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Thrash metal, but not only in German way - 83%

Lane, November 13th, 2010

Are you sodomites ready for another Sodom platter? Yep, I thought you are. For your luck, the band's history DVD 'Lords of Depravity Pt. I' (2005) wasn't the first part of the band's farewell, but these German thrash metal stalwarts have unleashed their 11th studio full length album, simply titled as 'Sodom'. As expected, once again Sodom deliver us pure German thrash metal, but this time with a twist or two.

It's been five years since their previous studio album 'M-16' (2001). And to tell the truth, in 2006 Sodom sounds even a bit refreshing. No, they haven't gone and done a Goth-inspired album, nor have they created a technical behemoth. For a long time, Sodom had some sort of a punk and rock influence, but they have more or less dropped them on this album. 'Sodom' is pure thrash metal, the band's not playing around, but will sodomize you. Not like they did it in their first years, but considering the band's age, still in pretty awe-inspiring way! 'Sodom' isn't a journey to the real Ruhr thrash metal of the yore, but neither is it plagued with a plastic touch of nowadays. Timeless is the word!

Sodom 2006 is pretty mid-paced, but so perfect for headbanging. Of course there's some speedier songs, e.g. galloping Sodometal song 'Wanted Dead', Destruction-ish 'Bibles and Guns' and neck snapping 'Nothing to Regret' with its North American melodies. The band have tried something refreshing this time around. Whether you like it or not, they had to do it some day. Variety is one of the key matters. At first few listens, the album sounded quite monotonous and only "okay-ish", despite the variety, with a gem or two. Only after ten spins or so, 'Sodom' began to feel of uniform quality. Some songs didn't initially hit me, but now the album has grown on me and it contains no single slip. The riffs are still the law, but melodies and compositions play bigger parts than at any point of the band's career before. Some surprising moments: memorable solos. Yep, they are so good! 'Buried in the Justice Ground' actually sounds Megadeth circa 1990 and on 'Lay down the Law", Megadeth and Amon Amarth influences mix. Anyway, you'll know this is

The production is a tad thin. Tom Angelripper's bass has been moved back from the front, so there's more space for Bernemann's guitar. Everything is equally balanced, and it sounds organic (no triggers etc. used) and raw-ish, but lacks of heaviness. Bobby throws some technical drumming at times. Tom's vocals are very varying, generally sounding like himself, but at times he sounds a lot like his namesake in Slayer. Once again, the lyrics deal with war and from many perspectives. However, with one main function it is to stop wars. Limited edition includes a LP cover sized poster of the original gory artwork. Made me miss the vinyl...

I think 'Sodom' includes more to listen to as previous albums I've heard (which still do not include them all, but this is going to change soon!!!). This might be too melodic, mid-paced and whatever for some people, but I have to say that I am very positively surprised. This is a grower and withstands a lot of listening. Uniformly a strong album. They are not veterans, but experienced fighters...