Review Summary: Traveling back in time to spit in your own face.
There is a power on this Earth, more powerful than any crushing blast beat, more demolishing than any gnarly riff, and more shattering than any spine-tingling shriek ever set to violent extreme metal. This omnipotent mind possessor has more influence than any succubi, any demons, and even the dark one itself. It’s undying. It’s unrelenting. It’s paper thin, yet more powerful than the world’s most destructive of warheads. It gives and it takes and it is a thing all who exist desire and adore, yet hate and are repulsed by. What is this repugnant being that thrives off the pain of the world? What has the power to build and destroy the most powerful of nations?
It’s green, it’s made of paper, and it’s often used to snort cocaine on Wall Street. Yes, money is, as all people know, the great motivator, as well as the great tempter. The yin and yang of the world’s various currencies is infamous in most societies as the symbol of greed and power. Not even the world of metal is safe from this unsavory fact of life, as “selling out” is an all too often occurrence with some of the most famous bands that have ever written a song involving rapid fire drums and high octane guitar riffs. Sodom, the German thrash band, fell in this pitfall, streamlining their original blackened thrash sound into a boring, tiring, and trite style of thrash that viscerally annoys more than it rips. In the effort to gain more of the ever powerful greenbacks, the group decided to ride the goodwill of their 1984 classic, In The Sign of Evil
The major selling point was that, not only would they be re-recording the album they hit their early peak with, the band would also be recording songs that weren't good enough to make it onto the original release. It can be heard that a majority of these tracks that were on the cutting room floor were left there for a reason. The sad truth is, as with a lot of unreleased tracks, the reason for being cut out is obvious: too many songs can bloat the experience, making a release disengaging and dull. Of course, this dullness can be more accurately attributed to the phoned-in performances. Sodom plays the decades-old songs with the same amount of enthusiasm one would have while listening to it, which is a pitifully microscopic amount. The drums feel slightly out of sync and stilted, the vocals are screeched out with absolutely no energy, and the riffs tattle on with no purpose, other than to re-create the long gone magic. The insultingly uninspired re-toolings of former successes and abandoned songs is produced fittingly, as it sounds flaccid and lifeless, just like the music being recorded. The bass is washed out of existence and the rest of the instrumentation is hollow and thin as the paper these fellows crave so bad.
But, seriously, how well is recording your landmark release again going to go? As bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, Cynic, and Testament found out, this practice hardly goes well in execution. Honestly, how could riding the coattails of your younger and more energized self a good idea? It is, at best, a cynical and unabashed attempt at reliving your glory days and sapping money out of your listener’s pockets. But, as was said earlier, money can tempt you to do horrible and, in this case, lazy things. Unfortunately for Sodom, this was not the second comeback. Although many consider M-16 a comeback, it was, instead, damned to the darkest corner of ***ty eBay listings.