***SEMINAL THRASH METAL LEGENDS' BLISTERING NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'GENESIS XIX' RELEASED NOVEMBER 27TH ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
Teutonic Thrash Metal Titans Sodom have released their storming 16th studio album 'Genesis XIX', today, November 27th on Steamhammer / SPV as a Digipak CD (+ poster), double 140 gram black vinyl (with printed inner sleeves) LP, limited edition (2,000) Boxset (including Digi CD, exclusive splatter LP, poster, sticker, mask, patch, flag, hand signed photo card, slip-mat etc.), download and stream.
Sodom were formed in 1981 by bassist / vocalist Tom Angelripper in Altenessen deep in the heart of the Ruhr area, a bleak industrial landscape dominated by the dirty, back-breaking coal mining industry since the mid-19th-century, where the band still rehearse in a tatty rehearsal room to produce their tough-as-nails thrash music. To Tom, it is an important component of his recipe for success. "I want guys from the Ruhr, who share my background, with whom I can work and rehearse consistently."
Following the first relaxation of the lockdown rules, Tom, along with guitarists Frank Blackfire and Yorck Segatz, as well as new addition Toni Merkel (drums), couldn't wait to get back to writing creatively. Incredibly fired up by both frustration and inspiration, the band went into overdrive to create the twelve killer songs contained on 'Genesis XIX'. "This is definitely one of the toughest and most diverse studio recordings that Sodom have ever released," promises Tom; both first single 'Sodom & Gomorrah', unleashed on September 25th, and second single 'Indoctrination', unveiled five weeks later, (let alone the whole album), are marked by this diversity. "Our riff suppliers, Yorck and Frank, are totally different types of musicians. Yorck is a died-in-the-wool metalhead who grew up with thrash music. Frank, on the other hand, also integrates blues and rock elements into his style, including the occasional Frank Marino or Rory Gallagher quotation, and writes songs that could have featured in the same or a similar way on 'Agent Orange'. These are the diverse influences that make 'Genesis XIX' what it is."
Another unexpected advantage was gained after the (as Tom expressly emphasises) amicable split with drummer Husky; "In Toni we've gained an awesome drummer. I'd even go so far as to say: He's the best drummer that nobody had on the radar before now." Furthermore, since his stints with death metal act Sabiendas and a number of other black/death metal bands, where he played the drums and doubled as a producer, he's been a dab hand at studio technology and recording. Angelripper: "As a result, we were largely autonomous during the production of 'Genesis XIX' and were free not only to concentrate on working on new songs but also to come up with the right sounds. That was important because we use neither digital amps nor plug-ins but played all the guitar parts using proper Marshall tube amps." Following the preproduction, Sodom completed the album at the renowned Woodhouse Studio in Hagen, where sound engineer Siggi Bemm recorded Tom's vocals and mixed the album on an analogue studio console.
As ever, Tom's lyrics on 'Genesis XIX' focus on his very own range of subjects; 'The Harpooneer' is based on Melville's Moby Dick novel featuring the obsessive Captain Ahab, 'Glock 'n' Roll' is the story of a serial killer, 'Waldo & Pigpen' is in homage to the same-named US fighter pilots, whose radio traffic during their mission in Vietnam has survived, and 'Nicht mehr mein Land' describes the condition of western society (Tom: "We're the very first to combine real thrash music with German lyrics"). "Naturally, thrash metal stories need to be martial, but we never intend them to be nasty or disrespectful," he stresses, explaining his lyrical approach: "I simply sing about things that weigh on my mind." A thrash metal recipe for success in true Sodom style!
Sodom have also released their new single and video for the song 'Friendly Fire' today.
Tom Angelripper says: "So, here it is... my favourite on this album. I can hardly believe or indeed describe how much I love this song. I’m pretty sure it sets the direction for our next album. And in the meantime, I’m convinced that it’s the clever sequence and combination of notes in our twelve equal system that makes music (...generally...) so diverse. Lord, I wish we’d known that back then...
"Often in a war situation, soldiers find themselves having to direct their weapons against their own comrades who are holed up close to enemy positions. These victims were accepted as part and parcel of the overall victory. Large numbers of supposed enemy planes were also shot down."
***TEUTONIC THRASH METAL TITAN'S FIVE TRACK 'OUT OF THE FRONTLINE TRENCH' EP UNLEASHED NOVEMBER 22ND ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
Crucial German Thrash Metal Legends Sodom have lined up the release of a very special five track 'Out Of The Frontline Trench' mini-album, on Steamhammer / SPV on November 22nd as a Digipak CD, 12" (transparent green) vinyl EP (with printed inner sleeves), download and stream.
