Sodom "Decision Day"

If Tom Angelripper is to be believed, Sodom never look to recreate past sounds when writing new material. Perhaps after thirty five years it is hard to record anything that isn't fundamentally Sodom in sound because album number fifteen is unmistakably Sodom through and through.  Fundamentally it is as familiar as it is energetic and fresh sounding, as though the prevailing three decades of releases have somehow left enough room for eleven more tracks of "more of the same" just delivered with the intensity of a band much younger in years.

"Decision Day" nods to the "old-school" like a plastic doll on the dashboard in an off road vehicle.   Angelripper is in superb form with is particular brand of blackened growls and the record drips with distinctly Sodom thrash riffs from start to finish. However there's an infusion of groove there too to accompany the familiar crunch and BM atmosphere to proceedings.

Album opener "In Retribution" with its dissonant opening guitars sets the tone perfectly for what is to follow and the quality of the song writing is obvious from the outset.  Check out "Caligula" for a catchy piece of thrash metal, or the equally contagious "Blood Lions".  Balance these with the more varied outbursts such as "Who Is God?" or "Strange Lost World" and it is soon obvious you are weighing up a strong record.

It has flaws as well as of course.  A lack of memorable lead work for one.  I would expect something sharper in this department from Sodom even though being showy has never been their thing, there is a sense at times that some of the lead work is just going through the motions.  Also, for these ears at least I would like a shorter running time.   Tracks such as "Vaginal Born Evil" and "Sacred Warpath" would be my particular choice of trimmings for the cutting room floor.

The fact remains however that for any band to be capable of this quality of output after thirty five years is extraordinary.  I am on my third play of "Decision Day" already today and I only hope that my "want" to play this record continues when the dust settles on this weeks' round of releases.  That artwork alone is cause enough to pick it up and stare like a teenage boy.



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