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The Vietnam War was a war against the local population. According to many estimates, the number of civilian victims was four times higher than that of the killed soldiers. It seems that both sides did not fight very gallantly. With regard to the inhumane cruelty, this historical background offers a suitable ambience for an unleashed thrash metal orgy. Tom Angelripper's Sodom returned to Vietnam with the here presented album. Their first trip "Agent Orange" had been successful and the band did not rest until "M-16" also reached a fantastic level.
The album profits from a vigorous sound that rolls out the red carpet for each and every band member to demonstrate its musicianship. The guitars deliver the maximum degree of pressure and violence and the vocals of Angelripper add the right amount of cruelty. We do not need to discuss that he does not possess the most variable voice. But he has developed his own identity and his performance does not lack of expressiveness. Quite the contrary, he gives a voice to the horrors of war.
Militaristic drum rolls open the album and Sodom struggle hard to find their way through the impenetrable Vietnamese jungle. Bernemann's guitars work like machetes. Driven by the precise and punchy beats of Bobby, the guitars form the songs in an admirable manner. Even though the merciless "Napalm in the Morning", which is introduced by a cynical film excerpt, does not belong to the best tracks of the album, its profound verses are based on a very powerful line. Due to the mid-pace rhythm of this song, the riffs have room to breathe and Bernemann makes full use of this situation. Apart from the massive guitars, the coherent chorus of this track leaves its mark as well. Sodom had always a fine sense for violent melodies, albeit they did not show it on every output. But the punk influenced approach of albums such as "Masquerade in Blood" did no longer play a role. "M-16" proclaims a manifesto of pure thrash metal and "Napalm in the Morning" is not its only mid-tempo tune. The slowly growing "Genocide" is also mainly based on mid-paced sequences and the guitars create an adequate atmosphere of fear and discomfort. Already the ironclad riffs at the beginning of the song achieve a large impact.
No doubt, the aforementioned songs deliver a fine portion of thrash, but the best tracks wear other names. The highly dynamic "Among the Weirdcong" combines all important elements in order to fascinate the listener. Effective tempo changes, excellent guitar lines and a sinister aura of war give a terrifying picture. Not to mention the lyrics ("Emotions died... when I saw my friends impaled to death"). But "I Am the War" makes no prisoners as well. Even more rabid than the opener, this song starts the assault with razor-sharp, edgy riffs, furious vocals and relentless drumming. Speaking of the drums, the variable and masterly performance of Bobby characterises the intense "Cannon Fodder" as well, while "Marines" takes a less barbaric route. It would be an exaggeration to say that each and every song of "M-16" develops its own unique identity. Nevertheless, Sodom are able to lend the majority of the tunes an unmistakable face. The sick cover version at the end of the album sounds also distinctive, but I freely admit that I do not know how this song fits into the context of this album. (And I prefer the version of The Ramones, who covered this tune on "Rocket to Russia" in a more melodic manner).
From my point of view, "M-16" marks the end of an underrated trilogy of very vehement Sodom albums. It was "'Til Death Do Us Unite" that brought the band back on track after their more or less uninspired punk excursions. The hammering "Code Red" confirmed their regained metallic strength and "M-16" did not show any signs of fatigue. Five years later, the band began to discover the supposed glory of mid-tempo rhythms. But I do not want to go any further into that. "M-16" itself is a highly aggressive album of a savvy combat unit without any disappointing tracks. Test it out - and perhaps you like to spare a thought for the victims of the Vietnam War.
The tenth full-length from German thrash mainstays in Sodom, “M-16,” is another strong, intense effort that shows the band has really come to terms in this later stage of their career to return to a full-on thrash with one of the better releases in their catalog.
