filled mid-tempo rager with simplified performances, constant pace with thunderous drumming and a schlager-esque feel due to the simplified chorus begging for a sing-a-long that gets as close as the band comes to such a tactic in their writing and remains one of the stand-out songs for such a feel. ‘Freaks of Nature’ is another blasting thrasher built around vicious riffing with more traditional thrash elements, especially in the bass-work, and haunting atmosphere around the backing vocals that retain a violent, intense vibe for another stand-out song. Changing things up is ‘Eat Me,’ with its simple, punk-drumming intro with restrained, mid-tempo riffing and pace that adapts thrash-like pacing around the minor solos and remains in consistent gear for the majority of its duration. The raging ‘Unbury the Hatchet’ returns to more rocking punk-like riffing with plenty of intense drumming, punk riff-work that still moves along at a high-speed and packs tons of energy in a quick pace, ending the first half on a positive note.
The second half is pretty much the same as it was the first time around and features many stylistically similar tracks overall. ‘Into Perdition’ starts this half of the album with dark, intense riffing with pounding drums, brutal vocals and a steady, vicious pace with sporadic moments of chaotic razor-wire riffs off-set by continuous blasting pace, pretty much what was given to us initially. The album’s most brutal track, ‘Sodomized,’ is a vicious monster with thrash-like riffing and intense drumming keeping a steady pace as the vicious riffs lend it a chaotic vibe amidst the simplistic thrashing and energy-fueled performances, generating another stand-out. ‘Fellows in Misery’ has another standard energetic thrash intro with traditional riff-work and thrashing drums to off-set the chaotic vibe and blasting tempo that keeps the whole affair rather frantic and intense. The usual experimental track, ‘Tribute to Moby Dick’ is a bizarre instrumental that retains an epic feeling with slow-building doom-esque riffing, restrained drumming and whale singing over the top of an attempted intense series of riffs that falls short with its placement on the album. Following that is another misstep in ‘Silence Is Consent,’ as its feedback-riddled intro with blazing drums, simplistic riffing and plenty of energy that just feels like a carbon copy of the other tracks without the urgency or intensity that littered those tracks. The rousing ‘Erwachet!’ features a load of high-energy punk-like drumming with splendid energy, chaotic riffing and frantic vibe in a short package that really gets itself over quite nicely. This is repeated in ‘Gomorrah,’ as the chaotic energetic riffing with punk-drumming display, urgent razor-wire riffing with a barnburner off-the-rails feel, dirty vocals and driving intensity generates an impressive feel overall and creates another album highlight. Things end on a high-note with the cover of Venom’s ‘Angel Dust,’ a raging mid-tempo rocker with plenty of pounding drumming, simplistic riffing that feels in spirit of the original and comes faithfully close in most respects as it’s in keeping with the feel and flow of the bands’ original tracks on the album and ends up closing the album nicely.
Frankly, this is one of the most confusing efforts in their whole discography, offering plenty of elements that should make it work on its own there’s just the innate feeling that something is missing. More than likely it’s due to this album appearing at the wrong placement in the release order of their albums as this tends to present far more closely-conceptual releases to the first album rather than the technically-proficient death/thrash that had been the focus of their previous record and therefore feels like it should be placed in line with that release. It’s more of a regression than a progression where it’s placed now, and that may turn off some expecting another round after such an impressive outing the last time around, despite the fact that under most circumstances this is still an overall solid album, which is filled with passionate performances, devastating songs and a total blast of energy overall that makes several songs quite infectious. As it stands, though, this one is rather more for the bands’ fans than just general thrash fans like the majority of their material.
Having renewed their approach to extremity on 1992's Tapping the Vein, Tom Angelripper and company decided not to simply repeat themselves, but explore their tendency towards raucous punk rock to its natural conclusion. The result was Get What You Deserve, a pretty severe splatter/party album which fuses this attitude with the band's metallic fundamentals, for a fairly unique sound that remains entirely Sodom. The bass becomes the central instrumental here, which is unusual despite the 3-piece configuration: Tom has always been an impressive, thick player, but the guitars were there to match his prowess. Here, his distorted lines are the dominant force, after which Tom's death barking, Atomic Steiff's relentless pounding, and Andreas Brings' thin, savage tones splay out in descending order of importance.
Get What You Deserve is rather a mess, but a hot mess reeking of blood, alcohol and semen, like the dire cover image might suggest. Most importantly, it's fucking heavy. Turn this up to an appropriate volume and the bass will rattle your bones and teeth, almost like experiencing it in a live setting. Certain of the tracks rely on pure punk rock aggression, like "Die Stumme Ursel", "Eat Me!", "Fellows in Misery", and "Erwachet", all of which fester in the simplicity of the familiar riffing (Sodom have never written interesting punk tunes, settling with the standard chord progressions) and Tom's omnipotence in the mix. But there are also tunes with a little more bite to them: "Jesus Screamer" is a ripping, hardcore blasphemy; "Delight in Blasphemy", "Gomorrah" and "Into Perdition" rekindle memories of In the Sign of Evil and Obsessed by Cruelty; "Tribute to Moby Dick" is a riot of slow, doomed thrash and whale samples, completely unexpected even if the riffs are bland.
