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Persecution Mania is Sodom's transitional album from their early black metal material to their later thrash metal output (even though it certainly is more thrash metal-oriented, it still emanates a dark and macabre aura). This record shows a drastic change in Sodom's sound due to Frank Blackfire's influence on Tom Angelripper's conception of music. Blackfire had already shown us his musical abilities on Sodom's previous EP with intense and memorable tracks such as 'Sodomy And Lust', 'My Atonement', and 'The Conqueror', and it was clear that these sodomaniacs were serious about composing great thrash metal. Enough background, let's start with the album review.
An example of what I previously mentioned is the first track, 'Nuclear Winter', a song of relative technical complexity (definitely harder to execute than anything Metallica have ever done), in which Angelripper and Witchhunter demonstrate their musical improvement in order to keep up with Blackfire's guitar work. The considerable quantity of catchy, yet powerful, riffs, the brilliant solo at the middle of the song, the deep and elaborate lyrics, and the tight drumming are some of the reasons why this song deserves to be considered a classic. The rest of the songs also contain lots of great riffs, such as the main riffs in 'Persecution Mania', 'Christ Passion', or 'Enchanted Land', however they also show an increase in speed and intensity (the kinds of songs that make you want to thrash the fuck out of everything). Another highlight of the album are the vocal effects used in some segments of songs like 'Electrocution', which make the line "pathological satisfaction" sound really twisted and sinister (hence the album's thrash/black essence).
Throughout the whole album, Tom Angelripper delights us with his raspy, German-accented vocals and his ever-present thick bass tone. In my opinion, those two elements are the backbone of Sodom's style (try to imagine Sodom with Tom Araya as the vocalist/bassist; it just wouldn't work). Another feature present on this album which would become a trademark in their following records is the typical cover made by Sodom, in this case a Motörhead cover. 'Iron Fist', even though it doesn't really fit the album's atmosphere, is nicely covered by this competent German trio because they manage to give it a thrash metal tone and still make you want to sing the chorus (I wish I could say the same about Kreator's failed attempt at covering 'The Number Of The Beast').
It also contains some odd, yet good tracks. For example, 'Bombenhagel' is a punk-ish track, that includes a part of the German national anthem and somehow it really works! 'Procession To Golgotha' is a slow and intense instrumental in which Blackfire is the center of attention (his soloing is amazing). 'Conjuration' first debuted under the name of 'Satan's Conjuration', and sadly I must say it is not that great. Unlike the rest of the songs, it doesn't really have any interesting riffs (it worked for Sodom's second demo, but I think it's out of place on Persecution Mania). Despite this "negative" element present in the album, it's one of my personal favorites (actually, it's the album that got me into Sodom) and I highly recommend listening to it at least once.
In conclusion, if you are into thrash metal and the FWOBM, get this album immediately.
Persecution Mania represents the departure from the satanic black-thrash Sodom was playing to straightforward teutonic thrash. From then on, they were releasing a bunch of classic albums that are cornerstones of German thrash and mandatory for every metal collection. Persecution Mania belongs in this category. For a good reason...
The album, as you'd expect, has the old-school 80's sound and is extraordinarily well-produced. That comes off as a surprise because the production of their debut Obsessed by Cruelty was absolutely horrible. Here, every instrument is clearly audible. Aside from the vocals here and there, everything sounds perfect. But I'll come to that later.
The bass is extremely heavy and kinda sounds like Lemmy's, especially on the Motörhead cover Iron Fist (what a surprise) and on Bombenhagel. Witchhunter's drumming is perfect; intense and super-fast, proper thrash drumming.
The music, overall, is clearly dominated by Blackfire's guitars, and that's a good thing. There is one killer-riff after another and solos are all over the place. There are also quite nice slowdown-sections that are a great addition to the mix and give the songs some variety and a break from all the uber-fast thrash riffing. The opener Nuclear Winter is a perfect example for that. Often, these sections are used for solos, but on Bombenhagel, they exaggerate with this because they slow the song down after every chorus for a pretty long time, which makes the song a little bit lengthy.
The vocals are what you'd expect from Angelripper. He sounds as evil as always, and not as blacky as on the predecessor. However, his voice is still kinda monotone and on Conjuration even weirdly echoed. Probably to support the lyrics content, but whatever. Not a big problem though because the focus is on the guitars.
The lyrical content is as thrashy as it gets. As I've already said, Sodom made a departure from the satanic themed-black-thrash and took a new direction, which is mainly war-critical. There are also, of course, anti-religious lyrics like Christ Passion or songs about insane cults like Conjuration. The lyrics are quite nice, but, like the vocals, they were never really important for Sodom.