Having come around full-circle and including more of the darkened thrash attack on the last album, the fact that this one continues on in that vein is quite a strong offering. This here brings those same qualities from the last effort, the more technical riffing patterns and fluid picking styles to create more of a hardcore thrash vibe that was missing in the last few efforts with a simple series of riffs and patterns that didn’t really deviate all that much from song to song as the album seemed content on dishing out nothing but simple patterns and a heaping infusion of energy. Thankfully, they’ve ditched the simplicity and returned to a more vicious and intense brand of thrash that remains eerily similar to the bands’ heyday with the return of the complex and slightly technical riff-work but also tends to weave that through a variety of tempos that was a welcome part of the band’s past as well, switching from a mid-tempo chug to barreling full-throttle barnburners full of old-school riffing and even edged with some sprawling mid-tempo epics that still retain a vicious streak amongst their more intense material as the overall picture here becomes a lot more varied than before. This makes a lot of sense as the bands’ return to the more complex side of thrash allows the experimentation to seem like a logical continuation of the sound rather than just a series of songs with the same general outline packaged together, and moreover feels like a part of the bands’ history as there was usually a few experiments thrown in as well from time-to-time so the effort to include those elements back into the fray with the more thrash-aligned material confirms the decision to move back nicely as well as offering a return to form of a tactic that will appeal to the old-school past within their whole past. As the decision to return to the full-scale thrash also means the band weaves through the darker, more harsher elements that were part of their past with the heavy, thumping bass-lines and dirty guitars, certainly making for a rather strong and cohesive effort altogether with this strong continuation of their rather unique and identifiable thrash sound.
As a whole, there’s not too much of a difference between the two halves of the album as sonically, it’s all pretty similar. It’s split pretty evenly between stylish, moody atmospheric mid-range efforts and full-throttle thrash with the first half containing three raging thrashers and two atmospheric numbers, which is pretty much repeated in the later half only the mid-range tracks aren’t as fast while the other tracks don’t measure up to the speed and intensity as the former tracks. The fact that there’s a lessened quality to the tracks themselves may make for a weaker overall impression that may inhibit this one somewhat as there’s no top-tier quality track like the immortal three that opens this one but the fact that it still has a lot of stellar qualities in its own right with a much more varied sense of attack, more technically-proficient riffing and a greater sense of dynamics within the far more outrageous pattern variations that are apparent on these tracks as a definite sign of their intrigue and worth. The first half, as stellar as some of the songs are, doesn’t have a lot of dynamic variations within those tracks and this change into more progressive territory really takes the album in a slightly different direction. It’s not as though the album becomes a series of off-rhythm chords and obscure time signatures but more so in concentrating on the riff, getting some time to play with it and really letting it breathe before shifting to a different one in a slightly different pattern, making it a little more varied and dynamic as a result.
This is one of the band’s strongest out-put with a lot of strong tracks and plenty to like about it, especially in the first half. Opening with the classic ‘Among the Weirdcong,’ which starts with pounding militaristic drumming and intense thrashing beats with explosive technically-stylish riffing along a groovy mid-tempo pace and commanding vocals keeps effort powerful but restrained pace that lets loose with fiery solo section atop the full-scale thrash blasting and violent old-school riffs, it leaves little doubt about the band’s continued quest to stay as an upper-tier thrash band with a rocking intro track. The follow-up is even better, as the full-throttled ‘I Am the War’ starts with a blasting drumming intro that gives way to a rocking up-tempo pace with vicious riffs, pounding drumming and oppressive atmosphere with full-on instrumental interlude that ups the thrash scale immensely with wild, sparkling solo and frantic old-school riffing, this immediately becomes one of the bands’ better tracks and gives a hint of the viciousness to come. While not nearly as fast and vicious, ‘Napalm in the Morning’ offers a restrained melodic build-up with simplistic drumming and rolling guitar riffs in a great chugging pace with atmospheric leads, blaring bass and pounding, simple drumming patterns that picks up some energy mid-way through but still remains a powerful, slow-broiling effort to show that the band has the ability to mix things up a tad while still retaining a harsh thrash tone and presence to their sound, therefore earmarking this one as one of the bands’ all-time classics. That’s followed by the raging ‘Minejumper,’ as the blaring drumming, rolling guitars and blasting double-bass fills quickly heat up that adds an extra sense of urgency during the full-scale thrash riffs along the up-tempo pattern with numerous tempo shifts from frantic and intense to slightly less intense with an emphasis on the double-bass work and finally a bouncy up-tempo stage along the fiery solo with a series of intense riffs blasting along the way. It does end on a slightly-off note with ‘Genocide,’ as despite the heavy, mid-tempo chugging guitars and pounding drumming along a simple, brutal pattern that builds upon the main riff nicely with a lot of technical variations, it never gets the energy going until brief double-bass blasts in the mid-section and a fiery solo later on but still keeps the plodding, chugging pace for the majority, leaving this with little energy compared to the more enthusiastic offerings around it.
