Reviewed By Simon Milburn
I have to admit I’m in awe of some of the bands with careers either beyond or rapidly approaching the three decade mark who are still churning out albums these days. At the same time, I’m glad that these bands, some of which were paramount in altering my musical direction, are still at it and haven’t called it a day just yet. Most of these bands were also pioneers during their early days and to think some of them have easily at least a dozen or more albums under their belt and they are still going at this point, is pretty damned impressive. Now we all know that bands are easily crucified these days by Internet keyboard warriors if they release an album that is a radical departure. Conversely, if bands consistently take the AC/DC approach and churn out albums that are borderline interchangeable, bands are also held to task. It must be difficult for bands to find inspiration both musically and lyrically to continually churn out new material in the latter parts of their career.
German thrashers Sodom are one of those bands. Whilst vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper is the sole original member of this perennial trio, album number fifteen shows absolutely no signs of the band throwing in the towel just yet. Decision Day is traditional Sodom through and through. There is very little to no variation on a theme here and that alone will no doubt sit well with their fans. Sodom fans know by now what to expect and they want nothing more than what Sodom have always done and Decision Day effortlessly delivers on that expectation.
Decision Day feels like a bit of a throwback to the Persecution Mania and at times Agent Orange era from the band’s earlier years. To be fair, it’s not as classic sounding nor as iconic as those albums but there are elements on here that bring those albums to mind, particularly tracks like the opener “In Retribution”, “Blood Lions” and “Warpath” and even the title track for that matter.
One thing that is abundantly clear with this album, and to a point the same can be said about most if not almost all of the band’s extensive back catalogue, is that the band are spitting forth pure venom from every angle – riffs, vocals, drums. It’s all there in a complete package full of snarling blackened thrash vocals and chugging riffs. It’s not the be all and end all of Sodom releases but there’s little doubt that Decision Day ticks all the boxes in the list of things Sodom fans want from a new album.
There is a certain amount of comfort and familiarity with Sodom after so many albums but there’s also enough variation to keep things interesting. Decision Day certainly isn’t perfect and in the least the pedestrian paced “Strange Lost World” and the generally lifeless “Rolling Thunder” are proof positive of that. However, the rest of the album manages to deliver in varying degrees of success a typical tried and true Sodom style that is sure to sit well with their fans.