The important things about this band are speed and riffs, and this album has both. Persecution Mania is probably the most diverse album by Sodom thanks to the great song structures. In almost all the songs, there are super fast and slower riffs, with a great set of solos and delicious, wild drumming. Tom Angelripper said some day that this is his favorite Sodom-album, and I can see why: it represents Sodom's style perfectly and displays everything Sodom stands for: war, brutality, and fast riffs. Apart from some minor flaws, this is a masterpiece.
As happened with several other bands, following the success of Slayer's overrated Reign in Blood, Sodom abandoned their Black Metal roots and centered their focus on pure thrash, while also cleaning their sound up a bit. Released in December 1987, Persecution Mania would go on to become a landmark record for Sodom, as well as the Teutonic thrash metal scene. As with Kreator, it would appear that the introduction of a new member was the key element that led to the change in direction.
From the opening moments of "Nuclear Winter", it is clear that the band is much more focused and the music has an added sense of lethality. While not as raw or primitive as In the Sign of Evil or Obsessed By Cruelty, this album still possesses a vicious streak that cannot be ignored. Rather than going for the more mainstream type of thrash that Kreator tried to attain on Terrible Certainty, Sodom retained a measure of brutality and forcefulness. One thing that helped this was the fact that Tom Angelripper's vocals are still evil and harsh, rather than going weak as Mille had done. The music is still intense, particularly around the middle, and the lead solos are a nice touch. Another important factor is that the atmosphere is still dark.
"Electrocution" utilizes blast beats, bestial vocals and barbaric riffs that bludgeon you and pound your skull to dust. Already, by the second track, it is clear that Sodom has improved upon what Slayer attempted to do with their third full-length. This one is rather straightforward and includes brief solos that add to the hellish feeling.
The next song is a cover of Motörhead's "Iron Fist", which fits in with the rest of the material, perfectly. The chorus is not as dark, of course, but that is the only real difference. Fast, intense and well-executed, this track suits the album well.
"Persecution Mania" starts out with a riff that sounds more oriented toward death metal, before launching into the thrash assault. The riffs are tight and precise, lacking any of the sloppiness found on the previous L.P. As the song continues, more death metal riffs are utilized and the blast beats help the overall atmosphere to resemble that of Death's Scream Bloody Gore. The lead solos are longer than many others on here, accentuating the evil feeling. The morbid whispers, at the end of the song, only further this dark vibe.
Bursting from the depths of Hell, "Enchanted Land" rushes forth in a manner reminiscent of early Slayer. After a minute or so, the speed decreases as mid-paced riffs are introduced. Still, the sinister aura is ever-present, with another blistering solo to help rip the flesh right off of your bones.
"Procession to Golgatha" is a mid-paced instrumental track with a very eerie and doom-ridden atmosphere. This song adds yet another layer of darkness to the album and Blackfire's solo-work kills anything that Jeff Hanneman or Kerry King did after 1985.
"Christ Passion" starts out with a filthy thrash riff, before transitioning to something almost reminiscent of the NWOBHM movement. This type of galloping riff is completely unexpected, yet fits in so well that one does not even think to question it. The next riff is faster and more intense, with the drums pounding a hole right through your chest. As the longest track on the album, this one seems to be the most epic and to feature the most complex arrangement. This one song displays good examples of all of the sort of techniques that are employed throughout this record, even including more mid-paced thrash riffs. The lead solo shows a lot of thought and skill, sounding a bit older than 1987.
A brief drum solo introduces "Conjuration", which allows the bass to breathe a bit more and is kind of reminiscent of Motörhead. The influence is pretty clear, as this fat-paced song storms the battlefield and hacks apart all those who oppose. One of the guitar solos has a different tone, which actually sounds interesting, though not as sharp.
"Bombenhagel" brings the album to its conclusion, with a mixture of high-speed and more traditional riffs. It is the most average track on the record and even this is far superior to what many other bands were doing at the time. The final moments see a transition to the German national anthem, which is a bit strange.
Persecution Mania is a great thrash metal album and comes highly recommended. Sodom manages to clean their sound up a bit, while still possessing a dark and evil feeling. This is something that was lost on the likes of Slayer, Kreator and Possessed. Unfortunately, even the mightiest of Teutonic thrash bands would go on to lose their focus and never matched this achievement. There is no excuse for any Metalhead to not own this album. If your collection is lacking this classic, go ahead and kill yourself.
