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In sport sometimes you just need to keep that wily veteran around the traps. Sure their best years may be behind them and the game may have passed them by a little, but you can’t go past true quality, class and experience and you need them around to teach the next generation and set an example for the team. In the now resurgent thrash scene booming globally and sprouting a new breed of thrashers Sodom is that much needed old head.
Where most of their Teutonic thrash compatriots have wanned and come back and wanned again Sodom have weathered their midlife crisis of punk tinged mediocrity and been tearing it up in the new millennium. We may only have had two proper full lengths since 2001, but they have both been corkers and well worth the wait and despite sticking to a tried and true formula they have continued to wipe the floor with younger more hyped bands in the thrash genre.
In War and Pieces completes a trilogy of classic 00s releases and while paying respect to the past also remains modern, relevant and dynamic within their brand of darkened thrash. The album combines some of the catchy sing a-long moments of M-16 with the hard hitting aggression and no nonsense approach of 2006s self titled scorcher. The Germanic legends have lost none of their ability to pen a good ditty to complement their blistering riffage with exceptional song writing and structure again at the fore building on the time honored verse-chorus-solo approach. Tracks such as ‘God Bless You’, ‘Soul Contraband’ and ‘Nothing Counts more than Blood’ highlight this technique to a tee while also blending in anthemic choruses, rock structures and a little epicness to round out the winning formula.
Unlike their previous self titled cut which boasted a truly brutal and boisterous sound Waldemar Sorychta’s production helps bring out the more subtle moments and gives a nice modern edge to the classic Sodom sound. And be damned if Angelripper’s vocals aren’t getting better with age, sure he is now sounding even more like Mille from fellow brothers in arms Kreator, but that is hardly a bad thing and helps bring more personality to the songs which is better than anything the cliché yelling, shouting, screaming, death grunt hordes could ever hope to compete with.
In War in Pieces is yet another impressive notch in Sodom’s bullet riddled belt, whether you are an old fan, current fan or new fan. Their approach is proven, their style their own, so why change a winning formula? Quality is timeless and Sodom’s brand of thrash continues to pass the test of time. Recommended essential metal.