'Out Of The Frontline Trench', which contains three brand new songs, plus two classics (one re-recorded, the other captured live), "is a sign of life for our fans" states main man Tom Angelripper (vocals, bass).
The lyrics of fast-paced, hard-as-nails EP opener 'Genesis 19', (which is, according to Tom, the first official harbinger of the band's next full length album), are about the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, (as referred to in the Bible). "I've always been fascinated by the subject," explains Tom, "but irrespective of religious aspects I've approached the story from the historic side, raising the question of whether it could perhaps have been a natural phenomenon, such as a meteorite impact, that devastated those cities. The lyric also includes a new interpretation of the story of Lot, a resident of Sodom, to do justice to the original Bible version."
Both the other new songs on 'Out Of The Frontline Trench' - the title track itself and 'Down On Your Knees' - focus on the horrors of World War 1. Tom explicates that "postcards and letters from my granddad, which I discovered among the things he left behind when he died, and some TV documentaries have given me a vague idea of what it must have been like for soldiers back in those days to leave their trenches and face those life-threatening battles."
'Out Of The Frontline Trench' is rounded off by a re-recorded version of the Sodom classic 'Agent Orange' (the seminal album celebrating its 30th anniversary this year) and a live version of 'Bombenhagel', recorded at Schalke's Veltins Arena in June 2018, with Angelripper & Co. including a traditional miners' song as a little gimmick at the end.
'Out Of The Frontline Trench', which was cut by the all-fired-up Sodom line-up of guitarists Frank Blackfire and Yorck Segatz plus drummer Husky, was recorded and co-produced by Klaus Spangenberg. Tom: "Klaus also takes care of our live mix and has made sure that the new songs sound particularly alive and authentic. In addition, there are no trigger signals, no digital profiling amplifiers, just as many analogue machines as possible to capture that inexplicable magic that is created between guitar amps/drums and microphones. Others talk about going back to their roots, we just do it!"
***VITAL GERMAN THRASH METAL ACT'S NEW 'PARTISAN' EP RELEASED NOVEMBER 23RD ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
Legendary German Thrash Metallers Sodom, who are currently in the studio working on their 16th album, have lined up the release of a spanking new 3 track 'Partisan' EP, as a Digi-CD, 10" clear vinyl single, download and stream on Steamhammer / SPV on November 23rd. Sodom are then set to storm in to the UK to play live at London's Electric Ballroom on 6th December alongside Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, when the European MTV Headbangers Ball tour rolls in to town.
Sodom, who became a quartet when they went through a major personnel change in Spring 2018, are patently revitalised and explosively firing on all four cylinders on 'Partisan', the first fruit of the new line-up. "We're a real family again," enthuses frontman Tom Angelripper, continuing "We all really enjoy the new line-up consisting of Frank Blackfire (guitar, ex-Sodom, ex-Kreator, Assassin), Yorck Segatz (guitar, Beyondition), Husky (drums, Asphyx, Desaster) and myself. There's a real team spirit again, we're having a great time together, every one of us is interested in everything and - really important! - everybody is there for everybody else. Obviously that kind of atmosphere is bound to have a positive effect on the songwriting."
'Partisan' contains two ferocious new studio tracks, 'Partisan' and Conflagration', plus a live version of 'Tired And Red' (from the band's seminal 'Agent Orange' album), recorded at this year's Rock Hard Festival, where the new line-up made its stage debut on May 18th.
'Partisan' is the current Sodom line-up's mission statement, indicating which course they are set to follow from now on. The song's main riff was composed by guitarist Frank Blackfire and defines the future parameters of Sodom's sound. Angelripper explains that "Frank has his very own guitar style, as we all know from our time together on 'Agent Orange' and 'Persecution Mania'. That's something that's very distinct on 'Partisan', the only difference being that the degree of toughness on our new material raises hell even better than our early stuff. And as always with Sodom, the chorus part really gets down to business and is thoroughly catchy." The 'Partisan' lyrics were penned, as always, by Angelripper himself: "That unique aura that surrounds a lone warrior in a battle, that unconditional relentlessness against yourself and the enemy, have always fascinated me. Partisans fight uncompromisingly for their goals. In a way, it's the same with Sodom."
