Sodom - In War And Pieces
Steamhammer/SPV
Thrash Metal
11 songs (47:25)
Release year: 2010
Sodom, Steamhammer/SPV
Reviewed by Kyle
Major event

SODOM!!! Damn, it feels good to say that. One of Germany’s oldest, most intense thrash acts is back with its first album of all-new material in over four years. But what exactly does Tom Angelripper and co. deliver in this highly anticipated release? If you’re hoping for something to rival the ferocity of 2001’s masterpiece M-16, I’m sorry to report that you’re S.O.L; however, if you enjoyed 2006’s toned-down self-titled album and are prepared for another unique Sodom album, In War And Pieces should be right up your alley.

That isn’t to say that In War and Pieces is another mostly mid-paced Sodom album. As always, the band’s penchant for writing some of the best, most crushing riffs in the genre remains intact, tied together this time by songs featuring a wide variety of tempos (with a heavy reliance on speed). However, Tom himself has made it clear that In War and Pieces is a different kind of Sodom album, feeling that it sounds “More contemporary and structured than we did on our recent releases”. I wholeheartedly agree with his statement; as chaotic as the album seems at times, on a whole it feels thought-out and surprisingly mature, thanks in part to Sodom’s smart, politically-charged lyrics (have no fear; many lyrics are still soaked in violence). The band here has taken great strides to ensure that In War and Pieces is its most diverse album to date. Parts of Feigned Death Throes groove subtly, Storm Raging Up features a nice mix of tasteful thrash and NWOBHM riffs, and both The Art of Killing Poetry and Styptic Parasite showcase some staccato riffing reminiscent of Megadeth, the former of which actually displays some smooth, melodic guitar lines.

But when Sodom decides to get fast on In War in Pieces, the band RIPS. Hellfire and Knarrenhenz in particular are downright breakneck in tempo, rivaling the level of speed displayed on the band’s classic album Persecution Mania. Songs that start deceivingly slow later become blisteringly quick, especially Through Toxic Veins with its atmospheric intro and straightforward, thrashy mid-section. There are two tracks here, however, that fail to make much of an impression on me: Soul Contraband and God Bless you. Both are mid-paced songs that don’t stand out much, and the fact that they’re placed side-by-side really drag the album’s quality in the middle. What’s worse is that, after those two tracks arrive, Sodom doesn’t pick up the tempo for the rest of In War and Pieces (with the exception of Knarrenheinz). A simple re-arrangement of the eleven songs could’ve easily prevented this album from growing boring at any point; having the first five songs being fast ones with only one of the latter six being fast-paced makes In War and Pieces more difficult to listen to from start to finish than it should be.

Though In War and Pieces does have its weak points, it’s a difficult album to criticize. Here, Sodom has made an album that shows tasteful progression without showing a single sign of selling out or watering down; quite an anomaly for a thrash band with so many years behind it. Other than Soul Contraband and God Bless You, every song is well-written, and together they compose yet another album of fantastic thrash metal to be added to a catalog of a band that has not once released a weak album in its 30-year career. In War and Pieces is far from my favorite Sodom album – it doesn’t come close to matching the intensity of Tapping the Vein or M-16 - but all-out intensity is not Sodom's goal with this record, and it is still a more than welcome addition to the band’s discography that almost all fans of the band should be happy with.

Killing Songs :
Hellfire, Through Toxic Veins, Storm Raging Up, Feigned Death Throes, Knarrenheinz
Kyle quoted 81 / 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 - Sodom reviewed by Alex 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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