Sodom: Epitome Of Torture

Teutonic thrash pioneers keep their tools sharp

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For well over 30 years, thrash titans Sodom have been a byword for solid and dependable. Even when the cutting edge shifted and left them behind, they simply kept on keeping on, delivering a string of albums with nary a false move.

While all about them – including many of their contemporaries – lost both their heads and their way during the double-barrelled onslaught of grunge and nu metal, Sodom’s response was reassuringly predictable: record solid, dependable albums, keep your head down, stay out of trouble.

Led by redoubtable frontman Tom Angelripper, the trio are in uncompromising form on their 14th studio effort. Repeating the pattern established in recent years, Epitome Of Torture offers a ton of trademark go-for-the-throat thrashers peppered with a handful of more considered moments.

Opener My Final Bullet, the brutal Stigmatized and soon-to-be live favourite S.O.D.O.M. are typical of the album’s overall tone, while the mid-paced, more melodic likes of Into The Skies Of War, Tracing The Victim and Cannibal (an instrumental, of all things) occasionally take things down a gear. In an age where skill and substance have almost died out, solid and dependable will do just fine.