Angry Metal Primer – Sodom

Over 40 years of metal’s biological urge (and a hefty lack of restraint) has resulted in some incomprehensibly large catalogs. No one should have to listen to anywhere from 13 to 15 [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire] albums just to get caught up for a new release. So whenever the fancy strikes us, we’re offering a selection of prime(r)(er) cuts to get you up to speed. Without further ado, welcome to…

 

“I’ll do the Sodom primer,” I said. “No problem,” I said. FUCK. Thank the heavens I didn’t have to pick only one song from each record. While I’ve reviewed and indeed found fault in a Sodom record, I’m one of those people that can’t actually find a fault in Sodom.1 That means I can listen to every one of their albums and be happy. Every time I play something from these German thrashers, they leave my place in shambles. Each album is just as mighty as the last and Tom Angelripper’s vocals and bass work will never lose their nastiness. And this is a band that’s been at it for 40 fucking years. To me, Sodom is like Motörhead: Tom is just as ugly as Lemmy, both bands have an absurd number of albums, and neither has a “bad” one. Sure, some records are stronger than others. And, in Sodom‘s case, some albums are difficult to compare—such as the band’s early Satanic shit versus their later war themes.

If you take a quick scan of my song choices below, you’ll see a wide variety of Sodomization.2 The variation was intentional because I want to show the different sides of Sodom and not just their hit pieces. If you know the band, you know that there’re four types of songs: 1) thrashing chaos, 2) cross-burning brutality, 3) goofy Onkel Tom Angelripper-isms, and 4) cover tracks that no band would dare put on a record. I mean, who in their right mind would cover Motörhead‘s “Iron Fist” and make it the third track on an album? Only Sodom. And the album in question—Persecution Mania—is, in some circles, considered Sodom‘s best. It’s also clear that Sodom is the only band in the world that enjoys the NWoBHM croonings of Tank. And who can forget the cover of The Trashmen‘s3 “Surfin’ Bird”? 

You’ll also notice a couple of EPs on this list. Without experiencing their debut EP, In the Sign of Evil, you’ll never appreciate the band or their odd 2007’s The Final Sign of Evil. Though it was better the first time around, it saw Sodom‘s original members reunite. We even got some new songs—though you can hear the pain drummer Chris Witchhunter is in.4 You also can’t call yourself a Sodom fan if you’ve never heard the 1987 EP Expurse of Sodomy. That would be like never hearing Persecution Mania or the two-part war beasts Agent Orange and M-16. 

This primer was a fun trip down memory lane and I hope you enjoy it. It’s been years since I’ve listened to some of these Sodom records, and I’m surprised how much I love the ones I couldn’t appreciate in the past. Here’s to almost 40 years of Sodomy and here’s to the start of another 40 with 2020’s Genesis XIX.

– Dr. A.N. Grier

  • In the Sign of Evil EP, 1985
    • “Outbreak of Evil”
    • “Sepulchral Voice”
    • “Witching Metal”
  • Obsessed by Cruelty, 1986
    • “Proselytism Real”
    • “Equinox”
    • “Obsessed by Cruelty”
    • “Witchhammer”
  • Expurse of Sodomy EP, 1987
    • “Sodomy and Lust”
    • “The Conqueror”
    • “My Atonement”
  • Persecution Mania, 1987
    • “Nuclear Winter”
    • “Electrocution”
    • “Enchanted Land”
    • “Bombenhagel”
  • Agent Orange, 1989
    • “Angel Orange”
    • “Tired and Red”
    • “Remember the Fallen”
    • “Baptism of Fire”
  • Better Off Dead, 1990
    • “Shellfire Defense”
    • “The Saw Is the Law”
    • “Capture the Flag”
    • “Resurrection”
  • Tapping the Vein, 1992
    • “One Step Over the Line”
    • “Bullet in Your Head”
    • “The Crippler”
    • “Reincarnation”
  • Get What You Deserve, 1994
    • “Jesus Screamer”
    • “Unbury the Hatchet”
    • “Sodomized”
  • Masquerade in Blood, 1995
    • “Masquerade in Blood”
    • “Gathering of Minds”
    • “Peacemaker’s Law”
    • “Unwanted Youth”
  • ‘Til Death Do Us Unite, 1997
    • “Fuck the Police”
    • “No Way Out”
    • “Suicidal Justice”
    • “Schwerter zu Pflugscharen”
  • Code Red, 1999
    • “Tombstone”
    • “The Vice of Killing”
    • “Book Burning”
    • “Addicted to Abstinence”
  • M-16, 2001
    • “Among the Weirdcong”
    • “Napalm in the Morning”
    • “Cannon Fodder”
    • “Marines”
  • Sodom, 2006
    • “Buried in the Justice Ground”
    • “City of God”
    • “No Captures”
    • “Lay Down the Law”
  • The Final Sign of Evil, 2007
    • “Bloody Corpse”
    • “Hatred of the Gods”
  • In War and Pieces, 2010
    • “In War and Pieces”
    • “Storm Raging Up”
    • “Soul Contraband”
    • “God Bless You”
  • Epitome of Torture, 2013
    • “Cannibal”
    • “Shoot Today – Kill Tomorrow”
    • “Into the Skies of War”
  • Decision Day, 2016
    • “Rolling Thunder”
    • “Decision Day”
    • “Blood Lions”

Sodom‘s 16th full-length album Genesis XIX will be released on November 27th worldwide via Steamhammer Records.

Show 4 footnotes

  1. But, I also can’t find fault in Annihilator or King Diamond, if that gives you any sense of who I am.
  2. Wide variety? The entire fuckin discography is on here. – Dr. I’m Hunting You Down If I Ever Finish This Playlist Wvrm
  3. Well, not really their song…
  4. He would die a year later.
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