In War And Pieces by Sodom
Release date : November 2010
Reviewed by Mark Fisher
Sodom is one of those bands that command respect. They are veterans of the thrash metal wars and over the last three decades they have hardly made any mistakes. While most of their contemporaries sold-out or became “progressive”, Sodom stayed the course, getting heavier and heavier each time they released a new album. In War And Pieces is a mighty example of just that, a ferocious beast of an album that once again declares Sodom one of the premier thrash bands on the planet.
The title track opens the album in a heavy-handed way, grinding and thrashing its way through battle-torn lands, both lyrically and musically. I was a bit taken back at first by Angelripper’s voice as a matter of fact. It’s not that he sounds “different” per se, it’s more that he really lets loose on this album and this song is likely his most powerful moment. The marching “Hellfire” and the unrelenting “Through Toxic Veins” are up next and ably continue the amped up feeling the title track unleashed. “Nothing Counts More Than Blood” slows the pace down just a bit and features some excellent soloing, reminding the listener that Sodom has more to offer than simple speed and heavy breakdowns.
The album stumbles a little bit in the middle, particularly with the weak “Soul Contraband”, which never gels at all for some reason. “Feigned Death Throes” is an attempt at reaching into more extreme territory and Sodom fall short of pulling it off to be honest. It just sounds like they are trying way too hard with the back-infused vocals and the bass breakdown. “Knarrenheinz” is another disjointed piece that just doesn’t seem up to par with the rest of the album. “God Bless You” and “The Art Of Killing Poetry” rescue the second half quite well though, almost making up for the ill-fated experimentation earlier.
Overall this is a heavy as stink release from Sodom. While, admittedly, they sometimes try to get too heavy for their own good (I love them but they aren’t teenagers anymore), the fact that they continue to get heavier is amazing in and of itself. In War And Pieces could make any Slayer fan forget all about them in short order. If you’ve never heard Sodom then this is a good place to start. If you have been following them all along, you’ll be well-pleased with their latest work as well. In War And Pieces is energetic, aggressive, and destructive – just the way their fans like it.