In contrast, the second half to this might be a little weaker without the wicked three-some to open the first half but there’s still a lot to like here. Opening with the wild ‘Little Boy,’ full of hard-charging guitars and a solid drum-pattern that highlight a mid-tempo pace with pounding double-bass blasts through the first half with energetic whips of riffing that creates a rather heavy framework for the chaotic mid-section with fiery guitars, blasting drums and far-more brutal pattern variations among the main charging riff as the extended instrumental interludes offer more chaos among the thrash with a brutal, chaotic finale, it makes an immediate mark with its chaotic-tactics and thrash-based attacks. Full of old-school atmosphere and attitude, the title track offers eerie, atmospheric riffing and a mid-tempo drum pattern loaded with chugging riffing and a simple pace that highlights the atmospheric lyrics more than then the pace which kicks up slightly with a technically-extravagant solo section loaded with barreling drumming and a furious rhythm guitar riff that takes it back to the chugging pace for the remainder of the last half. The varied and progressive ‘Lead Injection’ goes from plodding drumming and a stiff, frantic guitar pattern through the chugging riffing as the thrashing mid-tempo work works itself into the effort as the pounding drumming and crunching attack with various up-beat but mid-tempo guitar riffing with fiery solo work, technical guitars and frantic drumming to get it through the final half with a pounding drum-attack finale, working a lot of different angles into its structure and really makes the most of its extended length to get a lot of great points together. The whiplash-inducing ‘Cannon Fodder’ bleeds from the previous track with frenzied razor-wire riffing that segues into throttling, unrelenting riff-work and technical patterns with pounding drumming and a scorching pace with rattling bass-lines along the varied shifts between the frantic razor-wire up-tempo thrash and more restrained mid-tempo sections with a fiery solo break and breaks back into the pummeling work at the end, becoming the album’s fastest track and one of the better highlights. The plodding ‘Marines’ offers haunting guitars with a simple drum pattern with spacious mid-tempo chugging guitars and blaring bass-lines whip through the mild pace with a rather rocking pattern with up-front guitars and pace-setting drumming along the way with a simple structure and anthem-build chorus designed for the rocking mid-range pace, working as an effective institutional piece but being too slow-paced on its own to stick out. Ending on a crazed note, the cover of The Trashmen classic ‘Surfin' Bird’ is a frantic, wild cover with plenty of energy, spirited pace and performance full of pounding drumming and blaring bass-work with scattershot vocals rasping through the effort with a good overall vibe but no real connection thematically to the rest of the songs and feels better suited to being the bonus track on any other album but this one.
One of the stronger releases in the bands’ history, this is a highly enjoyable offering that gets a lot more right than not and definitely becomes a worthwhile addition to the bands’ growing repertoire of classic releases. Not only does this seem like a cohesive concept album lyrically and sonically through the common element of war in the lyrics but also the way its produced which offers a streamlined and recognizable sound throughout despite also having a ton of strong songs if looked at individually, the fact that the return to full-scale thrash has allowed the band the option of being able to wrap together songs with varying tempos, a slaughtering series of riffs to display actual technical talent throughout which is quite an impressive feat. Maybe it’s not the destructive tour-de-force of the bands’ best years or contains the de-facto, immortal classic that might make others more of a priority but this is still an impressive enough album on the whole to appeal to the long-term fans as well fans of classic thrash in general.
For a band like Sodom, making a good thrash album is little more than a walk in the park. Their discography has consistently yielded great albums and every thrash fan should be safe in the knowledge that every two or three years they will have another marvelous release from one of Germany's premiere bands in the genre. Formed as a means for Tom Angelripper to escape his future as a coal miner, Sodom are one of the most highly respected bands in the thrash genre. From their inception with great albums such as Persecution Mania and the incredible Agent Orange they then went on to produce one of the best thrash releases of the 90's in Tapping The Vein before marking their own seal of approval on the "thrash revival" of the 2000's with M-16. Beginning with occult-themed lyrics on Obsessed By Cruelty, the band shifted into taking a highly anti-war perspective and will forever be remembered for the legacy they have laid down. The question of what their best album is has been widely debated with the eventual answer usually either being Persecution Mania or Agent Orange but one of their albums actually beats out both of these releases. This is of course the aforementioned 2001 album M-16, containing 10 original songs and one cover across forty nine minutes of aggressive thrash metal released to high praise.
