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It has been 3 years since the last new record released by German thrash act, Sodom, who are arguably more influential in the thrash metal world than Slayer (USA). I have listened to sodom since my teenage years, during school, and sitting outside with the other outcasts at my old school smoking and being obnoxious. Sodom always reminds me of a more innocent time, but at the same time, reminds me of what a shithead I used to be.
Sodom started as a low-fi blackened thrash act, and moved more towards just being a thrash metal band. They are probably my favorite thrash act to date (other than Swashbuckle or Megadeth's early stuff), and I never miss a record when Sodom releases one. I first found sodom on a whim when I heard the Cradle Of Filth cover of the song "Sodomy and Lust", which is probably the worst cover in the world. I wanted to base Cradle Of Filth's cover on a score of 1-10, and after hearing the original, I gave it a flat out 0.
This record is very different from anything Sodom ever released. The sound of the vocals follow the last record ("The Final Sign Of Evil") and their self titlled, 2006 release, but the music had a sound that I haven't heard since M-16 and Masquerade in Blood. It was really melodic and catchy, but still in your face and kicking you into overdrive waiting to hear the next track in wide-eyed anticipation. It's the kind of record that a band releases mid-career, but as we all know, Sodom is way past their mid-career (after being around nearly 30 years).
Everyond knows and loves the album "Agent Orange" because it follows not only thrash elements, but the harsh screaming (Thank you, Tom Angelripper) also caught the attention of people in the death metal crowd. Eventually, many Black metal fans started listening to Sodom and started to love them. "In War And Pieces" will follow this trend, I think. Though not as heavy, though more "mainstream" and more melodic, though (dare I say) less heavy as all the predecessing albums, it is still a great album.
The drums are fantastic, hitting sometimes 5/7 timing and most of the time hitting 3/4, which is rare in thrash, which hits usually 4/4 timing. The fills were great, and really technical, showing that Bobby Shottkowski still has his skills. Many people may argue in the future that the drums were slow and thus he lost skill, but I think it takes more skill to play a slow 5/7 timed drum piece than a really fast, oompah loompah polka 4/4 timed beat. The guitar was fan-fucking-tastic. It was like M-16 but better, in your face and getting you aching to hear the solo, and when that beautiful moment happens, you can't help but sit back and say damn...
All in all, I'm really pleased with this new album. It'll definetly go down in my favorites, and I couldn't hope for better from the 3 guys from Sodom. I hope they have a few more great albums in their brains, and I'll be waiting to hear them.
Highlights: In War And Pieces, Through Toxic Veins, Nothing Counts More Than Blood, God Bless You, The Art of Killing Poetry, Knarrenheinz