'Conflagration', which was written by guitarist Yorck Segatz, is another typical Sodom number that shows just how much positive energy and zest the band currently exudes. 'Conflagration' sees Tom Angelripper analyse in his usual unmistakable way that the world is coming apart at the seams; "I've sketched a pretty apocalyptic scenario, but as often in my lyrics with fantasy elements." The two new tracks were produced by Sodom's regular sound engineer Cornelius 'Corny' Rambadt, who ensured that the dynamic songwriting is also reflected in the songs' sound. Tom reveals that "We consciously recorded the drums old-school style and experimented with different sounds to come up with a dynamic and vibrant product, in contrast to the usual sterile productions released by other bands which have unfortunately become the order of the day. The sound of our new EP perfectly fits our aim to combine the compositional class of recordings such as 'Agent Orange' and 'Persecution Mania' with the hardness of, for example, 'Tapping The Vein'."
'Tired & Red (Live at the Rock Hard Festival 2018)' sees Sodom celebrate the return of Frank Blackfire. Tom; "As you know, the number is off 'Agent Orange' and represents in a way an era which was very much marked by Frank and his guitar style. On stage you get a lot of added adrenalin, of course." A digital live clip of the driving 'One Step Over The Line', (off 'Tapping The Vein'), also recorded at the 2018 Rock Hard Festival, will additionally be unveiled prior to the release of 'Partisan', further whetting the appetite for the band's unmissable MTV Headbangers Ball shows.
***TEUTONIC THRASH METAL LEGENDS' BRUTAL NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'DECISION DAY' RELEASED AUGUST 26TH ON STEAMHAMMER / SPV***
Groundbreaking German thrash metal trio Sodom are set to release their storming 15th studio album 'Decision Day', a diverse, hard-as-nails, totally contemporary thrash metal masterpiece, on August 26th on Steamhammer / SPV. 'Decision Day', Sodom's 15th studio album, which the band spent four months honing down in the studio, will be available as a digipak CD (+ poster), double gatefold 180 gram red vinyl LP with bonus track, (+ CD in paper sleeve), and limited edition (to 1,000) box set, containing Digi, LP, poster, sticker, button, patch, flag and more.
Album title track 'Decision Day' focusses on the subject of 'D-Day' in June 1944, when the troops of the Western Allied forces stormed the beaches in Normandy to liberate mainland Europe from the scourge of Nazi Germany. Interrelated songs such as 'Belligerence' and 'Strange Lost World' reveal Sodom main man Tom Angelripper's profound understanding of history and analytical observations of current international events. He elucidates; "'Belligerence' criticises the general aggressiveness between nations that seems to be omnipresent at the moment. Everybody appears to be just waiting for a reason to start another war. Mutual fear is consciously fostered, the positions becoming ever more entrenched."
'Blood Lions', meanwhile, is about a perfidious multi-dollar business based on lions raised in enclosures, only to be shot by wealthy 'hunters' at short distance. Tom; "The trade in trophies and bones used for medical purposes or as a cure for male impotence reduces the king of animals to mere livestock for slaughter." The new album also sees Sodom tackle ancient historical themes, with songs such as 'Caligula', about the Roman emperor whose megalomaniac claim to world domination threw large parts of Europe into a state of terror.
The album's impressive artwork was created by renowned graphic designer Joe Petagno, whose credits include not only Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin but also Motörhead, for whom he created the legendary LP covers of 'Overkill', 'Bomber', 'Orgasmatron' and 'Another Perfect Day'. Angelripper; "I was surprised and proud to learn how familiar Joe is with Sodom, immediately bringing up associations of our 'Knarrenheinz' when we talked about the artwork. For a Motörhead fan like myself, this cover is an absolute dream come true." Petagno; "After having spoken with Tom about the current state of world affairs and heard some brilliant tracks from the album I wanted to visualize the History of Man from the dawn of creation to the mess we have today. Firstly and rather obviously it's World War 3. However, on psychological and symbolic level it's considerably more. I used Knarrenheinz as a symbol for the countless numbers who have soldiered on thru' the centuries in one guise or another just to get us here to anno 2016 where we seem to be on the brink of another possible eruption." 'Decision Day' was produced by Cornelius 'Corny' Rambardt, who doubles as the drummer in Angelripper's side-project Onkel Tom; "A perfect combination for us, because Corny is a Sodom fan and a close friend of the band's."
Sodom, a seminal member of the celebrated 'Teutonic Three' kings of German thrash metal, (alongside Kreator and Destruction), formed in 1982, drawing their inspiration from bands like Motörhead, Anvil and Venom.
Sodom made huge underground waves with their agenda setting self-released 'In The Sign Of Evil' EP in 1984. The newly formed Steamhammer / SPV Records label then snapped the band up, released their 'Obsessed By Cruelty' album in 1986, and 'Persecution Mania' album in 1987 before sending the band out on the road for 18 months to build a live following.
