Sodom – Epitome of Torture (Steamhammer / SPV)

The Vin de garde quality of Sodom: tested, proved and approved!
Release Date: 
30 Apr 2013 - 12:30pm

It’s a cliché but Sodom is like fine wine: better with each passing CD. After the devastating In War and Pieces which cemented Sodom as one of the selected acts that NEVER EVER disappointed (put Venom, Anvil, Death and Carcass on this list), nobody thought they would produce an album still better. I mean, even if it was subpar, still it’d have the Sodom seal of quality. But no! They wouldn’t satisfy themselves with subpar, neither with on par… They needed to get better, and ladies and gentlemen here it is: Epitome of Torture.

The album was produced again by Waldemar Sorychta, however this time they used the skills of German artist Meran Karanitant to paint their “Knarrenheinz” artwork. 

This CD marks the debut of the new drummer Markus “Makka” Freiwald, whose skills added heaps into the Sodom gestalt. 

The opener My Final Bullet spreads like a fire, as the thrash metal explodes and Tom Angelripper bawls the chorus in a desperate manner, making it as instant an earworm as the rest of CD.

S.O.D.O.M is even more brutal with Angelripper appealing with guttural vocals and this is not strange for die-hards of Sodom albums like Tapping the Vein and Get What you Deserve…

Epitome of Torture is more contained nevertheless delivering a pure sense of war and headbanging sensation. You know, being part of the Germanic (un)Holy Triad of thrash metal assault (along with Kreator and Destruction) gives Sodom privileges over all thrash metal bands in the world, mainly the new ones and I’m not even talking about “new thrash metal”. But after so many years its the experience that counts.

Stigmitized is the most brutal and primitive track of the album…. Alternating vocals, Angelripper proves his versatility on the extreme music field, and heck, Sodom got to be even more extreme without compromising its roots, therefore never letting old fans down… The refrain makes me wanna break things... Really!

The sixth track Shoot Today Kill Tomorrow follows suit, putting the listener amidst blood and war. Arrgghhh I want a gun to randomly shoot people… I’m getting a little excited sorry…

But Sodom also means melody… No, not the flaccid melody of today’s metal but the melody of an oldschool thrash metal band whose influences of Tank and Motörhead cannot be concealed.

To prove that, tracks like Cannibal, Into the Skies of War and Tracing the Victim showcase the dexterity of the guitarist Bernemann who is by now a long-time member of Sodom.

There is a track called Katjuschka that mixes all those elements together though: the melody and thrash metal aggressiveness.

I could distill each part of every single song and tell you that this part sounds like a “brutal tank coming into your direction” or that track has a “sharp solo that will grind you to smithereens” But I simply won’t do that to not spoil the magic and the sense of urgency behind Epitome of Torture… 

The jewel case edition does not contain the bonuses Waterboarding and Splitting The Atom, which are unfortunately, only available in the Limited Edition Digipak so I can’t wait for the official release to listen to these tracks. The vinyl edition will have Ace of Spades as a bonus alongside the two aforementioned songs…