Germany is home to many influential Heavy Metal bands and arguably one of the most important include Scorpions, Kreator, Helloween, Accept, Rammstein, and of course, Sodom. In the early 1980s, Sodom was one of the lesser talked about blackened Thrash Metal influences on early Black and Death Metal bands such as Morbid Angel, Obituary, Mayhem, and Cannibal Corpse. However, if Venom and Slayer had a satanic love child, it would best describe the sounds of Sodom.
In truth, Sodom maintain their own signature sound, succeeding with providing a catchy, fast, and fun time for their listeners. With 15 major albums under their belt, ranging in sound variations and members, they are back at it again with a three song EP, called Partisan, Friday, November 23, 2018 SPV/Steamhammer.
A band that has stood the test of time, Sodom has withstood their fair share of lineup changes over the years, and in 2018, the current active original leader is Vocalist/Bassist Tom Angelripper. The rest of the modern day posse includes Guitarists Frank “Blackfire” Gosdzik and Yorck Segatz, along with Drummer Stefan “Husky” Hüskens. Known as a trio for the majority of their career, the addition of a second guitarist is not unwelcome. Now, after almost 40 years of Metal to call their own, Angelripper is showing no signs of slowing down and in fact, shows there is still plenty more to offer in the future.
A prerequisite to their upcoming LP scheduled for 2019, Partisan starts off with the title-track and that well-known old school blackened Thrash; a sound that is very reminiscent of Venom in vocal technique and structure, but also possesses a simpler, catchy Thrash tempo in the drumming as well as riffs. It is just over 5 minutes of non-stop entertainment, boding well for a new and binding tune. Then the meat of the sandwich chimes in with “Conflagration,” a song that seems to be a militaristic homage. At just under 5 minutes, it fluctuates between speedy drumming to slowed down riffs and back again, never losing those blackened subtleties.
The final gem of the trilogy is actually a live version of “Tired and Red,” a cut off their 1989 album, Agent Orange, that was performed this year on May 18th during the Rock Hard Festivals at the Gelsenkirchen Amphitheater in Germany. It celebrates the return of Guitarist Blackfire and it definitely grasps a fuller, fleshed-out, live sound performed as a quartet. Saving the best for last, the banter of Angelripper says to the crow,d “Come on let’s dance” midway through the live rendition, painting images of a wild mosh pit taking control.
Sodom has been riling up Germany and other parts of the world for years now, so why 2019 be any different? This 3 track EP is very much a step in the right direction and an exciting teaser for what is yet to come in regards to the future LP album and hopefully subsequent tour. For keeping Thrash dominant and alive among many other noble traits, Cryptic Rock gives Partisan 4 out of 5 stars.