Hutch checks out the new EP from the masters of Teutonic thrash… have the German masters still got what it takes to wreck our necks…
Did you really need a reminder that Sodom were still alive and kicking? After last year’s brutally brilliant ‘Genesis XIX’ there can surely have been little doubt that the Germans were firing on all cylinders and ready to roll. But time isn’t wasted in Sodom HQ. The band had initially planned this three track EP to coincide with summer festivals but best laid plans and all that. With their gigs postponed Tom Angelripper and co decided to release the EP anyway, “as a signal to our fans: We’re still around! The story continues.”
A recording of the classic Bombenhagel from 1987’s Persecution Mania kicks things off. For those familiar with the original, there may be a few surprises, including a blistering solo from Harris Johns, who as producer guested on the original. Angelripper’s scream of “Harris” signals the solo, whilst Angelripper’s fat bass drives the track. It’s extended by over a minute on the original, and the current line up (completed by Frank Blackfire – guitars, Yorck Segatz – guitars and Toni Merkel – drums) do the song total justice with a full-fat version.
Two new songs follow. The first is Coup De Grace which Angelripper describes as “a true thrash sensation”. It certainly contains everything you want from Sodom with a no hold barred aural assault. The lyrics are about the death blow delivered by a hunter to his wounded prey but from the view of humanity administering the blow to itself. A reflection on the self-inflicted carnage man has brought about, Angelripper calls it Sodom’s “attempt to rouse people and urge them to act more thoughtfully”.
The final track has a definite old school feel to it with a vicious hook and powerful driving riff. ‘Pestiferous Posse’ features low-tuned guitars, Angelripper’s demonic growling delivery and more headbanging opportunities than an entire Anthrax show. It’s a heavyweight beast, featuring the stories of one of the most famous gunfights in the American Wild West history at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881. The historic fight between the Wyatt brothers, Morgan and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday, and the local cattle and horse rustlers and outlaws, known as the Cowboys. Drawing parallels between then and the current battle in American politics, Angelripper is once more using history to make comparisons with current situations.
With the band celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, there are few signs of Sodom slowing down. The two new tracks may be typical Sodom, but there’s many bands who’d give their right nut to be as consistent and well respected as the Germans. With the promise of new music in 2022, this is a welcome stopgap and another reminder, if one was needed, that this band are still a vital cog in the global thrash wheel.
Sodom release the new Bombenhagel EP on the 20th August via Steamhammer/SPV