Review Summary: Can’t get enough of Persecution Mania? Then this EP will satisfy your thrash needs.
Sodom’s early EPs and demo tapes have become valuable objects for metal collectors over the years. In the early 80s the iconic German band didn’t play their signature bellicose thrash sound, and the war-related lyrics and concepts weren’t impregnated in their songs yet. Like the early records made by Kreator
, Sodom played a music filthy and bloody enough to be considered a precursor of black metal and be mentioned in the same breath as other early black metal legends such as Venom
(their major influences along with Motorhead
. Some of their most remarkable releases include the obscure Witching Metal
demo, the raw and ripping classic In the Sign of Evil
or this little gem present here, the transitional release, the EP that prepared us for the nuclear winter: Expurse of Sodomy
One of the reasons that led me to review this Expurse of Sodomy
is to give a fair recognition to guitarist Frank ''Blackfire'' Gosdzik, one of the most important and decisive guitar players in the band’s history. His wicked and tight playing helped Sodom to evolve and expand towards a piercing, meaty thrash sound on the legendary studio efforts Persecution Mania
and Agent Orange
, the albums where the band went from a trio of teenagers singing 'My life begins at midnight twelve/Masturbate to kill myself'
to a worldwide phenomenon and one of the most beloved and respected Teutonic thrash icons. The documentary Lords of Depravity
gives us valuable information about how this particular lineup was born; potentially influenced by Slayer’s Hell Awaits
, the band moved a little away from the diabolic and perverted image of their humble beginnings to jump into a more refined and technical sound, and accompanied by prestigious thrash producer Harris Johns, the classic union Angelripper / Blackfire / Witchhunter had its birth with the three-song EP Expurse of Sodomy
, released in October of 1987.
Musically, even considering this is the first of Sodom’s countless thrash assaults, the German trio already sound like seasoned veterans and professional players in the genre. The three musicians perform really confidently with this new sound and aren’t afraid to try anything, with each band member bringing something to the table. Thick riffs, flashy solos, skilled bass, precise drumming and unique vocals make the music sound very intensive, hellish and aggressive, and the three songs mold efficiently well together. The band waste no time to put all the meat on the grill with the fan-favorite ''Sodomy and Lust,'' a sinister and fast thrash number which provides some of the band’s crunchier and memorable riffs, accompanied by some impressive fills by drummer Chris Witchhunter and a distinctive, haunting Tom’s vocal interpretation that grabs the listener’s attention immediately.
The following track, ''Conqueror,'' only increases the amounts of force and insane power in a breakneck pace, with more violently distorted riffs and vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper mastering his trademark harsh and growling vocal style, spitting dark lyrics in a wild and aggressive way slightly reminiscent of the furious and energetic performances on Kreator’s first two studio albums, especially during its strong chorus. Last but not least there's the mini-epic ''My Atonement,'' which starts with a somber and clean guitar introduction accompanied by thundering drums and ominous Gregorian chants, something you would expect from early Testament
or Ride the Lightning
before building into a slower, mid-paced beast with a majestic vibe and a cruelty during its shredding, relentless guitar breaks in the middle that only Sodom has been able to offer in this and other immortal classics such as ''Magic Dragon,'' ''Reincarnation'' or the macabre one-two punch of ''Procession to Golgatha'' and ''Christ Passion.''
Although 1984’s In the Sign of Evil
has the indisputable position of being Sodom’s most acclaimed EP, Expurse of Sodomy
contains material that no metalhead who considers themselves a fan of the band should do without, and considering that it has been re-issued as a part of 1987’s classic Persecution Mania
, it shouldn’t be a very difficult task to get it. Together with Kreator
's Flag of Hate
's Mad Butcher
, Sodom's Expurse of Sodomy
constitutes the catalog of youthful and classic German thrash extended-plays with indispensable non-album tracks, an essential tetralogy of what the Big Teutonic Four represents in general.