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Well, Sodom must’ve realised their previous album had a few weak moments. Furthermore pretty much all thrash acts from the eighties were slowly getting an identity crises. Kreator were on their way to experiment on the ‘Renewal’ album (quite successfully) and let’s not talk about the downfall of post Cracked Brain Destruction. When thrash was rapidly losing ground after ’90, most bands watered down, got groovy, and a few desperate thrash bands jumped the death metal bandwagon (for instance Dutch thrashers Thanatos on ‘Realm Of Ecstasy’). We just had to wait what Sodom would do...with yet another new guitarist...
Sodom take back a lot of harshness, protoblack and death metal tendencies they’d showed earlier during their ‘In the Sign of Evil’ and ‘Obsessed by Cruelty’ days. But since the band had actually learned to play in the years since and a new guitarist obviously has a major influence on the sound, this renewed vigour turns into a new kind of beast. We can honestly say ‘Tapping the Vein’ was their fastest and most brutal album since Persecution Mania.
Just listen to ‘The Crippler’. Once of their creepiest songs since the old days. And besides that a superb fast thrasher as well! Or try opener ‘Body Parts’. You’ll immediately recognise Sodom but you just know something is different. Is it the riffs? the vocals? Hard to pin-point but the amount of proto death metal tendencies have increased but not too much. Or that eerie middle section in the title track. Yes, this new beast is lovely! ‘Deadline’, ‘Hunting Season’, ‘Skinned Alive’, there’s so much superb thrashin’ goin’ on here.
No weak moments? Yes, Sodom once again had to record an extremely dull mid paced song. This time it’s ‘One Step Over the Line’. Why did they keep doing that? ‘Wachturm’ is a funny anti-Jehovah’s witness rock tune sung in German but stylewise would’ve been better at the end of the album obviously since it does damage the continuity and tension. The doomy ‘Reincarnation’ closes off the album and serves as a nice method for calming down.
Body Parts, Skinned Alive, Deadline, The Crippler, Tapping the Vein, Hunting Season