Written for http://ritesoftheblackmoon.tripod.com
Sodom did not have us waiting for long after the excellent Expurse of Sodomy EP, just two months would pass and it was time for Persecution Mania. And whereas "Sodomy and Lust" was like the debutante arriving at the ball and throwing her shoes in the face of the vanity parade, this was like having a squadron of dependable, well trained soldiers arrive to gas and grenade everyone else in attendance. The band's gas mask toting gunner mascot had arrived, and their obsession with warfare (only hinted at on prior releases) was in full swing, a motif they'd carry through many albums. The riot patrol that was career prime Sodom was now in session, and living prisoners were unlikely.
Obviously, the centerpiece here is "Nuclear Winter", one of the band's all time classics, which follows a similar course to "Sodomy and Lust" with rip shit, hyper muted guitars and Tom's disgusting, reverberating vocal splatter that placed him in league with the other greats (Schmier, Petrozza, Sabina, Daxx, etc.) Sure, the chorus is predictable, but the riffs that it flows over are like incendiary kisses to the buttocks, and the breakdown was undeniably mosh worthy, despite its lazy gait. "Electrocution" is very similar, aggressive and fast paced with some great vox and an even greater, death metal riffing bridge between the verses. After this, the band include a quality cover of Motörhead's "Iron Fist", which strangely fits into the original content, but also establishes a minor problem I have with Persecution Mania (more on this later).
Speaking of which, the title track represents a slightly more subdued, but still excellent spin on the formula thus far on the disc; "Enchanted Land" might have an offsetting title, but I assure you it's fucking barbaric; and the slow, drudging instrumental "Procession to Golgotha" drifts into another blaze of ballistic frustration, the "Christ Passion", which is merely a variation on "Nuclear Winter" or "Electrocution". "Conjuration" seeks to further the band's punk influence, and it's largely composed of aggressive rock riffing with Lemmy-like bass presence, saved only by Tom's gritty and repulsive vocals. Unfortunately, I don't feel as strongly for "Bombenhagel", which is basically a thrash/punk piece with some bland notation.
Sodom would do a lot of this in their career, which is understandable since they obviously have a huge influence through classic dirty rock and punk, but sadly it's just nowhere near as interesting as their more metallic compositions, and this holds true on future full-lengths. The solo is decent, but the guitars are otherwise really dull, and it does put a slight stamp of regret on the album. If you've got one of the CD releases of Persecution Mania, then you're probably also treated to the Expurse of Sodomy EP, with is an excellent value, and the band also include a re-recording of "Outbreak of Evil", which sounds audibly superior to the original, but it's also got that punkish fuel to it. Still, I'd take it any day over "Bombenhagel", which is just the one song I don't like that holds the whole package back.
Regardless, Persecution Mania is the 'best' Sodom full-length album, followed closely by Agent Orange. Some will cite the sloppier, earlier recordings as their favorite, but as charming as they were, they are no replacement for the structure and potential on exhibit here. With this lineup (Angelripper, Blackfire and Witchhunter), the band did a great job of tightening their reins on composition without sacrificing the 'loose ends' of their shoddy, sadistic past. The lyrics are also quite good. It doesn't give me the same missile erection as a Terrible Certainty, Finished With the Dogs, Sentence of Death or The Morning After, but it's quite damn good, and easily belongs among the classics of the 80s in this genre. I've caught hell in the past for holding the band below the others of the 'Big Three' in quality, but that's simply the reality of what I'm hearing. Write it off to the apples and oranges, but what is not in question is that this is sure footed, militaristic, and brutal: an onslaught worth anyone's investment.
Sodom’s full-length debut, Obsessed by Cruelty, was a bit of a disappointment to both fans of today and yesterday. Although the songwriting was (mostly) solid, the production was a quite horrid, muddied sound, and the listening experience was relegated from the “Grand Assripping Supremator of Unholy Black Metal” status of their previous release, the five song EP In the Sign of Evil, to the unfortunate realm of “Personal Favorite.” The departure of Sodom’s previous guitarist, one Mr. “Destructor,” signaled the arrival of what may be the second most important man to Sodom’s musical legacy and classic sound: Frank ‘Blackfire’ Gosdzik. The addition of Blackfire as the lone guitarist solidified all remaining patches in the band’s songwriting, and their second studio LP, Persecution Mania, is the exact point in which this band became the thrash monsterbeast they are known as today. This album is archetypical of the German method of playing thrash metal, and is rightfully considered a slightly overlooked classic of European heavy metal.
