Chuga chuga chuga chuga boom boom boom boom. Chaga chaga ching, chaga chaga chang, chaga chuga chaga chaga. Klink, chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga chuga boom chuga boom chuga RWAR chuga chuga. This is roughly what Sodom's new album, The Final Sign of Evil, sounds like.
Sodom is a "veteran" band. They have survived Agent Orange, got obsessed with cruelty, tapped the vain for a while after which they got what they deserved. Sodom's influence over Thrash metal cannot be stressed enough. The band was formed in 1982, in a little German town called Gelsenkirchen. In 1984 they released their EP, In the sign of Evil, an EP that marked a new era of Thrash; it was an era where Thrash was truly fast n' heavy, an era where Thrash was recorded by a bunch of high school dropouts living in their parents' basement, an era where Thrash was above all dumb nonsense and was pure evil. In other words, it was an era when Trash became THRASH!!! Sodom continued releasing more CD's all with this pure substance of THRASH, yet somewhere along the way the real meaning of THRASH was forgotten and Sodom started releasing thrash, music written by old guys who thought mostly of their wallets. Nonetheless, the spark of THRASH metal still lived in them. And like a fire ravaging through God's holy garden, the spark became a little flame, and from the flame, it transformed into a bigger flame. Growing bigger and bigger until one night in Bangkok, during which the flame turned into an erupting volcano, shooting the essence of THRASH of it. The volcano kept on erupting until finally in September 7th, 2007 it finally gave us The Final Sign of Evil. Sodom's The Final Sign of Evil is pure THRASH yet with many faults that overpower this release's ass-kicking goodness.
The Final Sign of Evil contains twelve tracks, five of which were featured on the original EP. The other seven songs are, well, rather bland. All of the twelve musical pieces sound extremely dull. The band is playing their lines exactly like they are written on the paper, which is the source of the problem. After going through the release a couple of times it finally hit me. There was no spark. That's right, that spark that started the fire in heaven is long gone, replaced with greed, boredom and probably a midlife crisis. When Sodom's s/t came out in 2006, Tom Angelripper said in an interview that each band should have at least one s/t before it retires. After reading that and listening to the amazing songs on the s/t I came to the realization that Sodom is over. When The Final Sign of Evil came out I was almost 100 percent sure that it is going to be Sodom's final piece of amazing THRASH metal music as they are putting the leather jackets on the hanger and putting on their cheesy Rudolf the reindeer sweaters while preparing for a relaxed life as family men. Boy I was wrong. The Final Sign of Evil was apparently just a title that did not end anything or begin anything new (like THRASH) and was probably something the Chris Witchhunter's five year old son thought was cool.
Another thing that made this release horrible is the timing. During the last three years dozens of old-school bands have been re-releasing their stuff with some bonus tracks. In some cases, this arrangement works out, but with Sodom, not really. In the decade after In the Sign of Evil, Sodom has released exactly fifteen CD's and double the EP's. 90 percent of all the material on all those discs, tapes and DVDs is EXACTLY THE F**KING SAME, but with a different lyrical subject. The s/t on the other hand, took the music to a completely different direction, but now with this release, Sodom sound exactly the same as they did on almost every album; but soulless.
This CD is going back to the roots. Fast brutal Thrash riffs; fast drumming and extremely harsh vocals are all present. Twenty years ago this release could have been hailed as godsend (or Satan-send perhaps). These days, especially after Sodom's other releases, In The Final Sign of Evil just doesn't "cut it". It is purely THRASH, in the sense that it is made by futureless drunkards and it is played fast, but one thing is certain. This is not the Sodom we all know and love. This is a failed attempt at being young and energetic. This is a failed attempt at being Sodom.
Good songs: Bloody Corpse, Where Angels Die.
Sodom - The Final Sign of Evil
1.The Sin of Sodom
5.Sons of Hell
6.Burst Command 'Til War
7.Where Angels Die
9.Hatred of The Gods
10.Ashes To Ashes
11.Outbreak of Evil