The album title M-16 should say a lot about the album. The M-16 was a highly damaging weapon used by the majority of the US soldiers during the Vietnam War and that is pretty much the best way possible to describe this album. M-16 is a violent attack on the Vietnam War telling morbid stories of the situations soldiers found themselves in. To many, this may sound like a match made in heaven and they would not be wrong at all. On each of these songs Sodom takes the subject matter and adds their own signature brand of thrash metal to it, creating one of the best albums in the genre. Lightning fast riffs are coupled with slower, more deliberately paced crushing ones and Tom Angelripper roars and sneers his way through the lyrics. Couple this with an amazing drum performance from Bobby Schottkowski starting with the opening military drum beat on Among The Wierdcong and the puzzle is complete. Each man holds his end up really well, with some of the highlight riffs being the slow and evil-sounding one that kicks off the title track and the ridiculously heavy riffs to Genocide. Guitar-wise, this album really does stand up well amidst this band's previous albums. On some songs they decide to abuse tremolo picking to a ridiculous amount, such as on Among The Wierdcong and Minejumper but others manage to create a really brooding atmosphere such as that on Marines.
The stand-out songs on here are Among The Wierdcong, Marines, Napalm In The Morning and the title track. The former is a blitzkrieg of anger and hate that steamrolls forward, crushing anything in its way. It opens with a barrage of military drumming and then takes some time to build up before launching into an insanely fast-paced tremolo picked riff during the chorus with Angelripper roaring over the top of it all. Marines has the most infectious chorus on here and is one that will have you attempting to mimic Angelrippers's snide, sneering tones all day. The solo to M-16 is one of the best the band have ever recorded and does not require on playing as fast as the band can as with many thrash bands out there. Napalm In The Morning opens with the immortal quote of "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" from Apocalypse, Now and then proceeds to show off a beautiful, atmospheric section. Then, in comes the riffs and when they hit they hit hard. The verse riff to this song chugs along at a slow pace and is a guaranteed moment for any listener to thrash their neck off.
Overall, this album stands out in my opinion as the best in the band's discography but the cover of of The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird is absolutely unnecessary for this album. Sodom covering a garage rock song was the worst idea on earth and it transfers to recording every bit as bad as it sounds on paper. Stay away from this cover, and what you have is the perfect Sodom album. Every song is very well structured with a huge variety of well paced riffs and headbangable sections aplenty. Make sure to listen to this.
When I originally wrote the review of Sodom's 'M-16' back in 2001 for Lords of Metal.nl I was happy that Sodom didn't wimp out like Kreator in the nineties. Not that I was very afraid this would actually happen, but it was a sign of the times that my review breathed a certain amount of relief. In fact, I was so relieved I awarded this album 90 out of 100 and this, in retrospect, was a bit too much on my side I think.
In short, those 90 points were in part a recognition of the bands' stalwart attitude regarding the changing of times, standing up against blending in the worst of the nineties while at the same time trying to stay fresh sound-wise.
Because if there ever was one German band that never knew how to quit it must have been Sodom. Started as a 'Ruhrpott trio" back in the early eighties the band around frontman Tom Angelripper concentrated on creating as much noise as possible, resulting in some ferocious thrash metal classics like the unforgettable 'Persecution Mania' and 'Agent Orange'.
Of course, Sodom had its' ups and downs during the years, aforementioned killer records as well as somewhat marginal ones (''Til Death Do Us Unite'), but overall the combo maintained a fairly high musical standard.
'M-16' was a new chapter in the Sodom book, the first release of the new decade.