Persecution Mania breaks little new ground for metal in general, but it is a big step from the dirty black metal Sodom was previously known for playing. Here, Sodom begins to write pure, unadulterated thrash metal, with stellar results. Each song moves along at a fast tempo, usually utilizing tremolo-based riffs interchanging with those of a more stuttering, jagged nature. The riffs are heavily accented by the album’s sharp, vicious guitar tone; the general production is a massive improvement from both two previous LPs. Not only does the guitar have much more power over the listener, but Tom Angelripper’s bass comes out clear, heavy and glassy, all at the same time, while his vocals are placed perfectly in the production’s sonic figure: clear and audible, but not overpowering any of the instruments. Chris Witchhunter’s pulls out his most solid drum performance yet, managing to sound neither sloppy nor untrained (as he did on all previous releases). Witness the drum intro to the simple and catchy track “Conjuration” as a perfect demonstration of his newly honed skills. Combined with the awesome and unique tone of his drums, one can see why Witchhunter’s death in 2008 was rightfully mourned.
But the true apex of Persecution Mania is the newest additions to the songwriting process: Blackfire’s stellar guitar solos and thrash breaks. Few bands have mastered the art of slowing to half-time in the midst of speed metal madness to the level Sodom has. Songs like “Electrocution,” “Bombenhagel” and the crippling opener “Nuclear Winter” feature monster midpaced riffs that accentuate the “ready, set, MOSH” structure of thrash metal to the status of fine art. Just listen to the thrash break at 1:35 of “Nuclear Winter,” and hear how the riff introduces the perfect headbanging tempo, then gaining a bit of speed as the riff subtly progresses into a slightly different one, and then the song regains its original faster-than-Satan speed. After another set of slower, crunchy moments that follow, we are introduced to Blackfire’s first true guitar solo of the album, and by God this man is a 100% classic heavy metal facemelter. Gone are the days of rather worthless, warbled, Slayer-esque cat-in-a-blender guitar solos, and in are lightning fast, yet magically precise neck-scaling acrobatics of Frankie. Each solo manages to be exciting and excessive in the way loud and proud metal should be, yet somehow restrained and controlled enough to avoid irritating the listener. Blackfire would remain for the following Sodom album, the rightfully acclaimed Agent Orange, before a brief stint with fellow German thrash metal compatriots Kreator, on their melodic yet overwhelmingly powerful album Coma of Souls. As the 90’s went on, the man more or less disappeared from the music scene, so his excellent accomplishments on these three albums are not taken lightly.
Songwise, Persecution Mania doesn’t really differentiate from track to track, although with repeated listens, each song can be easily recognized from the next. The description of “Nuclear Winter” can apply to the majority of songs on here: fast tremolo riffs, fast verses with fast, ferocious vocals, very overt thrash break, fast solos, perhaps another thrash break, more fast solos, more fast verses, and then the songs ends. Yet this album is not dragged down due to unoriginality or “over-consistency,” because the simple formula works so well in the first place. It doesn’t matter if they more or less wrote the same song some odd five or six times, because that one song fucking rules. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But then again, there are some more notable and unique moments on the album. “Enchanted Land” has a particularly morbid and evil sounding break at 1:08, which is used to full effect until Blackfire adds a gallop to the riff, cementing it as one of the most memorable parts of the album. “Conjuration” and “Iron Fist” are short and simple speed metal songs, which is to be expected, considering the latter is a (rather excellent) Motorhead cover. “Procession to Golgatha” is a short, doomy two-minute interlude with loads of atmosphere due to some sparse keyboard work and Blackfire’s shrill, tense leads. The following “Christ Passion” is one of my personal favorite picks of the album, because it opens with slow, simple, yet intense riffage, shortly followed by, you guessed it, fast verses and a thrash break that could stop the world from turning.
With their second studio album, Tom Angelripper and pals released a magnificent example of how thrash metal should be played: with riffs, solos, more riffs, attitude, and goddamnit, more riffs. Every song on Persecution Mania is enjoyable in some way, from the catchy and effective title track to the epic yet concise album closer “Bombenhagel,” which wins Blackfire even more brownie points for playing the German national anthem “Das Deutschlandlies” as the last guitar solo of the album. Most rereleases of the album feature a rerecorded version of the early Sodom classic “Outbreak of Evil,” as well as all three tracks from the excellent EP Expurse of Sodomy. These extra four songs, all recorded in the same fashion and with the same production as Persecution Mania, only add the charm of the original release, and add even more incentive to own the album. Oh, and rather arbitrarily, the album artwork totally rules as well; a shirt featuring that cover would sell like hotcakes!
