Sodom has unleashed a new beast. Their new album Decision Day introduces a new demon to the larger picture, but it’s still hell that Sodom describes. They use Sodom’s trademark thrash velocity, but at times it’s diminished by a combination of melody and groove. Overall, this is by far the most unique Sodom album. While it doesn’t lose its rioting charm, it’s apparent that Sodom is still venturing out even in their legacy. But don’t think that they softened on you because Sodom aren’t leaders of thrash for no reason.
The title track Decision Day is an example of this melodic progression, but it doesn’t falter on the aggression. A catchy solo opens up the song, but when Tom Angelripper’s vocals come in this song turns into a monster. The catchiness comes back with the chorus and then goes from that catchiness to aggression. The solo in this song is one of the best; even with its complexity, it doesn’t lose its rhythm. Your adrenaline increases with each note being played. Even in thrash, that’s a difficult thing to achieve from your listeners.
From the catchier track, the song Caligula is much more brutal. An ode to the Roman ruler Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, or most famously known by the nickname Caligula, this song describes his sadistic reign. The song immediately starts off heavy with a bass intro. Then when guitars and drums kick in, the song starts attacking. While there’s plenty of groove in this song, you can’t ignore the evident brutality from the heavy drumming and fast riffing. Another solo comes into play that screams technicality over the heavy grooves. I personally think this is the heaviest song on the album, and it couldn’t have better subject matter.
Who is God starts off simple with some light riffing. Then that whammy bar comes in, and the riffing becomes faster. This song is one of the most complex in terms of composition. Sodom plays with uneven time signatures and multiple musical influences. For the first half of the song, it sounds like traditional fast and heavy Sodom. What sounds like the song is picking up actually leads into the song becoming more melodic. It then makes an abrupt turn into a solo, leading into one of the verses. The song ends in the good old fashioned Sodom way: provoking.
Strange Lost World is one of the most unique songs on the album. It has a bass intro that immediately hooks you in. The listener hears heavy grooves, which carries to the verses. It picks up at the chorus, which is both heavy and catchy. The solo at the end is more lively than complex, still holding its groove while the riffing increases in speed. Overall, this song is very unique but also very tasteful.
Another one of the heavier songs is Belligerence. While it’s not the traditional thrash-fast heavy, it’s groove-heavy. An underlying intensity is prevalent throughout the song. Even during the chorus, which is when the song moves at its fastest, it’s still very groovy. Things get shook up at the solo, which crashes like thunder but flows like rain with its intricacy and melody. Softer guitar tones then mend with Angelripper’s signature demonic vocals, making you feel chills throughout your body. The song goes back to the vigorous chorus until the end, making this song restless.
Out of all of the songs that sound like classic Sodom, Sacred Warpath is the one that sounds the most like older Sodom. This one appeared on their 2014 EP with the same title. I personally define Sodom’s sound as the opening to the Agent Orange title track, where a calamity of riffs abruptly harmonizes. That’s similar to the beginning of Sacred Warpath, where Angelripper’s scream opens up to a bestial intro. As the song plays, the riffs tone down and becomes catchier. But at the chorus, it opens up its jaws and chomps down on you. The rest song follows this same pattern, but it gets choppier toward the end. The note it ends on is immense, which is the way Sodom always did it.
Decision Day is more proof that Sodom crafts thrash through sharp steel. This review only scrapes the surface of the complexity this album holds. Sodom is obviously shedding their skin; while fans will always enjoy classics, this has always been a band to reinvent themselves and they’re not stopping now. This is one of the many reasons why Sodom remains momentous, even today. So check out Decision Day, and feel the strength Sodom holds on you
1 In Retribution
2 Rolling Thunder
3 Decision Day
5 Who is God
6 Strange Lost World
7 Vaginal Born Evil
9 Blood Lions
10 Sacred Warpath
11 Refuse to Die
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: SPV GmbH
Tom Angelripper– bass, vocals
Markus “Makka” Freiwald– drums