“Genesis XIX”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I’ll say it now and get it out of the way early. This is the best SODOM album since “Tapping The Vein”. When I heard Tom unceremoniously dumped long time guitarist Bernemann (also one of the more underrated axemen in the metal scene) and his drummer to put together a new band, I was kind of miffed. Bernemann was a favorite of mine. But the move seems to have paid off handsomely. Frank Blackfire is back in the band, a second guitarist Yorck Segatz has been added to beef up the sound and new drummer Toni is also an experienced producer.

The result is a raw, thrashing and varied new album called “Genesis XIX” that in some ways sees SODOM go “back to the future”. The last few albums have been good, but a bit too clean for fans of this band’s classic material. The sound here is totally organic, old-school and “human” sounding. When I clapped ears on “Sodom and Gomorrha”, it was like taking a trip back in time. This sucker could have been right off “Agent Orange”...just classic German thrash the way it was meant to be. Cuts like “Euthanasia” and the final deadly blitzkrieg of “Friendly Fire” keep that pure, angry thrash coming. But the album is not just simply recreating the past. There are some more epic cuts on here like the excellent title track, “The Harpooneer” and the oddly named “Waldo and Pigpen”. These songs mix slower crunch with slightly more advanced guitar work and strategic bursts of headbanging speed. It’s great to hear Blackfire’s soloing again and new guy Segatz seems to keep pace with him pretty well.

To throw a couple of curves into the game, we have a bouncing mid-paced “Glock N Roll”, which kind of reminds me of “Tombstone” from “Code Red”, the cleaner and slightly more melodic “Occult Perpetrator” and the raw, punky “Nicht Mehr Mein Land”, which is sung in German. The result is an album that flows and can be listened to easily from start to finish. Moreover, it sounds like actual HUMAN BEINGS are playing it, with the drumming in particular being a pleasure to hear. It seems that more than three decades plus into their career, SODOM have caught their second wind at last.