Sodom – “Partisan” EP (Steamhammer / SPV)
All fired up on the eve of the extensive “TV Headbangers Ball Tour 2018” alongside Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, Sodom’s founder frontman Tom Angelripper is equally gleeful at his new line up – and totally killer it is too made up of returning longtime guitarist Frank Blackfire (Sodom, Kreator, Assassin), along with new bloods guitarist Yorck Segatz (Beyondition) and drummer Stefan ‘Husky’ Hüskens (Asphyx, Desaster). Needless to say, little incentive was needed to dish out this napalm 3 tracker EP and given how old school it sounds – not to mention how the band look with bullet belts, denim n leather – this will be lapped up by even those who started with the band in 1981 like me ha ha!!! Fighting out uncompromisingly with the title track ‘Partisan’ there’s a massive rear end from the pounding speed of Hüskens and Angelripper’s own heavy, grunting bass while the power of two guitarists immediately shows in being able to shred, while dishing out catchy licks and neat hooks, and when in unison as a band, massive headbanging grooves. ‘Conflagration’, the EP’s 2nd track matches its apocalyptic theme with razor riffing, stampeding drums, evil screeching vocals and even a dirty punk element but intelligently arranged and using smart tempo changes, powering grooves and catches that not just keep up the intensity, but also interest. Closing with a ripping but ultra tight performance of ‘Tired & Red’ recorded live at this year’s Rock Hard Festival, and intended to welcome the return of Blackfire, who left Sodom in 1989 following the band’s commercial breakthrough on the “Agent Orange” that he played on, this new line-up could hardly present itself in a more impressive manner!