The almighty SODOM is still thrashing away and their latest battle cry, In War And Pieces, is another solid SODOM album for your collection, and it also happens to be their most versatile work to date. Hailed as one of the big 3 in German heavy metal (alongside Kreator and Destruction), SODOM shows you that they can still shred the strings right off an electric guitar, even almost 30 years later! Quite the accomplishment indeed, but it’s too bad that these guys often get overlooked. Sure, a metalhead is going to dig some SODOM, but when thrash is brought up in a conversation, SODOM never really becomes a main topic, rather, it’s usually the, “oh yeaaaah, don’t forget about SODOM” kind of thing. They need to be more of a thrash standard than they are, but *sigh*, only in a perfect world. Anyways, I’m glad that SODOM has went back to their roots, and fans of the classic Agent Orange-era will have no problem getting into these war fueled thrash assaults. They’ve even added quite a bit of a death metal approach, plenty of heavy metal chunk chords, some rock grooves, and more interesting twists! Sound interesting so far?
Another thing I’d like to quick note is the production on In War And Pieces. I get the vibe of an old school thrash album recorded back in the 80’s, and I must say it’s quite refreshing. Waldemar Sorychta (Moonspell, Sentenced), producer of In War And Pieces, did a GREAT job keeping that authentic feeling, a feeling that gets lost very fast in this modern age. SODOM mastermind Tom Angelripper and his Slayer / Tom Araya-esque vocals are spot on. And you had better bet that there are plenty of tasty guitar solos to go around for all! I’ll always have a spot in my heart for the lead guitar, and SODOM proves that they’ve still got the shred!
My choice cuts on In War And Pieces are the album opener / title song “In War And Pieces”, “Hellfire”, and “Storm Raging Up”, which all go straight back to SODOM’s roots. Fast, raw, chaotic, yet equally very solid and skilled in thrash delivery. The galloping speed of SODOM keeps the fire ablaze, and riff after riff these metallic experts still know the importance of a song structure. Angelripper’s voice has almost taken on more of a pure form, and there are plenty of parts for you to sing-a-long to on In War And Pieces. While it’s not an all-out thrash blitz like many of their past songs, these new SODOM songs still slay!
“Nothing Counts More Than Blood” is a beast of a song! Also, it’s a great example of how traditional thrash and melodic death metal complement one another. It’s SODOM at their catchiest on In War And Pieces, and the way “Nothing Counts More Than Blood” builds up makes you want to break things, or do something crazy. The hooks are all there, the guitar solos soar high, and there’s enough of a gallop to form quite the circle pit. European festivals, beware.
The closing track “Styptic Parasite” shows the band with their most groove-laden playing on In War And Pieces. I mean, thrash isn’t just about fast paced and throat ripping riffs, it’s also about the groove. The duo guitar work is definitely at its sexiest, and that guitar harmonization will put a sense of good feeling into you. Some of these rhythms even have an evil vibe to it, and from being one of the first angry metal bands to emerge in the 80’s, SODOM still stands by their sound. Thank you, SODOM.
In War And Pieces is out now via our pals at SPV, and for SODOM fans and you damn metalheads who know your roots, In War And Pieces is absolutely mandatory for you to buy. SODOM sounds young again, and they sound like they’ve still got millions of circle pits left in them.