SODOM – Out Of The Frontline Trench (EP)
It’s amazing to think that Sodom have been around since 1981, producing incredible music that has become seminal in the worlds of both thrash and black metal. Even in the dark 90’s when metal was overlooked by many, the German legends (most importantly band-leader Tom Angelripper, the Lemmy of thrash) produced some of their finest work and waved the tattered flag high and proud. Their last full-length release was the solid ‘Decision Day’ in 2016, but we can look forward to their new platter in 2020. In the meantime, they have given us this ‘Out Of The Frontline Trench’ EP to tide us over and keep the hordes at bay.
The opening track is ‘Genesis 19′ which will appear on next year’s opus and, if it’s anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. All the Sodom elements are firmly in place: ripping riffs; thunderous drums; Tom’s trademark growl; and nourishing thrash that makes headbangers feel all warm in their collective tummy. Keeping in-line with their moniker, the lyrics revolve around the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah from a historic perspective, filled with apocalyptic dread.
The following two tracks are ‘Down On Your Knees’ and ‘Out Of The Frontline Trench’, and are exclusive to this release to make it that much more worthwhile for the collectors. These are both classic Sodom ragers with teeth and claws, rumbling bass tearing through the speakers, and with grisly war themes that will get the goosebumps rising. Next dish on the short but tasty menu is a re-recording of the classic ‘Agent Orange’ with the current line-up – there’s nothing really new happening here, but the song sounds robust with modern production, the band rip it up, and you can hear the fun they’re having playing it. The final song is a live version of the mighty ‘Bombenhagel’, recorded in Gelsenkirchen last year. Once again, there are no surprises in store, but the band are as tight as dried leather and it’s always a treat to hear Tom’s monolithic subsonic bass blasting at such volume.
The band are on fire throughout and, as an 80’s ‘banger, there’s a certain euphoria that comes from hearing Frank ‘Blackfire’ Gosdzik shred on the strings alongside Tom after all these years. He was always the best guitarist the band ever had (even though it was for a short period, he absolutely made his mark in Sodom history) and he kicks seven shades of ass on the new songs. Husky (drums) and Yorck Segatz (guitars) also joined the band in 2018 and they sound and look like they have been members from the band’s inception, not to mention play with intent and ferocity.
This EP is, as mentioned, merely a stopgap until the long-awaited album drops, but there is more than enough here to entertain and bear repeated listens, and you could do a hell of a lot worse with 28 minutes than bang your head to ‘Out Of The Frontline Trench’. Because you will, and you’ll damn well like it.