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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.