Based both lyrically and conceptually on the Vietnam War that raged in the sixties and early seventies 11 tracks blow through your speakers like there's no tomorrow, varying from somehow epic ('Marines') to the furious thrash tracks we all come to love ('Minejumper' and 'I Am the War') complimented with mid-paced tracks in the vein of 'M-16'. A little bit of everything, really, even 'Surfin' Bird', a track I came to hate thanks to a certain Peter Griffin later on. 'M-16' also comes with a raw-edged yet thickly-layered sound that its' predecessor 'Code Red' somehow lacked.
As said above, I was relieved hearing that Sodom did what they do best, the Ruhrpott no-nonsense attitude once again prevailing. Yet, ten years later, I feel that 'M-16', while being a decent offering overall with some very nice highlights, lacks the grittiness Sodom is quite capable of pulling off re 'Agent Orange'. Sure, the production is raw, but still too clean.
All in all not a bad start of the new millennium but is it really in-your-face? No.
I was pretty happy when my digipak of Sodom's 10th full-length arrived by post, adorned in all its camouflage glory. Surely the band were going to continue to stir the fires of warfare that they had reignited in 1999's Code Red, and to that extent, this album does not at all disappoint with its meaty rhythms and the unadulterated chaos and violence of its compositions. Bernemann's guitars sound excellent, and if we needed any more evidence that he is in fact the true successor to Frank Blackfire's period of attendance in the late 80s, this is fucking it. In fact, Kost is even more reliable and consistent in his tone and performance, even if the songs don't match up to those written during the band's apex of creativity.
M-16 centers conceptually on the Vietnam War with tracks like "Minejumper", "Marines", "Among the Weirdcong" and "Napalm in the Morning", and this is probably the right band to handle the subject. I actually don't enjoy the opener "Among the Weirdcong" all that much, the bouncing flow of the verse riffs is rather uninteresting, but they more than compensate when they blast out storms of hostility like "I Am the War", "Minejumper" and "Cannon Fodder". A good deal of the album is performed through a slower or middle tempo, with an atmospheric punk/rock frenzy returning for "Marines", or the marching substrate to "Genocide" and "Little Boy", but thankfully a lot of tracks like "Lead Injection" create a nice balance and I can't say I was ever really bored listening through the album as a complete work.
However, the album does lack when it comes to manifesting a single go-to, classic Sodom track, which even Code Red provided (several times). The obvious anger, the guitar tone, passion for the subject material and the solid Harris Johns mix all go along way towards consistency, but there are painfully few individual segments that cry out for an instant replay. The cover of The 1963 classic "Surfin' Bird" (The Trashmen) is strangely poignant here, since the original was likely something the boys in Vietnam might have listened to on the radio, and it feels like it's present more for relevance than simply 'fun'. When all the smoke has cleared, M-16 does not stand among the ranks of the band's best works. Certainly Tom Angelripper has done worse by us than what is present, but you can pick out almost any Sodom album at random (excepting Masquerade in Blood) and target some better written material. This isn't the epic, memorable Vietnam concept album that I've yet to hear in metal, but it's decent enough.
I think its fair to say that the 1990's decade was a terrible one for thrash metal. Obvious examples would include the majority of American bands, particularly Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Exodus. Sepultura also got weaker, finding themselves swamped in experimental sewage masquadering as "musical exploration." For the most part, German thrashers Sodom managed to survive the 90's in better fashion than most collective 80's thrashers did, most of whom succumb to massive suckage of one kind or another.
While Sodom's 90's efforts are still rather respectable, they weren't great nor even essential for the mainstay of their fanbase. It wouldn't be until "M-16" in 2001 that this band would begin to reclaim their rightful place as respectable and an ever lethal thrash act. Now, "M-16" is a concept album of sorts, based on various aspects of the Vietnam War, of which the album title eludes the firearm used by most anti-communist forces in that conflict. I must say that the concept of war and thrash metal has always gone well, and this album is certainly no exception.
To be entirely fair, I wouldn't call this a purely thrash album through and through. Sure, fans looking for that spark of greatness that "Agent Orange" had can be found here in songs like "Cannon Fodder," "Minejumper," and "Little Boy," all of whom cook fairly well and consistently. However, there are traces of mid-tempo post-thrash metal to be found. I don't count this as a negative to the listen, as these elements are usually balanced out with enough variations and different influences to keep the songs from becoming tedious and boring. Examples of these include "Genocide," some parts to "I Am the War" and most notably in "Napalm in the Morning," whose sound clip of Robert Duvall's famous line from "Apocalypse Now" really drives home the message and atmosphere of this album.
