ALBUM REVIEW: Decision Day – Sodom

SODOM. A band that needs no introduction. One of the greats of German thrash metal they’re a band who’s kept the faith since their formation and managed to survive the 90s without straying from their musical roots. On a run of continuous good form with releases since the turn of the century their new release Decision Day promises to be another notch in their impressive back catalogue.

Opening with a building drumbeat before Angelripper’s signature riffs kick in, In Retribution kicks off the record. Immediately fans will notice that the vocals on this record are reminiscent of the very early days of the band. The fast pace and sheer quality on offer here is sure to be well received. Rolling Thunder begins with a riff determined to hit you like a napalm strike. Lyrically dealing with exactly that in typical SODOM fair, it also features a chorus that’s hard not to sing along with. The album’s title track Decision Day is another well-paced stomper of a track packed with riffs and a brilliant solo that doesn’t outstay its welcome like so many of the band peers have taken too doing. A great start to the record so far.

Caligula departs from the standard recent history that makes up the majority of the bands lyrical themes and features a huge roared chorus which builds up and is designed to be played live. The tendency towards chorus focused songs continues on Who Is God with the dying shout of the song perfectly illustrating the harsher vocal approach being taken here. Strange Lost World and Vaginal Born Evil both follow a similar formula as mid paced tracks. Both good but with little to differentiate them from the other quality tracks on the album, leading to them feeling slightly weak by comparison.

In contrast to those preceding two tracks, Belligerence takes a while to get going before amping the pace up to eleven and ripping your face off on the chorus. A fast paced thrasher of a song once it gets going this is sure to be the soundtrack to more than one aggressive mosh pit. This aggression is carries across into Blood Lions, a song about the modern African hunting industry. The venom in the vocals and lyrics is all too evident and leaves the listener in no doubt where SODOM stand on the issue. The track wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the mid-90s punkier albums either.

Sacred Warpath appeared on the EP of the same name last year, to tide fans over until this release. Opening with a scream of anguish before a riff that could only have been written by SODOM kicks in the track is one of the highlights of this album, a difficult feat given its competition. A flawless mid-paced thrash song from the kings of that style. The album closes with Refused To Die featuring religious preaching over the introduction before thrashing its way to the close with slight keyboard accompaniment. A competent closer if a little disappointing.

Decision Day is exactly what you should expect from SODOM. An album that doesn’t try to be something it’s not. There’s no pretence here. These aren’t young men anymore, the angry is refined, the music better written and the style no longer revolutionary. SODOM are what they are now and what they are is one of the best damn thrash bands on the planet. Decision Day only serves to prove this.

Rating: 9/10

Decision Day - Sodom

Decision Day is set for release on August 26th via SPV.

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