Sodom – “Bombenhagel” EP (Steamhammer / SPV)
Battle Helm Rating
Having been awarded the German Record Critics’ Award – for the second time – for their latest album “Genesis XIX”, thrash gods Sodom were keen to stay in everyone’s’ minds during these uncertain times by releasing this special EP. Recorded by the same esteemed 4-member line up including founder bassist / vocalist Tom Angelripper and long regarded guitarist Frank ‘Blackfire’ Godznik, “Bombenhagel” is a 3-tracker made up of 2 brand new songs along with its classic namesake song from 1987’s “Persecution Mania”, re-recorded to show the firepower of the new line up along with a new version of the guest solo from Harris Johns, who of course provided the original solo back in the day! Mixing blackness and punk into its vicious thrash, ‘Bombenhagel’ simply rips through its catchy nihilistic riffs, frantic drum rhythms and Angelripper’s tortured voice. Here it’s been given an additional sheen here ‘n’ there with the bass more prominent and clearer vocals while carefully not taking anything away from the dirtiness that makes this thrasher such a banger, while the solo inclusion of the German national anthem “Das Lied der Deutschen” is nothing short of genius! Flowing straight in is ‘Coup De Grace’, composed by guitarist Yorck Segatz but actually in the same vein but delivered with the same stamping ferocity as on “Genesis XIX” as dark, whirlwind riffs and booming bass conspire to deliver the death blow as Angelripper sickly drawls and screams his outrage towards environmental armageddon, war and civil disunity – albeit in the spirit of trying to get humanity to act more thoughtfully! With twin guitars wailing, final track ‘Pestiferous Posse’ see’s Angelripper growling and roaring to this song themed on the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (!), using a mix of tempos to add musical substance to the tale while still being a headbanger with tons of bass driven heaviness and Toni Merkel evidencing plenty of precision to his obvious power. A superb and worthy treat in the wake of the genius that was “Genesis XIX”!