'Agent Orange', released in 1989, which grimly depicted the horrors of the brutal Vietnam War, then catapulted Sodom into Thrash Metal's premier league and they set off on tour round Europe with Sepultura, going on to build up a huge following in Japan and South America.
Throughout the Nineties, Sodom lost none of their authenticity on albums like 1995's 'Masquerade In Blood' or 1997's 'Til Death Do Us Unite', remaining firmly grounded and never losing touch with their roots. With their 1999 release 'Code Red', a title that refers to the US Marines' infamous punishment code, the trio proved as politically committed as ever. This tradition was continued in 2001 with an "educational journey" to the Far East, namely two shows in Bangkok and Saigon and the explosive subject matter of their album, 'M 16'. Subsequently, Sodom embarked on the preparations for their first DVDs, 'Lords Of Depravity Part I + II', went on to bring out new studio albums 'Sodom' (2006) 'In War And Pieces' (2010) and most recently 'Epitome Of Torture'.
'Epitome Of Torture', which won rave reviews worldwide on release in April 2013, was awarded KKKK in Kerrang! by Jason Arnopp, who declared; "To the delight of most lovers of German thrash, the country's Big Three bands – Kreator, Destruction and this war obsessed trio – continue to pump out quality noise. 'Epitome Of Torture' is Sodom's 14th studio record, and continues the fine work of its excellent predecessor, 'In War And Pieces'. Nicely varied in terms of attack and tempo, it offers the odd surprise, such as the brilliantly anthemic opener, 'My Final Bullet', as well as the more traditionally heads-down likes of 'S.O.D.O.M.' or the deathly 'Stigmatized'."
Now 'Decision Day', an exceptional, even more accomplished and powerful album than its predecessor, is all set to crash into every extreme metal fan's consciousness even harder than the repercussions of The UK's recent 'Decision Day' vote to leave Europe.
Tom Angelripper – bass, vocals Bernemann – guitars Markus "Makka" Freiwald – drums
***TEUTONIC THRASH METAL LEGENDS’ NEW ‘SACRED WARPATH’ EP RELEASED DECEMBER 1ST ON SPV / STEAMHAMMER***
Seminal German thrash metal trio Sodom are set to release a brand new 4 track EP, ‘Sacred Warpath’, on CD and limited (1,000 copies) edition 10” clear vinyl, on December 1st on Steamhammer / SPV. Three live songs, recorded in Germany in 2014, will be included with ‘Sacred Warpath’, a brutal new studio track, which rages about the state of the world and life in general. Sodom have also lined up headline gigs in London and Dublin in February 2015; dates are:-
20th February LONDON Underworld 21st February DUBLIN Voodoo Lounge.
Main man Tom Angelripper states “Since we’ve been getting the impression that the world is falling apart at the seams, we’ve decided to make our voices heard … while there’s still time. ‘Sacred Warpath’ was originally written for our upcoming album, but we feel it’s a good idea to release it now as an appetiser for future Sodom tracks. Because it’s going to get raw, brutal and will be a reflection of all the things that we’re afraid of and that give us nightmares. Pretty much like that hate-filled world we live in. And it’s probably more authentic than any of our releases so far.”
Concerning the bonus material of Sodom’s new EP, Tom notes that “The record includes three representative titles which we recorded in Germany this year, and it’s guaranteed to become a rare collectors’ item. The cover will feature a re-paint of an old design from the 80s which I did for a demo cover, painted in oil by Christian Ermel. This may all sound a little old-school, but that’s intentional. That’s what we’ve always been and always will be about. We very much hope to tie over the waiting time until the arrival of our new album. And now listen to my unmistakable demand on this world: turn back on your sacred warpath and find the path of peace before it’s too late. Our music will help you!”
‘Sacred Warpath’, Sodom’s first new song for nigh on 2 years, follows on from 2013’s hugely acclaimed studio album, ‘Epitome Of Torture’, which was awarded KKKK in Kerrang! by Jason Arnopp, who declared; “To the delight of most lovers of German thrash, the country’s Big Three bands – Kreator, Destruction and this war obsessed trio – continue to pump out quality noise. ‘Epitome Of Torture’ is Sodom’s 14th studio record, and continues the fine work of its excellent predecessor, ‘In War And Pieces’. Nicely varied in terms of attack and tempo, it offers the odd surprise, such as the brilliantly anthemic opener, ‘My Final Bullet’, as well as the more traditionally heads-down likes of ‘S.O.D.O.M.’ or the deathly ‘Stigmatized’.”
Line – Up: Tom Angelripper – bass, vocals Bernemann – guitars Markus “Makka” Freiwald – drums