Sodom's 40 Years Of War: a brutal and bruising re-thrash of four decades of diehard metal

40 Years Of War: The Greatest Hits sees German legends Sodom's gnarliest deep cuts, re-made

Sodom: 40 Years Of War: The Greatest Hits cover art
(Image: © SPV)

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When it comes to myopic, diehard heavy metal evangelism, few can compete with Sodom. After four decades of being thrash’s most gnarly figureheads, the German band haven’t come close to running out of steam, and this collection of retrospective re-records is as brutal and bruising as anything in their catalogue. 

The novelty here is that Sodom have picked one song from each of their 16 studio albums, and given them all a robust upgrade, albeit retaining the originals’ arrangements to the deafening letter. As a result, 40 Years At War is more an exercise in unearthing overlooked gems than a greatest-hits set. 

Pleasingly, the primitive likes of Sepulchral Voice (originally from cult debut In The Sign Of Evil) and After The Deluge (from the German version of 1986’s Obsessed By Cruelty) fit perfectly with rough-cut 90s picks like the amusingly knuckleheaded Jabba The Hut and the death metal-like Body Parts

Above all, Sodom continue to attack everything they play with levels of eye-popping vehemence that put many of their peers, old and new, to shame. ‘Authorised to kill, fuming with rage!’ the apparently ageless Tom Angelripper screams at the beginning of Electrocution. Fair enough, mate.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.