Sodom - Sodom
11 songs (43'06")
Release year: 2006
Sodom, SPV
Reviewed by Alex

At what stage in their career does the band name an album after themselves? Why does it happen? Is it because the troop feels that the most recent output makes a definitive statement or they simply run out of the most evil gory names? When a younger band does it by their third or second opus you almost certainly think that the guys are trying to define their sound, but I am not sure for the reason German grizzly veterans Sodom felt it is time.

Whatever the reason, and consider the above a metal philosophical digression, the eponymous album is the 11th full-length by Sodom (if my math does not betray me). Having influenced many, having never released a truly awful album and having never abandoned their origins, somehow I always felt that the Gods of Metal were never fair to Sodom. The band have been churning their thrash for years always coming up a runner-up in the quest for the German thrash crown to their countrymen Kreator and Destruction. I sought to correct the injustice, alerting you, people, that Sodom, one more time, produced a solid effort worthy of more attention than it will probably get.

Like a good coach who knows his team’s strength Tom Angelripper is going with what works on Sodom. As his latest guitarist Bernemann is getting better with the axe, Tom is letting the guitars control the flow. As a result, the self-titled effort sounds downright catchy and probably the most melodic in years. To indicate the melodic shift the band opens up with the Venetian acoustic intro on Blood on Your Lips. The whole song builds off of it, not superfast, but with pulsating hungry guitars sounding rather evil. On this album Sodom diversify their metal endeavors. The more melodic they become the more their Teutonic thrash shifts to classic heavy metal, the band assuming the Judas Priest role inside the Germanic pantheon. Bridge on Buried in the Justice Ground, single tone melodic urgency on City of God, catchy riffs that cling like Velcro on the closer The Enemy Inside, numerous but purposeful and tasteful leads (City of God, No Captures) – Sodom present a thrashier, crustier version of the classical metal sound, rooted in industrial German neighborhoods. On the other end of the scope Sodom is laying the protodeath material better than any of their cover artists and imitators. Jungle Rot only wishes they can chop like in Blood on Your Lips or groove as in Lay Down the Law.

Modern realities do not escape the Germans, it is 2006 out there after all. The production is “cleaned up”, Sodom are not playing their intentionally sloppy self. Guitar tone has a lot more reverb to it (witness the military march of Axis of Evil, quite fitting with the lyrics, I can tell Onkel Tom is not happy with our current President, see also Bibles and Guns, but change is on its way), not the sharp cutting razor like sound. Tom’s voice is his usual leathery cackle, but screamy choruses also have room on this record (Bibles and Guns). Besides, outside of the quick bass run on Axis of Evil, the bass tone is turned down a little too much. Oh, well, Bernemann is taking full advantage of the opportunity. I only wish that there was more in the riffing department, but another Agent Orange this one is not.

With all of the new found melodicism and modernity, Sodom still know how to touch the past. Bobby Schottkowski is steady in the drum stool, nothing spectacular with his double bass, but at least there is no annoying click track. Nothing to Regret is unadulterated Bay Area thrash reminiscent of Death Angel, Wanted Dead explodes in thrash fury and Lords of Depravity is headbanging polka beat, 1-2 riff, balls-to-your-knees old school thrash.

Professional and obviously proud of what they do, Sodom remain relevant nowadays. Not that this is the band’s overriding goal. Aimed to smack hard, Sodom is very much on target with their eponymous album.

Cover art shown is from the limited first edition containing the regular cover art as a full-color poster.

Killing Songs :
Blood on Your Lips, Buried in the Justice Ground, City of God, No Captures, The Enemy Inside
Alex quoted 81 / 100
Adam quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Sodom that we have reviewed:
Sodom - Sacred Warpath reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Sodom - Epitome of Torture reviewed by Alex and quoted 75 / 100
Sodom - In War And Pieces reviewed by Kyle and quoted 81 / 100
Sodom - Agent Orange reviewed by Cody and quoted 95 / 100
Sodom - M16 reviewed by Paul and quoted 97 / 100
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