"Make us die slowy, Nuclear winter, Clouds of dust will hide the sun forever, celebrate Nuclear winter". How can you not be hooked when first listening to "Nuclear winter"? From the ever-recognizable bass intro to the furious verse riff, the catchy as radiations chorus, the two solos or the crushing mid-paced moments, Sodom don't wait long to show off their stellar songwriting in their newly refined thrash sound. Imagine experiencing your very first Sodom (and thrash) song with "Nuclear winter", because it was really a particular experience hearing this killer classic as an appetizer, it was nothing else than love at first sight; I was sold to Sodom and even more when I got my hands on "Persecution Mania" - hell, only the cover and back cover gave me shivers.
It's the first appearance of Knarrenheinz on a Sodom cover. I'm not sure if the cross behind him has some significance, but at the back there are what seem to be buildings with dense smoke all around, I think it was inspired by "Nuclear Winter". Still, it's a badass cover and represents pretty well the overall atmosphere of the album; it's dark and tense.
Let's get this straight, Persecution Mania is a thrash classic and one that if any avowed thrash fan doesn't already own should run to the nearest nuclear shelter. It's that good, as mentionned earlier the songwriting is elaborate, not your typical one-dimensional, A to B thrash album; if there's no real evolution like in "Nuclear Winter" or those memorable breakdowns like in "Enchanted Land" and "Christ Passion", the songs are extremely well crafted and have THESE solos courtesy of shredder Frank Blackfire.
Speaking of members, besides Blackfire's headbang inducing and moody riffs, and memorable solos, commander Tom Angelripper and skinsmen Chris Withhunter (RIP) are as worthy of mention. Angelripper's menacing snarl is recognizable from viet jungles and with his big german accent, besides being more badass, fits appropriately the war and religion theme expressed throughout the album. You notice his bass from the get go in the opener's intro and realize he's not giving an ordinary performance where the bassist is playing the same riff as the rhythm guitar and being drowned by the latter. Witchhunter's performance isn't the best or tightest in thrash but has this particular style and attitude that constitute a solid backbone for the cause. They all contribute to make that thick, tense and unsettling atmosphere that again compliments really well the lyrics.
"Persecution Mania" is a varied and elaboratted piece of art which contains no filler and has a good progression from the beginning to the end. Starting with the thrash anthem "Nucleat Winter", it breaks into the short and fast "Electrocution". I really got to love this song after a couple of listens as it was a little too much straightforward and chaotic at first but soon became an important part of the album to me. Then comes the oddity "Iron Fist", a MotÃ¶rhead cover as the third track. This one too took me some time to appreciate as it's a cover and is placed at the beginning of the record. I tought it broke the flow though I understood its relevance as MotÃ¶rhead is one of their main influences. The performance is great, they managed to appropriate themselves the song to be an integral part of the album. Follows the title track - this is what I meant by unsettling. It has its share of tremolo riffs which really helps building the atmosphere to the very end, as the lyrics about the Vietnam War. And with Tom's voice more menacing than ever; "Something fierce, Something evil, Circles in the air".
"Enchanted Land" is repetitive for the most part but when it slows down and the mid-paced section starts, you know it's one of Persecution Mania's highlight moments. And the follower, "Procession to Golgatha" really compliments it, it's a slow, moody and atmospheric instrumental. It's only building for the past 6 minutes mark "Christ Passion", another high point of the album - as if there was any low point - which again showcase Tom's excellent use of his bass guitar. "Conjuration" is a reworked version of "Satan's Conjuration" from the Victims of Death demo in which their Venom/MotÃ¶rhead influence is more prominent, it's more rockish. And then the mighty closer, "Bombenhagel", the first of 3 punkish Sodom classic and finishes with the German anthem played with guitars.
Persecution Mania is Sodom first album of full-fledged thrash, and so without any half measures. It's not anything groundbreaking but they have their own style and play it masterfully. Here they really found their sound with their lyrical theme around war. To me this album constitute the first part of their, I dare to say, "classic trilogy", the other two being Agent Orange and Better Off Dead. They all talk about war, have a more or less similar sound, have a punkish standout (Bombenhagel, Ausbeboumbt and Stalinhorgel) and of course the first three albums to feature Knarrenheinz on the cover, So after this one comes their milestone Agent Orange which continues in the same vein but is less moody and talks about war in a more direct way.
This is the album where Sodom REALLY got their shit together. What we have here is just about all-out thrash mania! From the opening riff of the mighty "Nuclear Winter" to the ending of "Bombenhagel," this album is full-blown thrash and leaves little room for you to catch up.