The album is closed with a cover of Venom's legendary "Angel Dust", only too natural in this environment of originals, for that band was likewise influenced by the excess of punk attitude and simple songwriting which Sodom are emulating here. I won't lie and say that Get What You Deserve belongs among the band's more recognized works. Personally, I'm just not a fan of the guitar tones, no matter what sacrifice they are making for the raw swagger of the basslines, and more importantly, I'm not a fan of the guitar writing. It seems almost an afterthought here, and my favorite memories of this German staple all consist of those with strong (Blackfire) axe work. But as a 90 degree diversion from the band's usual course, it's fun enough to just crank the damn thing and ride the overbearing, violent impulses, even when the back of the mind mourns for the lack of a "Sodomy and Lust" or "Agent Orange".
I have been a Sodom fan since the beginning of their lengthy career. Some of their releases have been utterly classic, some just average, and others sub-par at best. "In the Sign of Evil" was the sickening template for so many death/black/& thrash metal bands to follow, while "Persecution Mania" displayed blackened thrash at it's finest.
Sodom is a band that often sways from one style to another between releases. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what your taste is. I, for one am much more inclined to revel in the onlaught of the more intense Sodom sound, whether it be the early, raw, pure evil of the aforementioned "In the Sign of Evil" or the progression to the violent thrash of "Persecution Mania". The brutal, almost death metal sound of "Tapping the Vein" is also very much to my liking. I am not so interested in the polished, hooky sounds of albums like "Better Off Dead" & "M-16".
Here, with "Get What You Deserve", you receive a sick, aggressive, & raw Sodom with a mixture of all things violent. There are hints of hardcore punk, but when it comes down to it, it is just Sodom being outright vicious. Songs such as the title track "Get What You Deserve", along with standouts "Jesus Screamer", "Into Perdition", & "Delight in Slaying" all give you the up beat nasty noise of Sodom, mixed with the catchiness they have perfected so well.
On this slab of ugliness, Angelripper's vox are of the bleeding throat style which are my favorite from his arsenal of vocal styles, and his bass sound is extremely sick. Steiff's drums are super aggressive & hectic which adds to the mayhem. Randall's guitar is a little low in the mix at times, but it's plenty dirty and it fits this version of the band just as I would expect.
Fans of the more disgusting, filthily crafted Sodom, definitely need to own this. While some fans may want their German Sodomy rooted more in the laid back, less aggressive style, I strongly prefer the bombastic feel of the band, which is most definitely displayed on "Get What You Deserve".
This album is in my opinion the turning point for Sodom, but I don’t mean in a good way. To me Get What You deserve is a turning point for its sound and for the new influences this band added to the classic, old school thrash metal. If the previous Tapping The Vein was incredibly violent with a pounding production, this one is characterized by more punk influences and a rawer sound. The line up has changed again and maybe the various members contribute in bringing new sounds to add to the classic Sodom mixture of death/thrash.
The drumming, in particular, is way more minimal and punk than before and even if Witchhunter was not Portnoy, this time the new drummer is even rawer. Sodom never cared about this and I love them for that. They’ve always preferred raw sonorities and not awesome musicians but the result has always been the same: good music. Some albums, like Agent Orange, Persecution Mania or the recent M-16 are far more thrash and way better than this Get What You Deserve, but I can’t say this is a bad effort, not at all. It depends on the tastes, but here we must remark the heavier dosage of punk/hardcore influences.
The drumming, as I said before, is very childish and raw, with the fast alternation of simple beats on the snare and on the bass drum. “Jesus Screamer” and “Delight in Slaying” are just two starters if we talk about the punk sounds while even the most thrash songs like the title track and “Jabba The Hut” always show a more hardcore approach with lots of simple open chords riffs and raging vocals by the unmistakable To Angelripper. To me the real highlight in this album is the total punk “Die Stummel Ursel”, where the band even not playing so fast is always compact and funny through catchy melodies and rough vocals.
The production is not awesome and far more primordial than the previous efforts, Tapping The Vein included. It’s not a perfect one, for sure, and the guitars are a bit too low compared to the drums. The bass is almost absent but it’s more audible during the slow open chords parts like in “Eat Me!”. The length of these songs is quite short but to me 16 songs are a bit excessive because to do that you must play always compact, with no hesitations and weak parts; a thing that Sodom are not able to do on this CD. Sometimes the riffs are too similar and even if we can always enjoy the various punk parts (very nice, actually), the boredom is always ready to attack.
