Formed in 1982, Sodom have rightfully earned their place in the top 3 German thrash metal bands along with Destruction and Kreator. Destruction released Spiritual Genocide in Nov.2012 and Kreator preceded that with Phantom Antichrist in June. Both albums showed they were still on top form so it is left to Sodom to up the ante with their latest release Epitome Of Torture and they have certainly done so with all guns blazing!
The album will be released via SPV/Steamhammer on April 26th 2013 in Germany,April 29th in the rest of Europe and May 7th in USA/Canada. It will come in 4 formats. Jewel case cd, ltd edition digipak cd with 2 bonus tracks, dbl coloured vinyl with 3 bonus tracks with gatefold cover inc. printed inner sleves and digital download. The album was produced once again by Waldemar Sorychta who presided over their previous release War And Pieces in 2012. Original vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper is delighted with the finished mixes of Epitome Of Torture and is quoted as saying the album is “Hard-as-nails and contemporary, without ignoring our tried-and-tested old-school attitude”.
My Final Bullet kicks off the album with an instrumental intro that most thrash metal bands use but Sodom combine it with a striding riff to great effect as the pace picks up into a classic Sodom groove. Tom’s vocal is surprisingly clean on this number with a hard but catchy chorus. The guitar solo midway is prime melodic thrash which builds into a flurry of notes as the song ends with numerous, pummelling time changes. The warp speed intro of S.O.D.O.M leads into frenetic thrash metal with the drums of Markus Freiwald hitting like a kick to the chest with a guitar solo that flows like molten lava.
The title track is next with marching tempos over Tom’s vicious vocal but the highlight is the chugging breakdown at the 2 minute mark. Stigmatized begins with a 100mph buzzsaw riff with the vocals varying from a thrash snarl to a death metal bark with yet more furious footwork from Markus and a razor sharp guitar solo midway from Bernd Kost. Cannibal has a slow, pounding intro which leads into a frenetic thrash workout with a snappy breakdown and heavy bass lines as another ott guitar solo adds to the mayhem.
Shoot Today, Kill Tomorrow is another hate filled song with the band driving the dizzying rhythms into dust. Invocating The Demons thudding bass intro is taken on by Bernd’s guitar and I thought it was going to be an instrumental but a gutteral vocal kicks in at the 1 minute mark as the music varies between thrash and hard rock. Katjuschka continues the war theme as it tells the tale of the Russian rocket launcher of the same name that has claimed thousands of lives from World War II to the present day. The Russian themed intro leads into turbo charged metal with an emotional vocal.
The final 2 tracks on the album surprisingly bring the pace down. Into The Skies Of War is mid paced thrash with mauling riffs alongside prominent bass work from Tom and is the nearest thing Sodom get to a commercial song on Epitome Of Torture. Final track Tracing The Victim is my personal highlight. It is another mid paced thrasher but with an almost Alice Cooper style vocal with punchy musical time changes and ripping guitar solos,a fitting end to an excellent album!
Sodom band line up :-
Tom Angelripper – Vocals/Bass guitar.
Markus “Makka” Freiwald – Drums.
Epitome Of Torture track listing :-
My Final Bullet.
Epitome Of Torture.
Shoot Today, Kill Tomorrow.
Invocating The Demons.
Into The Skies Of War.
Tracing The Victim.
I award the album 9/10!