Monday, 28 November 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Sodom - "Decision Day"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/08/2016
Label: Steamhammer



This is highly recommended for anyone who likes the gnarlier end of metal from Motorhead to Venom to Exodus to early Sepultura to Ravens Creed and so on. Nasty. And great!


“Decision Day” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. In Retribution (06:14)
02. Rolling Thunder (04:22)
03. Decision Day (04:03)
04. Caligula (04:01)
05. Who Is God? (04:35)
06. Strange Lost World (04:59)
07. Vaginal Born Evil (05:15)
08. Belligerence (04:00)
09. Blood Lions (03:17)
10. Sacred Warpath (05:34)
11. Refused To Die (04:27)
12. Predatory Instinct (04:44) (bonus track for vinyl and iTunes edition)

The Review:

From their early days when they played a kind of primitive black metal akin to Venom/Hellhammer, to the seminal albums of the late 80's, Sodom have occupied a rather special niche. They remain part of the German Big Three (arguably four, if you count Tankard) with Kreator and Destruction. Truthfully, I have never gone through Sodom's back catalogue in the same way as I have Kreator's, but that may now have to change.

“Decision Day” represents another quality release in the Sodom discography. You get eleven tracks of feral thrash. From opener “In Retribution”, through the title track and beyond, this is evil and dark music from masters of the genre. The technique is most certainly there these days, with Tom Angelripper backed up very impressively by Bern Kost and Markus Freiwald. Keeping to the power trio format has been the band’s strength over the years: think of them as a thrash Motorhead. You know what you want, what you are getting and what the band will inevitably deliver.

There are surprising moments of melody to go with the bombast- a lead break here, a tempo change there- it all adds up to a record that is well rounded and impressively adrenaline fuelled. The bass sound, as heard on “Caligula” is also mightily impressive. Sodom have kept the somewhat inventive/bizarre phrasing from earlier albums with titles like “Vaginal Born Evil" and have certainly kept their anger intact. This is metal of the old school variety- when it was still dangerous and a bit... well, scary.

It is on the most focused and succinct tracks which the band really shines- “Blood Lions” being a prime example- but the album is such that there is nothing spare here, nothing wasted. The song lengths are fairly uniform- around four minutes, although sometimes on either side of that and this is indicative of the fact that Tom and crew have their style down and write in a particular way as pertains to structure and changes. Ultimately, this is a huge strength: the band know exactly how to do this and they do it very well.

By the time “Refused To Die” rolls around, the album has proven to be very much a heads-down-see-you-at-the-end thrash fest. This is highly recommended for anyone who likes the gnarlier end of metal from Motorhead to Venom to Exodus to early Sepultura to Ravens Creed and so on. Nasty. And great!

Decision Day” is available now

Band info: facebook

FFO: Kreator, Destruction, Slayer, Venom

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