Review Summary: If you take the cruelty from Persecution Mania, add the aggression from Tapping The Vein and mix it with the sloppiness from Better Off Dead and you can imagine how this album sounds like.
Sodom, dear old Sodom, one of three master thrashers of the entire thrash metal genre. Sodom has been an active band since they were created in 1982, and they still kick *** in 2007. Starting off as a black metal band Sodom would later move towards thrash metal. Their style cannot be mistaken, Tom Angelripper’s raspy and torn vocals, heavy but simplistic guitar work and various types of common speed-drumming. In their earliest work you will notice clear influences from bands like legends like Venom and Motorhead. But Sodom has also created a unique sound formula that makes their music to sound cruel and dark compared to Destruction and Kreator.
In 1984 Sodom released their EP In The Sign Of Evil, and now in 2007 they have released In The Final Sign Of Evil. The truth is that their record company refused to have more than five songs on the album back in 1984, but now we will experience the lost tracks from the EP. There are seven songs on this album that were never included from the start, plus the old songs of course. Venom is claimed to have invented or ’’gave birth’’ to black metal. This album sounds familiar to that kind of black metal, which is free from blast-beats. If you take the cruelty from Persecution Mania, add the aggression from Tapping The Vein and mix it with the sloppiness from Better Off Dead and you can imagine how this album sounds like. But now to the main question: Is this a serious record? Is this even comparable to masterpieces like M-16, Tapping The Vein or Persecution Mania? The truth is that the band has been serious when they made this album but they seem to have chosen to record the album as they did back then in 1984. This means that this album has both good stuff but at the same time bad stuff.
Beginning with the good stuff! One thing that is pretty cool is the sound production, the guitars sounds quite raw but still thick. The bass is unusually audible at times, especially during Tom’s bass soloing, the vocals are quite varied but the drums still sounds quite overproduced since they are the loudest instrument in this album. Overall I would say that the music has a quite gritty sound. The band crew is also the original line-up as it was back then. The line-up includes: Tom Angelripper
, Chris Withchunter
and Grave Violater
. You might think that these guys would be too old to thrashing around but they manage to pull this off very good. Many songs has a great energy level, Blasphemer, Where Angels Die and Witching Metal are a couple intensive songs. And there are also slow tracks like Bloody Corpse and medium paced songs like Hatred Of The Gods. There is not so much so say actually; the music is aggressive, dark, evil, and catchy and there are lots of headbanging moments. A small plus to Tom’s vocal work, his sinister gurgling vocals sounds really cool alongside the gritty music.
And now to the bad stuff, unfortunately… There are some things that will bother the listener. One thing will be the sound production (again); people who thought that the sound production was going to be like today’s music will be disappointed. Another big flaw would be the drums, it’s true, the drums and Tom’s vocals are the only two things that get really loud at some times. This makes the guitar and bass to fade in a few occasions, the drums should’ve been lowered and the guitars should’ve been increased. The rest is just nit-picking, there might be a few moments where a drum beat is missed or that the transition between the paces gets slightly messed up. But as I said, the sound production and the loud drums are two major flaws in this album.
Fans of Sodom will probably love this as soon as they hear it; overall thrashers will accept it as a good, maybe great thrash album. But people outside the thrash genre will probably stay away from it. In The Final Sign Of Evil is a must have for all Sodom fans and thrashers should listen to this also. The overall music is hands down classic Sodom material but due to the sound production side-effects are unavoidable.
+ People who don’t care about the sound production will probably enjoy this
+ Good variety among the tracks
+ Tom’s bass solos sound so darn cool
+ A varied vocal performance
+ The music is still energetic and intense
- The drums are louder than the guitars
- The sound production is just… odd.
- Diehard fans will probably not like the fact that this is re-recorded songs
The Lost Tracks
The Sin Of Sodom
Sons Of Hell
Where Angels Die
Hatred Of The Gods
Ashes To Ashes
-- Where Angels Die
-- The Sin Of Sodom
Final rating will be a steady 3/5