Sodom - _Code Red_
(Drakkar Records, 1999)
by: Matthias Noll (
The years go by and Tom Angelripper still keeps going. He might not have many other choices than that and unfortunately that's a bit how this records sounds. I read a couple of posts on the net where people were praising _Code Red_ as one of the thrash records of 1999. Thrash metal it is, definitely, but if you are looking for anything which has not been done at least 30 times before you won't find it here. This might not surprise anyone, because Sodom, while still benefiting from their legendary status, never really have been an innovative band. Logically, what you get is the usual mix of the obvious mid and fast paced slabs of simple thrash metal together with Sodom's biggest trademark, Angelripper's unique gruff vocals with the broad German accent. Fortunately, there are also some positive things about this record. First of all, the sound is decent. More important than that, the material is among the fastest and heaviest Sodom have ever written and some of the songs do indeed sound confident and enthusiastic, a fact which partially neutralizes the outdated nature of their style and song structures. On the other hand, judging this record in the context of 1999, a year that spawned albums like _Conquering the Throne_ by Hate Eternal [CoC #43] or _The Inexorable_ by Angel Corpse [CoC #44] (and these didn't even receive 9 or 10 ratings), I'm not impressed at all. I have been thinking for quite a long time about how many points this release deserves. It's quite possible that I have bought too many great death and thrash metal CDs in the last couple of months so that it's just the wrong moment in time for _Code Red_ to "click", but today I don't want to give it more than 6 out of 10. In case you have been a Sodom supporter for years or an old school thrash lunatic, then go ahead and turn the 6 upside down. If you need further proof that all reviews are of a very subjective nature, my CoC metal brother Aaron wants me to tell you that he thinks _Code Red_ is "pretty fucking spectacular".
(article published 1/15/2000)
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