A Ruby anniversary is, most definitely, something to be celebrated. In the fickle world of music, when it comes to 40 years of a band, now that’s something special indeed. German thrashers Sodom were formed back in 1982 – for those not paying attention and/or arithmetically challenged – and they decided to celebrate this in their unique way.
Sodom – 40 Years At War – The Greatest Hell Of Sodom (S.P.V. / Steamhammer)
Release Date: 28 October 2022
Words: Robert Adams
Not for them is the standard ‘best of’ collection. What the band have done is go back and choose a track from previous albums or EPs and re-record them with the current lineup. So far, so ‘greatest hits,’ you’d think. Well, not when the tracks are deep cuts or songs that Sodom have rarely played live. It’s an inspired decision to do this.
The album opens with Sepulchral Voice from 1985s In The Sign Of Evil EP. A slow, chugging riff welcomes us before all hell breaks loose. It’s wonderfully naive thrash, and I mean that with the utmost respect. It’s the sound of rebellion, and there’s no better sound than that, in my opinion.
Tracks like Electrocution, Better Off Dead, Body Parts, and the completely bonkers Jabba The Hut sound fresh and revitalised here. I had totally forgotten just how good City Of God is, with its Maiden-inspired solo section.
The glorious thing about this album is this – nothing has been changed. The current lineup has recorded the original arrangements of these tracks, and that shows the growth and maturity the band have shown through the years.
You can hear elements of other Metal bands sprinkled throughout these tracks – Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and heavyweight Thrash masters Slayer are all recognisable in some tracks. But that’s certainly not to say that Sodom are copycats. The sole original member, vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper (or Thomas Such as his driver’s licence states), nails everything down with a beautiful rumbling bottom end, courtesy of his red Explorer bass and has a vocal style reminiscent of Sacred Reich’s Phil Rind.
The band have released the single 1982, which is only available on the boxset of 40 Years At War. The track pays homage to the year the band were formed and is a proper thrash bruiser.
Two million albums sold over a 40-year (and counting) career puts Sodom well in the veteran category, but you don’t have a music career that long if you’re not doing what you do very well indeed.
The Greatest Hell Of Sodom
After The Deluge
Baptism Of Fire
Better Off Dead
Jabba The Hut
Gathering Of Minds
That’s What An Unknown Killer Diarized
City Of God
Ashes To Ashes
In War And Pieces