The release of a new Sodom album is always welcomed by thrash metal fans, especially those who appreciate the importance of the long-running German outfit's standing on the scene---they are now celebrating thirty years in business and that means they were around before super-thrashers Slayer and Megadeth. Somehow though Sodom has always been relegated to the second-tier of thrashdom and it's hard to figure the reason for that; it might be because the guys tinkered with their sound on a couple of albums, disappointing some fans. But there's little doubt that Sodom, led by original vocalist/bass player Tom Angelripper, know exactly what they're doing on In War and Pieces. The album starts out with the title song, a pounding anthem filled with gory imagery and enough metal detritus to become the band's latest signature tune; if nothing else the memorable chorus drills the album's name into the listener's brain. Sodom albums have also been known to carry a little too much filler from time to time; that's not the case here as "Hellfire," "Feigned Death Throes" and the pummeling "Soul Contraband" keep the bleak imagery flowing, enhanced with melodic overtones from guitarist Bernd "Bernemann" Kost. Bernemann's playing of multiple parts on "The Art of Killing Poetry" makes the song one of the most radio-ready of the lot. Angelripper has always sung mostly in English but a song performed in German is thrown in occasionally and here the Teutonic cut is "Knarrenheinz," one of the fastest, thrashiest cuts on the entire album. After three decades of trying it's unlikely that Sodom will suddenly get the recognition they merit but In War and Pieces goes a long ways toward proving that they deserve more.
Sodom - In War and Pieces
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