Sodom
Better Off Dead


3.0
good

Review

by theyrehere USER (8 Reviews)
January 27th, 2015 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fire that stopped burning

1990 must not have been a very good year for Sodom. While their thrash brethren across the sea were creating some of the best albums of their careers, Sodom decided to follow up the undisputed classic Agent Orange with Better Off Dead, an album that focused less on the ripping intensity that made Agent Orange and Persecution Mania stand out. While not a bad album, Better Off Dead cannot touch much of Sodom’s discography, with only a few highlight tracks to offset the mediocrity.

One standout track and the pinnacle of the album is “The Saw is the Law” (screw Whitechapel, they did it first), a plodding, chugging, headbanging track reminiscent of “Remember the Fallen” from Agent Orange. While “The Saw is the Law” can sit with some of Sodom’s better works, the rest of the album simply can’t hold up.

Opening tracks “An Eye for an Eye” and “Shellfire Defense” thrash hard, but the style is less the teutonic thrash of Sodom’s early days and more reminiscent of the Bay Area thrash movement of the 80s. Therein lies the biggest problem of “Better Off Dead”: instead of ripping your face off with blistering riffs and crushing breakdowns, it focuses on acting like a half assed late 80s Bay Area thrash album. There is absolutely nothing here, aside from perhaps “The Saw is the Law”, that can’t be heard in “Peace Sells” or “Reign in Blood”, and those albums pull it off much better. When they aren’t copying a sound in their genre that’s already been done better, they are not even thrashing at all. “Cold Sweat” is a slower, early NWOBHM style track, and “Turn Your Head Around” is a copy of pre-thrash speed metal.

If you can plod through the boring midsection of the album, the last two tracks are highly enjoyable, if still wholly unoriginal. “Tarred and Feathered” absolutely rips throughout, and “Stalinorgel”, while yet another NWOBHM influenced track, is bombastic and catchy. These two tracks show that Sodom didn’t completely lose their touch, and are worth a listen from any Sodom fan.

Perhaps Better Off Dead suffers because Sodom had run out of steam and didn’t take enough time to recharge after Agent Orange, since only a year separated the two. Aside from a few standout tracks, Better Off Dead is an unoriginal thrash album that does absolutely nothing to place it above the other albums released the very same year. Sodom fans deserve to give the entire thing a chance just because it’s Sodom, but for everyone else, only the standout tracks need apply.



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user ratings (222)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
theyrehere
January 27th 2015


43 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Another review up, feedback appreciated. I heard "The Saw is the Law" first and got hyped for the full album, but the rest is so meh

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2015


8051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well written review, pos.



However, I beg to differ about Sodom fleeing to Bay Area thrash in this album, which is a partial tribute to Motorhead metal and classic rock.

Digging: Reign - Destitute

theyrehere
January 27th 2015


43 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess I can see that, though I am admittedly ashamed that I'm not very well versed in Motorhead. When I listen to this one, it comes off very Bay Area to me, aside from "Tarred and Feathered" and "The Saw is the Law".

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2015


8051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The song "Turn Your Head Around" (written by Tank), is shameless Motorhead worship.



The '90s were a period of experimentation for Sodom that started with this album.



Tapping The Vein was the closest they got to death metal, Get What You Deserve was punk driven, the same applied for Masquerade In Blood with a sound too raw for its own good (but still a guilty pleasure), whereas 'Til Death Do Us Unite had this characteristic '90s groove.



I think the band came through the '90s with style.

theyrehere
January 27th 2015


43 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh, I'd pick this up over what some other thrash bands were doing in the '90s. I prefer Tapping the

Vein
to this, though. The Saw is the Law ep hinted at how this album would be different, but a

good bit of the songs just don't make an impact on me.



Oh yeah, "Turn Your Head Around" is speed and not Bay Area, which I mentioned. But, since I'm not incredibly

familiar with Motorhead, I wouldn't want to just make assumptions by offering that comparison in a review.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2015


8051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^Yeah, well in the '90s, thrash metal bands were like chickens trying to cope with a strong earthquake.



As I wrote earlier though, Sodom handled the winds of change nicely.





Jamming the album right now; "Cold Sweat" is a Thin Lizzy cover and a good one at that.



Thanks man, you review made me remember this great album.

theyrehere
January 27th 2015


43 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No problem, dude. I've been trying to review more, this didn't have a review, and I'm a big Sodom fan.



Even though this isn't near my favorite, I enjoy it, I am getting it on vinyl since it's one of their less pricey albums.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2015


8051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album cover is badass, I would love to have a T-shirt of it.



"Never Healing Wound" kicks serious ass.

KILL
January 27th 2015


81231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice one always thought this was a bit underrated, i'd put it pretty much on par with tapping the vein



capture the flag goes hard

apert
February 12th 2015


3236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally listening to this, its nowhere near as bad as i had been left to believe quite liking it actually

KILL
March 6th 2015


81231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN YOUR UNDER CONTROL

THERE IS SOMETHING THAT'S OVER THE TOP

PENETRATION AND POWER SENDS BULLETS OF LEAD

INSIDE YOUR BODY TO DO THE JOB



*hard descendin riff*

ChaoticVortex
December 29th 2015


697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated album. Sure Agent Orange and Persecution Mania were masterpieces but this still has so many kick ass riffs. Deserves higher rating than 3.3



SHELLFIRE DEFENSE

KILL
December 29th 2015


81231 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea its a jam

RippingCorpse1986
December 29th 2017


2902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summary is pretty cool.



Album is very underrated. If it wasn't sandwiched between two masterpieces I think it would have been better received.

RippingCorpse1986
July 14th 2018


2902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated album, I find.

Listening to this again, Cold Sweat is a Thin Lizzy cover and probably the best rendition I've heard of that song (besides the original, of course). Better than Megadeth's imo.



Shellfire kills hard too m/

RippingCorpse1986
July 14th 2018


2902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bumping this thread and seeing it on the main page made me realize the hilarity in having the words ''sodom'' (the band, I mean) and ''better off dead'' together...



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