Sodom – Bombenhagel EP
Release Date: 20/08/2021
Running Time: 14:47
Review by Dark Juan
Greetings, my sybaritic sycophants! It is I, Dark Juan, sometime Satanist, wannabe psychopomp and all round generally poor judge of character, and I have returned from a sojourn to France to drag my record collection, other possessions and Mrs. Dark Juan’s ridiculously colossal library back to jolly old Blighty, the plague island. Already I am objecting to the price of alcohol in the UK, when in France I could pick up a splendid bottle of red for the princely sum of 1.91EUR. In the company of my lovely friends over there and more especially my travel and work buddy Tony (whom Mrs. Dark Juan has now christened my ginger wife, for reasons best known only to herself) many bottles were sunk (although Tony was afraid of my favourite French tipple, Demon biere blonde, at a mere 12% strength) and the work was completed, which now means that the Smellhounds and their human servants are now living in a jungle of cardboard boxes and Dark Juan Terrace resembles a combination of an insane taxidermy studio, a moving company’s warehouse and a particularly grotty record shop. Which were always the best kind, as far as I am concerned. Also, books are fucking heavy. Twenty fucking eight boxes of books we lugged back between us… You’d expect me to look like Charles fucking Atlas after loading and unloading those bastards. I don’t. (More like Charles Dance 😂 – Rick)
I look like a tired old man who has overexerted himself with his twenty something girlfriend after a massive cocaine binge.
On that happy image, I’ll stop telling you about myself and instead let you know that I am listening to German thrashmeisters Sodom and their latest EP “Bombenhagel”. This is a three tracker, with the title track being a re-recorded version of the song originally released on the classic “Persecution Mania” album, way back when, in 1987. Fuck, I’m old. I remember that record being released. Anyway, Sodom have wisely not moved a single inch from their classic Eurothrash blueprint, which is a great thing from my point of view, because I have been able to indulge in a teenage nostalgiafest, remembering the first time I heard “Agent Orange” and reminiscing about the sheer excitement that thrash metal produced in me as a young, impressionable lad for whom Iron Maiden wasn’t cutting it anymore. Before I discovered Morbid Angel, anyway. ‘Bombenhagel’ doesn’t actually sound that different from the original version, the main difference being the twin guitar attack of Yorck Segatz and Frank Blackfire, as opposed to the single guitar lines of yore. Harris Johns also contributes a solo. There’s even a sneaky bit of the Stars And Stripes snuck into the end of the tune!!! It’s a decent version of a classic song though.
After ‘Bombenhagel’ we are into the realms of new material – ‘Coup De Grace’ being a paean to the depravity of the human race and the fact we are administering the coup de grace to ourselves as a species, what with the climate emergency going on around us and the absolute disregard the capitalist classes are paying to it, and ‘Pestiferous Posse’ being written about the cowboys, the outlaws and the gunfight at the OK Corral, and how it references to modern events, such as the storming of the US Capitol by a bunch of deluded dickheads who wished to overthrow democracy.
Musically, we are in classic thrash metal territory. Serrated, pistoning riffing and blistering solos and whammy bar dives are the order of the day, underpinned with snot nosed punk attitude and high-speed double bass drumming. Tom Angelripper’s mid pitched growl sounds as vibrant, snappy and snarly as ever and his distorted punk influenced bass punches through the guitar work with menace. The production on the EP is also the ultraclassic Eurothrash sound, rhythm guitars and bass slightly soupy sounding, with the drumming sitting proud, clean and kinglike above the rest of the music, and clear, clarion cymbals ringing arctically through it all.
All in all, the “Bombenhagel” EP is a jolly fine listen, a sub-15-minute thrash metal blast that doesn’t bring anything new to the table but proving that thrash metal done right will never die. With recent releases from Sacred Reich and Thrasherwolf and the like, thrash is undergoing something of a renaissance in the underground.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das patentierte Dark Juan Blutspritzer-Bewertungssystem – I fucking LOVE German! Everything sounds better in German) awards these Teutonic thrash titans 8/10 for a fine EP, lacking only in bringing anything avant-garde to the music.
‘Bombenhagel 2021’ (Lyric Video)
02. Coup De Grace
03. Pestiferous Posse
Tom Angelripper – Vocals, Bass
Yorck Segatz – Guitars
Frank Blackfire – Guitars
Toni Merkel – Drums
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