Right, Persecution Mania features the 'classic' line-up of Angelripper, Blackfire and Witchhunter. Blackfire, who would later join Kreator, has some very fine leads here and his riffing is damn near impeccable. I mean just listen to "Nuclear Winter!" That, my friends, is pure German thrash! But wait, there's more! "Nuclear Winter" also has an absolutely monstrous thrash break that you can't listen to without banging your head to it. Blackfire's solo in this one is absolutely delicious, plus one of the licks in the solo is used again on "Agent Orange." A+ Angelripper and pals, A bloody +!
The production here is also much better than Obsessed by Cruelty (MUCH better if you have the CD edition.) The guitar tone is much better than the one in Obsessed by Cruelty. The drums are mixed just right and the snare doesn't have that annoying echo anymore. Best part? You can listen to Angelripper's BASS! Yessirs, and he can actually PLAY bass although he's not the best bassist in the world, he gets points for trying.
The actual songs are great, only one absolutely useless track here ("Procession to Golgotha".) Sodom also covered Motorhead's "Iron Fist," and it's a very good cover at that. The highlights on this album are the aforementioned "Nuclear Winter," "Persecution Mania" and "BOMBENHAGEL!!!" The last one has Sodom unleashing their inner patriot with that "Das Lied der Deutschen" end solo. "Electrocution" and "Christ Passion" are quite good, though not spectacular. "Conjuration" and "Enchanted Land" may be the low points of the album but they're passable.
The CD version comes with the re-recorded "Outbreak of Evil" from their In the Sign of Evil debut EP as well as the full Expurse of Sodomy EP for good measure.
Should you get it? Yep, this marks the true start of perhaps the most rewarding German thrash band.
With this new album, finally Sodom find their definitive dimension that is all about thrash metal. The black/death influences now are far less present and rooted in their always primordial and violent sound. Everything now sounds really German in style and attitude, contributing in spreading this kind of thrash metal around the world. The production is easily the best Sodom ever had in all those years because it’s pounding and massive, more or less like the one on the following Agent Orange.
Persecution Mania marks the definitive maturity of a band that made the sheer frontal assault the best weapon to conquer the throne as one of the most famous thrash metal band worldwide. Tom’s vocals remain the most extreme thing here I believe, because they’re always so brutal and nasty with that smoker-whisky addicted tonality. The guitars patterns are more or less like the ones we found in the previous EP Expurse Of Sodom, but far better recorded with a crunchy and quite heavy sound.
The first track is huge in impact and violence and it’s called “Nuclear Winter”. The up tempo are perfectly mixed with the new technique that the group possesses in thrash metal, filling it with slow parts and fast restarts. The bass sound is terribly raspy and pounding. The following “Electrocution” is fucking fast while the Motorhead cover “Iron Fist” is so good and similar to the original…even the solos are perfect! This is one of the best homage to the roots that I’ve ever heard by a band. The title track is famous for the pure destruction feeling it has in the vicious riffage made of open chords and tremolo picking supported by always fast drums.
If you really want to experience the guitars tone power on this CD listen to the massive “Enchanted Land” where you can find a perfect mix of fast palm muting riffs or Godzilla style mid tempos. The main important thing anyway, are the fucking guitars. After a short intro, “Christ Passion” is another great song, that features galloping guitars riffs and a compact structure without being excessively fast during the first part, to continue on up tempo. “Conjuration” is punkish but nothing if compared to the last, awesome “Bombenhagel”. This song is pure thrash/punk hellish madness! The band is incredibly fast.
All in all, another confirm by a band that’s living the best period in their career. Now they had the maturity and the songwriting is a bit more complex, structured and accurate. Recommended to German thrash metal fans.
There are various reasons why I consider this to be – by far – the best Sodom album ever. First of all because it musically hovers between their earlier ‘evil’ style of thrash and their later well produced modern thrash. Still fast, still filthy but already with mature thrash metal compositions.
Opening track ‘Nuclear Winter’ simply is the best Sodom song ever written. This composition comes close to perfection. The threatening into riff emphasised by the supporting distorted bass guitar, followed by an up tempo verse and chorus and a eerie mid paced middle section. The dynamics presented here are mind blowing and the song never loses its tension.
Another thrashing highlight is ‘Christ Passion’ on which Angelripper sounds best with his raspy voice. Definitely a second place song. Also ‘Electrocution’, ‘Conjuration’ and ‘Persecution Mania’ are three thrashers worthy of mentioning individually. Strong, fast, catchy and filled with great riffs, breaks and lyrics. The Motorhead cover ‘Iron Fist’ isn’t bad actually and doesn’t feel odd when surrounded by all these thrashers.
