Fresh

Sodom-Decision Day


Like a well-oiled (war) machine, Sodom simply keep ploughing on through the ages. Unlike their peers, they don’t give any revelations about how every album will bring them new fans, or rekindle their relationship with the ever-growing world of thrash metal. they simply adapt to an ever-changing world which becomes more and more modernized as the years fly by. This work ethic seems to have benefited them rather well too. Indeed, Sodom aren’t the sort of band you would ever expect to hang up their boots, so to speak. A new album is of little surprise to any thrash fan or indeed the band’s devoted listeners, but making up for this is the knowledge that the record will undoubtedly deliver the goods.

Admittedly, Sodom have shown signs of slowing down in the last few years or so, particularly with previous record “Epitome of Torture”, which despite having some moments of menace, never quite took off from the ground. Three years later, Sodom are back with a new album in “Decision Day”, and unsurprisingly, the same flaws remain. However, contrary to the output in “Epitome of Torture”, “Decision Day” is simply a very mixed bag. Put simply, when Sodom are on fire here, they are on fire. When they aren’t, it’s easy to get bored or multi-task while songs such as the woeful title track  or ‘Caligula’ are on in the background. In the band’s favour, the overall tone is more evil and deliciously hellish so that you’ll likely be reminded of the band’s 80s heyday, back when they were accused of single-handedly making black metal and death metal the evil sub-genres they are today. It helps that Angelripper’s vocal delivery is comfortably demonic and at times makes you wonder how he still manages to produce guttural sounds time and again, particularly on opener ‘In Retribution’ and the frankly vicious ‘Who is God?’.

Elsewhere however, the band have put out some real downbeat tunes. Pretty much half of “Decision Day” relies on this same mid-paced groove that just never proves to be effective. It’s worthwhile to note that Sodom have attempted to craft a more versatile approach to songwriting here, but it simply doesn’t work. That’s why songs such as the ultimately forgettable title track, ‘Strange Lost World’ and ‘Vaginal Born Evil’ (a song which is brilliantly titled) fail to go anywhere, and what we’re left with is a plodding performance rather than one which is ecstatic. It seems this level of filler material is here to stay, and there’s virtually no awareness from the band, because they themselves give the impression that they are trying, but not succeeding, to impress their fan-base once again. Thankfully, the  album regains a strong consciousness towards the end, and two of Sodom’s most aggressive, feral modern numbers, ‘Belligerence’ and ‘Blood Lions’ explode instantaneously, blowing any song you thought wasn’t worth your time or effort out of the proverbial water. These two songs alone prove that when they get going, Sodom are virtually unstoppable. Had there been more songs of this nature, “Decision Day” would have been another strong contender for thrash album of the year.

That said, “Decision Day” is certainly hit and miss. It’s easy to distinguish the good from the bad here, and even easier to note that maybe Sodom shouldn’t change their direction from aggressive, fast-paced numbers to more mid-paced, groovier plodders. The fans probably won’t argue this is the case, but newcomers will undoubtedly be wise to steer from this effort if seeking to get into the band for the first time. “Decision Day” has its golden moments, just like “Epitome of Torture”, but what both albums share is a lack of real consistency.

3.1/5

Released: August 26th, 2016

  1. In Retribution
  2. Rolling thunder
  3. Decision Day
  4. Caligula
  5. Who is God?
  6. Strange Lost World
  7. Vaginal Born Evil
  8. Belligerence
  9. Blood Lions
  10. Sacred Warpath
  11. Refused to Die

 

Bandpage/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sodomized/?fref=ts

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