“Into perdition” fortunately is more thrash with that early death metal component that was a trademark for Sodom in those days. Also the bass is far more hammering behind the always massive drums volume. “Fellow in Misery” could have been great on In The Sign of Evil EP for the black/punk riffs while I’m still reflecting about the utility of a track like “Tribute to Moby Dick”. “Silence is Consent” in some parts is almost hilarious for the punk riffs and “Gomorrah” is a direct continuation. Here Sodom are almost unrecognizable.
Overall, it’s a goodish album by Sodom. Sixteen tracks are the perfect demonstration of how much Sodom got into hardcore/thrash metal at the time and some of them are completely forgettable. On the other hand there are remarkable parts and tracks that anyway can’t compete with the past ones or with the ones from ‘Till death Do Us Unite up to recent times.
Get What You Deserve marks a departure from Sodom’s signature thrash sound and seminal albums like Persecution Mania and Agent Orange, which put them in the same league with fellow German acts Kreator and Destruction and established them as one of the protagonists of the 80s thrash wave. This is a noticeably stripped-down version of Sodom, one that sheds some typical thrash metal conventions and aims at an uncompromisingly raw, punkish sound instead.
The most obvious difference to both earlier and later Sodom albums is the length of the songs, which are fairly short for the most part, rarely eclipsing the three-minute mark. Another major deviation from the tried and true Sodom formula, which is in direct relation to the one just mentioned, is the overall lack of guitar solos. There aren’t too many solos on this album, and that’s not a good thing, since catchy solos are one of Sodom’s definite strengths and a big reason why some of their older releases, like Agent Orange for example, are considered legitimate thrash classics.
The production is also different here, sounding very raw and unpolished, even a bit fuzzy at times. Sodom recorded this album as a three-piece with only one guitarist and apparently went for a production capturing their live sound in those days, eschewing guitar overdubs and using only a single guitar track instead. This leads to some instances when the guitar sounds thin and indistinct, particularly during some of the faster parts, when it is barely audible beneath the heavily distorted bass and relentlessly pounding drums (just listen to “Into Perdition”, for instance, and you’ll know what I mean).
Speaking of fast, one thing that’s certainly not missing on Get What You Deserve is speed. In fact, there’s plenty of speed here, as the songs generally move along at an extremely quick pace, with only a few exceptions, such as the instrumental track “Tribute to Moby Dick”, the brutal “Sodomized” (oh boy …) or the grinding “Eat Me”, which might as well be a Motörhead cover. In many ways, the whole record could basically be characterized as Motörhead on speed—just reduce the tempo by a small margin, add cleaner production values and insert Lemmy’s characteristic vocals, and what you get could easily pass as a forgotten Motörhead album.
On the other hand, there are instances when Get What You Deserve reminds me a lot of the proto-black metal Sodom used to play in their early days on records like In the Sign of Evil and Obsessed by Cruelty. This is mainly due to the insane speed of most of the songs, Angelripper’s unusually harsh vocals and the sloppy, raw, somewhat low-fi production, which together create an evil, slightly chaotic atmosphere that was also present on Sodom’s very early releases. One could even argue that Get What You Deserve, since it’s basically a raw blend between thrash, black metal, punk and Motörhead, is not all that different from what black metal figureheads Darkthrone did on their last record, The Cult Is Alive.
When it comes to the lyrics, however, there aren’t many similarities to black metal. Unlike most other Sodom albums, the lyrics on Get What You Deserve don’t explicitly deal with war, and they certainly aren’t concerned with Satan, even though some of them at least showcase a marked anti-Christian attitude, such as “Jesus Screamer” and “Erwachet”. Others deal with rather odd topics like the extinction of endangered species (“Silence Is Consent”), sex and sexually abnormal behavior (“Die stumme Ursel”, which is obviously not to be taken very seriously, “Fellows in Misery”, “Sodomized” and several others) and Jabba the Hut—yes, THE Jabba the Hut! Unfortunately, as can be inferred from some of the song titles, the lyrics frequently go a little over the top and cross the boundary to utter ludicrousness more often than one would prefer.
Despite such shortcomings, Get What You Deserve still passes as a pretty decent album. You really have to admire the uncompromising badass attitude that’s on display here, and some of the raunchy punk/thrash/black metal bastards on this record are actually quite enjoyable—particularly the short but sweet “Jesus Screamer”, “Sodomized” (as long as you ignore the lyrics), the lightning-fast “Silence Is Consent”, “Gomorrah” and the nicely done Venom cover “Angeldust” come to mind. But if you should happen to be new to the band and considering getting your first Sodom album, this is probably not the one you’d want to start with, as it’s not representative of the band’s trademark sound. To find out what Sodom are really all about, try anything from Persecution Mania to Tapping the Vein or anything after ‘Til Death Do Us Unite first. Once you’ve checked those out, Get What You Deserve is definitely worth a listen.