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June 16, 2024

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Ten Black Years -- Best Of 2xCD (SPV/Steamhammer)

By: Jeb Branin

SPV/Steamhammer is making available in the USA the best of their back catalog including several releases by the legendary German death/thrash merchants SODOM. Still plugging away today SODOM has definitely established itself as one of the most consistent and reliable bands in extreme metal. Born in the mid-80s, SODOM was the ugly stepchild of the German extreme metal scene. Their early releases like "Obsessed With Cruelty" and "In The Sign Of Evil" were so noisy and bulldozer-like that they were simply too intense for many metal fans... even fans of the Teutonic sound which was generally heavier and harsher than thrash metal from other parts of the world. Nevertheless SODOM was able to establish itself firmly as a band to be dealt with. They never quite reached the acceptance level of peers like KREATOR or DESTRUCTION but they easily eclipsed other like TANKARD, ASSASSIN and DEATHROW. By the late 80s and albums like "Persecution Mania" and "Agent Orange" SODOM had fine tuned its crushing sound and with the help of producer Harris Johns was able to deliver it in a much more thoroughly developed package. Their place in metal history was secured. The 90s saw a couple of hiatuses and a couple of "comeback" albums one of which, "Masquerade In Blood," may be their best album ever. Their "Best of" double disc set was originally released in 1996 and features highlights/lowlights from the first decade of SODOMizing. For fans of the extreme who somehow missed the career of this highly influential band, this is a great place to start in getting acquainted. You'll find that SODOM's sound is the near perfect bridge between thrash and death metal and more than any of their peers their sound was able to see them through the death metal wave that drowned most of the underground thrash scene. My only caution in buying "Ten Black Years" is that you are going to be so impressed and infected that you will end up buying the entire SODOM catalogue. So start saving your money now!
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