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Sodom - Bombenhagel Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 October 2021, 3:01 PM

Since the 80’s, the name of SODOM grew and became a legend, being one of the three most important Thrash Metal acts of Germany along with KREATOR and DESTRUCTION. The level of respect they gathered throughout the years is a consequence of the importance of releases as “Obsessed by Cruelty” (a Thrash/Black Metal that influences many until today), “Persecution Mania” (where the band had a turn into a standard and personal Thrash Metal form) and “Agent Orange” (their most commercially successful album). But as the changes of members became a common thing for the band, they came to be seen as a band with an amazing past, but even their best releases since “Better Off Dead” never had the same appeal, until “Genesis XIX”, when the return of Frank Blackfire brought attention to them, and hope for an album that could bring back the feeling of the past (an idea that is 50% right, because the band brought some aspects from its golden age, but never denying the importance of their evolution to become what they are). And this EP, “Bombenhagel”, comes to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

These three tracks can be seen in the same tendency and shares the same elements of “Genesis XIX”, as they were recorded during the sessions for the album, but that were left out of it. They are true German Thrash Metal songs in the same vein of what they did in the 80’s, but bearing the fidelity of what they achieved since 80’s were over. But it’s amazing to see as Tom and Frank are getting along on music as they never parted ways, and having two great partners as Yorck and Toni. It’s simply SODOM in its best form, teaching some Thrash Metal lessons to the newer fans (and bands). Toni (recording, engineering, mixing, mastering) and Yorck (recording, engineering) worked in a way that the band’s sound could take the best from modern recording technologies, but bearing the organic impact of the past. But one thing must be stated: everything is sounding great and aggressive (it’s a Thrash Metal EP), but clean and defined.

As everyone already knows, “Bombenhagel” is a re-recorded version of the song presented on “Persecution Many”, here presented with very good updates (the two guitars made the sound ‘full’), with great drums and bass guitar presence (and the producer Harris Johns, who worked with the band on its albums for many years, is playing guitars on it as he did on the first version), but with the same spontaneity of those days. The ferocious “Coup De Grace” is the next song, dealing with the past and the present of the band, with very good tempos changes (but the excellent variations of the vocals tunes deserve an honorable mention). And with an abrasive set of tempos and ambiences, “Pestiferous Posse” distils Thrash Metal fury in a personal way that only they are able to do, full of Punk Rock/Hardcore aggressive influences, and a massive attack done by the guitars (some six strings arrangements on the slower parts are amazing). But a personal complaint: why in the blazes are there just three songs? 30 wouldn’t be enough to satisfy us all! So the best thing to do is to put it on the ‘repeat’ function, and let the Thrash Metal slaughter keep on!

Yes, the German Thrash Metal tyrants are back for the attack, so get as fast as you can a physical copy. SODOM isn’t kidding when celebrating the band’s birthday, and “Bombenhagel” is an amazing present!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Bombenhagel
2. Coup De Grace
3. Pestiferous Posse
Tom Angelripper - Bass, Vocals
Frank Blackfire - Guitars
Yorck Segatz - Guitars
Toni Merkel - Drums
Record Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records


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