Lastly, Persecution Mania introduced this new kind of punky-Motorheadish thrash song, the very simplistic but enjoyable ‘Bombenhagel’. They would later write similar songs on the next albums (Ausgebombt, Stalinorgel)
No, I like a lot of material Sodom wrote after this album but I never enjoyed any of their albums from start to finish as much as I did Persecution Mania.
Tom Angelripper may have worked in a coal mine but he struck gold with band Sodom!
After 3 crushing excursions in metal; In The Sign of Evil, Obsessed by Cruelty and Expurse of Sodomy (just prior to EoS guitarist Frank Blackfire would join the band and have a huge impact on their sound) the children of the 80’s were exposed to Sodom’s grandest work, a blackened thrash metal masterpiece called Persecution Mania. Riffs that methodically worked their way into a thrashing frenzy - each song accompanied with chugging, fist banging interludes guaranteed to drive the crowd wild plus chaotic guitar solos that retained their melody and structure.
While blasphemy was no longer the main agenda, a dark, meancing atmosphere still pervaded the overall feeling of PM and received full license to roam on the classic Procession to Golgotha – full of doom and despair, carving a black path into the track Christ Passion. I don’t intend on going into full details about each particular song; each contains something that will keep you coming back for more. Thus PM is the center-piece of perfection for Sodom; tight, relentless, manic thrash yet full of catchy breaks, thunderous drums and spiteful vocal deliveries. Enchanted Lands is a great example of the infectious nature of Sodom when Angelripper snarls in his gruff German accent “when the few who remain will battle to the last for the enchanted lands” you’re completely swept up in the moment of uncontrollable headbanging mania and beer is getting spilt! Sporting such gems as Nuclear Winter, Electrocution and the insane thrasher Bombenhagel it’s worth every cent. Included also is the brilliant Expurse of Sodomy (maxi), along with the track Outbreak of Evil. If you don’t own this already and love to bang your head, you better hunt it down now. Persecution Mania will possess your soul…
You can't get much krieger than Sodom. For fuck's sake, they sing about krieg (war) the whole time, how could they not be krieg. OK, enough of my silly little word games. This is the second album of German thrash legends, Sodom. They are sometimes labeled as black/thrash, but this is really straightforward thrash. It sounds a bit underdeveloped next to Agent Orange, but there's really not anything wrong with this one. The riff fest is here, the jawdropping breaks are here, Tom barks away with his awesome accent and the great lyrics are still here.
Songs are memorable, but mostly for verses and choruses - the riffs tend to be a bit simmilar to each other. The song structure is basically standard Sodom: fast intro riff, super fast verse part, then slow down to midtempo break, then chorus, a super fast solo and then the verse and chorus part again. And yeah, this record is a fucking pile of awesome thrash breaks. It's like: NUCLEAR WINTER!!! STOP! BREAK! BANG!
Since Sodom are kind of a evil thrash twin of Motörhead, and they are a three piece band, bass plays an important role here. It's like a second guitar, Tom even has that cool bass break on Bombenhagel. The guitars are satisfying, riffage is very good. Solos are fast and not really technical, but they do their job. God, I love Õnkel Tom's voice. Especially the accent. You can't have a German thrash band without the accent. Vocals themselves are also good, I wouldn't say that they're growly but they do sometimes slighty wander into that direction. Drumming is nicely executed, but there is really nothing new here.
The best songs on here are probably Nuclear Winter and Bombenhagel. Former starts off really fast and has a massive thrash break at around 1:30. The chorus is really memorable (well, even the biggest dumbass would remember to shout NUCLEAR WINTER by two listenings - not that that's a bad thing). Oh yeah, there's ANOTHER BREAK at around 3:15. Two breaks, ladies and gents. 2. Not to mention the one at 4:20, which isn't really a thrash break in the true meaning of the word.
Bombenhagel starts with a bass riff, simmilar to the one on Ausgebomt. The same riff also serves for a bass break at 1:30, 2:50 and somewhere around 4:00, I think. That was a great idea, Tom. The solo is somewhat fammiliar, but I can't remember why. I think it's the German anthem. Well, it doesn't really fit it, but it's funny.
Iron Fist, the Motörhead cover is nicely executed, but it has a simmilar effect that Ausgebomt on Agent Orange, it's a bit to ''happy'' for the mood of the album. Don't get me wrong, Ausgebomt is my favourite Sodom song and Iron Fist is great, but they don't fit in the mood. On the other hand, it's alway good to have some contrasts on the record. Other songs are all good, with Electrocution being ''the best of the rest'' and Procession To Golgatha being a filler.
