Review Summary: Still very Venom influenced, although it finally sounds like thrash here and not just fast NWOBHM. A very solid German thrash album.
This is early Sodom, it's going to sound: chaotic, technically abysmal, unpredictable, menacing, threatening, evil thrash.
Band line-up in 1985/86:
Destructor (Michael Wulf) - Guitars (later Kreator) (1985-1986) R.I.P. 1993
Chris Witchhunter (Christian Dudeck) - Drums (1983 - 1992)
Tom Angelripper - Vocals/Bass (1982 - present)
This is the old school!
Sodom were giving up their Black Metal ways slowly and going towards cryptic and sublimely occult metal with this record. This album is a bit more beefed up compared to their debut Ep. Angelripper's
vocals on this album are more mufled, a bit less exaggerated and more thrashy this time around. The music is still very Venom influenced, although it finally sounds like thrash here and not just fast NWOBHM. A very solid and evil German thrash album, Sodom has been able to create the ominous atmosphere in this album naturally but its got its good points and its bad points.
The riffs are really good but they cant be heard properly at all throughout the album, though there are some hysteric solos now and then. There aren't any excessively fast tracks or parts that would spoil the menacing, threatening atmosphere. The drums are really loud in the final mix and Chris Witchhuter's
timing throughout the album seems pretty bad but he does some interesting drum fills here and there. The track listing is messed up too, the opening and closing of the album seems ...pretty odd. Doesn't give you that "album" feel if you know what I mean. Really creepy production & odd arrangements which adds to that menacing and threatening feeling that I had mentioned earlier.
But all that doesn't mean that this album is bad, This album was almost ignored upon it's release as a severe mis-step but Sodom would never make another album completely like this one again. Angelripper's
vocals are muffled and guttural but it suits the atmosphere very well. The band change the rhythms and peaks of intensity as well as Kreator
and this album has a very unique black metal sound to it, although its really extreme thrash recorded like Black Metal.
The display of Sodom's indiscriminate violence throughout this album is very entertaining. If you're into brutal thrash you're going to love this.
Really good riffs though they cant be heard so well.
Better vocals this time.
Very evil atmosphere present.
Good changes in tempo and rhythm.
Re-issued many times, the American & UK version is re-sung by the band in a slightly different and more mainstream thrash
kind of way.
Riffs cant be heard so well
Track list should be rearranged
Obsessed by Cruelty
Brandish the Sceptre
Though this album may have its bad points its almost essential for the old school thrash fan. Its pretty rare, so get your hands on this if you can.