In the grand scheme of Sodom's career, "M-16" gets lost in there somewhere. I don't see many fans talking about it, which is a shame since song quality and even thrash quality is still there, its just mixed in with a number of other styles that keeps this from becoming the next "Agent Orange." Since this was my first Sodom album, I hold something of a sentimental bias towards it, but also because I think it deserves a little more attention than its ever gotten. From the raging thrash influences, Tom Angelripper's fierce vocals and the bad ass artwork, "M-16" is a definite keeper that any Sodom fan should look into.
The year 2001 was a very important one for the return of the main German thrash metal bands. Kreator was back with the awesome “Violent Revolution”, Destruction with the bombastic “The Antichrist” and finally Sodom with the super “M-16”. While Destruction and mostly Kreator had a period of crises during the 90s, Sodom continued releasing good albums back in those days, a bit influenced by hardcore/punk, but good anyway.
Well, with this new album we go back to the roots of thrash metal, the one and only of the 80s. The production is again old fashioned but powerful, in Agent Orange style! Great! Even the songs' structure is more thrash than in the past. So the power of the first song “Among The Weirdcong” is again total headbanging with great riff and intense drumming.
The following four tracks are the best here. “I Am The War” with the great drums rolls and the violent refrain and the mid-paced, with the melodic intro “Napalm In the Morning” (check out the spoken part by Duval in Apocalypse Now!!!). Going on we can find the great, fast “Minejumper” with weird solos and the heaviness of “Genocide”. Awesome.
The title track is total thrash metal with a great main riff and a growing of intensity under fucking heavy mid paced parts. Than the bass drum tempo parts increase a bit in speed. The dramatic and intense melodies are always well-done and they add a sense of loss and tragedy to the sound. “Cannon Fodder” is faster than hell with pukish tempo with a great drumming. To close this great comeback we find the awesome cover of “Surfin’ Bird” in pure Sodom style without losing anything in the original melodies. Awesome and so fun at the vocals!!!
All in all a fucking thrashtacular return! Sodom at high levels!!! United to thrash!!!
Who would expect Tom Angelripper (of all people in the world) to release a concept album soully based on the classic film "Apocalypse Now"? Having skimmed through previous reviews, I have not seen mention of this obvious and important fact, which disturbs me. Anyway, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Sheen and Marlin Brando would be proud.
First of all, "Apocalypse Now" is one of my alltime favorite movies, and Sodom is one of my alltime favorite thrash bands. Thus, for the two to collide would obviously be a mindblower for me. Not only is this album cool because of the movie and the album's own message, they music is also astounding. This album was a MAJOR comeback for Sodom. This album features some wonderful, ferocious tracks such as "I Am the War", "Napalm in the Morning" (I love the sound of Robert Duvall's voice in the morning!), "Genocide", and my personal favorite, "Marines".
Most aggressive thrash tends to be pro-violence. That's just the way it is. However, "Apocalypse Now" as well as "M-16" are both ANTI-war, despite how sensationally violent both experiences are. The violence proves a point and provides a message. This message is that war is hell, and that human nature is sickening and terrible. In the case of both the movie and the album, the viewer/listener is left to draw his/her own conclusions.
Sodom knocked me out with this album. If you haven't seen or heard of the film "Apocalypse Now", you must have no idea what I'm talking about, in which case you must go out and rent it ASAP. It's an absolute classic; an amazing film. Angelripper obviously thought so too!
Now this is the first Sodom album I've listened to so I cannot compare it to any previous Sodom albums, so instead I'll judge it based on current thrash and other German bands like Kreator and Destruction.
The first song: Among the Wierdcong starts off with an awesome drum roll introduction, the starting riff is pretty brutal but you know they're just getting you started. The singing, wow, that's a cool voice, not as good as Kreator's and definately nothing like early Whiplash or Overkill, but it's definately the type of voice that makes a band unique and recognizable. The solo is great. Definately a good song.
