Sodom - _In War and Pieces_
(Steamhammer / SPV, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (
In all honesty, Thomas Such, a.k.a Tom Angelripper, was never brilliant with naming his albums. His fellow Ruhrgebiet thrashers Kreator are a few notches better than him at that. What he's been brilliant at for upwards of twenty years now, is thrashing like a persecuted maniac with a law enforcing saw. The harsh and repulsive hoarseness of his voice is something that's been standing the tests of time and German beer quite formidably, and it is all over Sodom's studio album number thirteen _In War and Pieces_. It's an album that's clad with the confidence of a classic thrash trio that hasn't changed its line-up for the past thirteen years.The timbre of Angelripper's voice is one of utter disgust at and repulsion by the modern world; a view that fits perfectly with the sound of his over-driven bass and Bernemann's abrasive distortion tone. Screaming "I'm ready to set this world on fire" on "Storm Raging Up" and the go-to-hell message the title track sends are obvious manifestations of this man's underlying rage. The album's excellent production presents a delicate balance of thrashing ugliness and aural clarity. The double bass triplets on "Through Toxic Veins" sound like the rumblings of an internal combustion engine using said toxics for fuel, while the sharp and incisive chords coupled with Angelripper's snarls on "Feigned Death Throes" create a solid hound-like attack.Other engaging moments reside throughout the album, like the chorus of "God Bless You", the fast pace of "Styptic Parasite" or the catchiness of "The Art of Killing Poetry". Such is the caliber of metal we've become accustomed to hearing from Sodom, yet the impact caused is not one of great severity. Granted, the days of _Agent Orange_ and _Tapping the Vein_ are long gone, but that doesn't mean that the blokes from Germany's industrial west have no more tricks up their sleeves. They do, and _In War and Pieces_ proves it, but I can't shake off the feeling that they have it in them to put out another astounding album, an album that would make every group of kids looking through _Obsessed by Cruelty_ for a band name acknowledge this band's enormous contribution to thrash metal. Only time can tell, but until that happens, here's to _In War and Pieces_.
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