However, I haven’t heard a lot of things that really stand out from this band. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m not a hardcore thrash fan, but so far this is the only Sodom album I’ve been able to tolerate. My favorite track is probably “Nuclear Winter,” from everything I’ve heard on this album. Nuclear Winter is a nice solid track to start off a fairly solid album. I find that this is probably the best Sodom album I’ve heard so far (after hearing “Till Death Do Us Unite,” this is music to my ears).
The guitar riffs get very repetitive and annoying over time, almost so much that it gets overly consistent. On this album I do like the guitar tone (sounds a little like Sepultura) and the more consistent riff changes than on some of their other albums. Sodom also manages to have good intro guitar riffs on this album, much better and more interesting than I’ve previously heard. The speedy riffs are kind of catchy at times, but in some songs (Conjuration) they run kind of flat and become boring. The bass especially gets repetitive and offers little variation.
I think the germen accent is great and gives them a bit of diversity among other thrash bands, but not that much of a diversity advantage. The guitar intro to Christ Passion is my favorite one. It’s smooth, and flows into the song nice and easy, instead of just going crazy and shredding from the start. The drum intro in Conjuration interests me, followed by the guitars, but then the song just drags on and on with little riff change. Conjuration could have been a good song, but it was way too short and became dull after the first few minutes.
Persecution Mania isn’t a bad song either for most part. The variety on bass is a relief but again, the song is too short. Around the 1:30 mark the guitar riffs sound pretty cool with melody and tone variety, but it’s only bitter sweet...it doesn’t last long enough. Enchanted Land is nothing special; it sounds like the rest of the more repetitive songs on the album. I think the best part of Sodom are the solos; they have some of the best solos I‘ve heard recently.
The solos are fast, long, more original sounding than their main riffs and are excellent, but it doesn’t really save the songs that happen to go nowhere. They sound kind of like a Sepultura/Slayer combo, except to a lesser extent. So far, my opinion is that they’re a good band, they write good music, but they need something more that stands out about them and separates them from other thrash bands. They have the ability to be original, they just need to mobilize themselves to sound that way.
My second favorite Sodom album of all time. Persecution Mania is a piece of art. I guarantee you will headbang through the whole album. This album is probably the fastest metal album ever. Starting off with Nuclear Winter and ending with My Atonement, the album blazes.
The guitars on this album are superior to any thrash album. This is definitely speed/ thrash metal at its best. A lot of the songs sound the same, but one can easily pick apart different riffs in the songs. Sodom does a nice job of throwing around there song types. Like in Nuclear Winter and Elctrocution the songs have fast drumming and fast guitar riffs. Then Iron Fist is a rather slow song, at least compared to the first two. Then it picks up with the fast thrash songs; this process continues on through out the whole album.
The production is totally better than on Obsessed By Cruelty, so if you were turned off by Sodom's first album then you have to get this one. Vocals on this album rule, the switching style that Sodom usually has is present on this album. On the real fast songs the vocals are very growled like and almost death metalish. On the semi-fast songs the vocals are sung in a normal shouting voice. Great way to throw things up and change the pace from time to time.
Some songs that are awesome on this album are Nuclear Winter, Persecution Mania, Outbreak of Evil, etc. This whole album isn't really bad, there are no fillers, each song has its own greatness in one form or another. I recommend for all metal heads. Great way to get into Sodom too.
This is probably Sodom's second-best album - at times, it's very, very good, and at other times a bit more flat. Nonetheless, these guys are pretty much the masters of the monster thrash break, and they demonstrate that very nicely in a lot of songs.
The good: "Nuclear Winter". This song absolutely shreds. It's got about 28 riffs in it, and 5 major time changes. Nice and developed, and the break to half-speed in the middle is very nicely done. Also, "Bombenhagel" has a great break in it, as does "Electrocution", and "Persecution Mania" is very nice and "Iron Fist" is a cool Motorhead cover - not outdoing the original (you can't outdo Motorhead, by definition), but coming fucken damn close. YOU KNOW ME!
"Christ Passion" also has some great riffage in it, though it's a bit too repetitive at times. That is what plagues this album occasionally - it's just a bit too self-similar and repetitive. For example, "Enchanted Land" (except for the middle part) and "Conjuration" really do nothing for me.
Oh yes, the guitar tone is great, and the German accent just fucking owns. Recommended.