I Am The War is a pretty decent straightforward thrash song, a few nice tempo changes. Napalm In The Morning is a much different song then the first two, sound a little odd, not a great song in my opinion, but I like the main riff. Minejumper is a good song, starts out fast and keeps on going, simple and heavy, true thrash. Genocide kicks things up a notch in heaviness from the getgo, it's slower but it's definately brutal until the chorus, which sounds a little stupid. Little boy follows the tone of Genocide, slower guitar.
M-16 is a pretty decent song, not as a good as Among the Wierdcong same for Lead Injection. Cannon Fodder is the only song that's on par with Among the Weirdcong for me, it's great headbanging music, it's definately a high point in the album, and the next song Marines is damn good as well.
Surfin Bird is hilarious, and the next two tracks are average.
My first Sodom album experience has left me wanting more, it might not be quite as good as Violent Revolution, but it certainly is something that has gotten me interested in the band.
Another year and another excellent Sodom release. I think this band can do no wrong when they release album after album. M-16 will sound very similar to Sodom's earlier work, like In the Sign of Evil EP, and Obsessed By Cruelty. This isn't a bad thing, but the vocals are different from Persecution Mania or Agent Orange.
Sodom stays familiar with their vocal themes about war, battle and death. Most if not all of these songs deals with these themes, save a few. I have the bonus digi pack version, and the binding is in camouflage.
The music is pure thrash, something Sodom can always produce well. Every song offers a great riff, memorable thrash lick, or fast solo. I can not even pick out my favorite riff because most of the riffs sound the same, which is also what Sodom is good at. The music really comes together on this album. You take kick ass thrash riffs, and add pounding bass licks, with some awesome drumming, and you have a great album. Just flip to track ten, Marines. The main riff flows with the bass line and drumming perfectly! The sound on this album can not get any better. And there are some memorable double blast beats that will surely leave you headbanging (ex. Cannon Fodder and Minejumper).
The one thing I liked and disliked at the same time is the vocals. I have always been a bit skeptical of Angelripper's vocal talent. He always mixes his vocals up on every album; for M-16 he takes the more black metal approach, where the vocals are pretty rough and growled. He does a decent job, but some parts sound stupid, like on the chorus for Napalm in the Morning. It sounds choppy and incomplete. But then again if you like the black metal approach that Sodom takes then you should like this album.
Overall this Sodom album is a must. It has a lot of killer songs like I am at War, Little Boy, Genocide, etc. Really all the songs are great, or at least decent -so no bad ones here. The cover of Surfing Bird is pretty stupid in my opinion though. If you got the bonus pack like I do, then you get two songs: Witching Metal and Devil's Attack. These songs were recorded on various demos and what have you. They are alright, but the production is terrible. Sounds like it was recorded in a basement! But the original album will keep you thrashing into the night, or else you don't like thrash metal!
There are few things in life you can count on.... the sun will always set, and Sodom will always release crushing thrash albums with a cool ass soldier guy on the cover. Well, Germany's finest warmongers and their super soldier counterpart are back with M-16.... their best since Agent Orange. Really man, these guys have been doin it and doin it well for so long that it's a shame they aren't mentioned in the same breath as Slayer and Dark Angel by now. Just like Code Red before it, M16 is a headbanger's delite... a through and through thrasher with solid riffage, memorable choruses, and enough metal to shake a mastodon at. Heilz Sodom!
First off, Tom Angelripper is fucking cool. Who else could get away with an entire cover album of 80s pop songs and german beer anthems? The guys voice is like sandpaper, and seems a little more jagged than usual. Among the Weirdcong, Lead Injection, Marines... awesome tracks with excellent riffs. There is a modern (the haunted) touch sometimes, what with all the midpaced breakdowns and shit, but this is basically Sodom. Gone are many of the death metal tendencies they fucked with during the early 90s.
My fav. song has to be Napalm in the Morning.... a slower tune that almost reminds me of Remember the Fallen.... most memorable sodom song in many a year. I bet this one crushes live.
When Destruction and Kreator released new CDs they were called "comeback albums". You know what? Sodom don't need a fucking comeback album cos they never went away. They never stopped kicking ass, and I wouldn't be surprised if they outlast every other thrash band in the years to come. Underappreciated as hell, Sodom soldier on (no pun intended!) and conjur up their best shit in years.