Sodom – Genesis XIX (Album Review)

Sodom

Sodom is a thrash metal band from Germany. In 2020 they have released a new album Genesis XIX The name Sodom is short and powerful, in case you don’t know, you might want to look up exactly what that word means. Sodom goes back as early as 1981 and Genesis XIX is their 16th album. We are talking about veterans of thrash metal here. The origins of thrash metal itself date back to 1974, and if you ever do look up the history of Thrash metal, the band name Sodom comes up amongst other bands such as Kreator, Destruction etc. Even though I am not a huge thrash metal fan, I did hear the name “Sodom” throughout the years, however until now never found time to listen to their creativity. Due to the above, I am very intrigued as to what these guys have to offer in their latest album Genesis XIX and what they are all about.

Listening to the album, the first thing that strikes is the old-school style production. Background-like under distorted guitars, feather-light palm mutes, acoustic almost uncompressed drums, bass that sounds like it just came straight out of an amp unprocessed – just like it used to be back in the good old days. Some parts even sound hard-rock-ish. The music seems to be lacking a tiny bit on the low end. The vocal surprisingly fits the music really well. The lyrics are in your face and angry AF. The author did not hold back here at all, neither did they when they came up with the band name.

The music is full of life and energy, yet the riffs are basic, as are all other instruments. If you are a thrash metal fan chances are you will hear nothing new in this album that you’ve never heard before. This is not meant to be anything technical, however, it is surprisingly enjoyable. The mood is set definitely on the dark and uplifting side here.  In my opinion, what really shines here is the combination of the mood of the riffs and then incorporated with the leads and beautiful solos as well as a mixture of tempo changes from fast to slow and vice versa. The band has benefited from years of songwriting and the guys have worked it out how to mix it up well and that they don’t need anything over the top to get the job done either.

To me, the first 3-4 tracks did not resonate as much as the rest. It gets better as you continue listening; however that is my opinion only. Favourite tracks here are “Glock’n’Roll” with the beautiful almost philosophical – thought-provoking lead, and “Nicht mehr mein land” (translated: “not my land anymore”) which carries a sort of message if you like. The author seems to know exactly what they wanted to express here. Not too sure why they named it Genesis XIX, maybe I am missing something subtle here that the band tried to express. Does someone help me out here? As I understand the band has been around for a long time, which is impressive, however, it wouldn’t seem to be a beginning (genesis) of something new or overly-exciting in the band’s career. I’ll be grateful if we get another 10 years of good Sodom.

Overall this album has been enjoyable, although I do acknowledge musically it is nothing genius or new. If there is something subtle about this album, sorry I didn’t quite get it, but I enjoy listening to the music. Most thrash metal fans will enjoy this. Kids under 25 probably won’t, but you never know. I salute the band for still being able to make great music after so many years. These guys have already proven everything there is to prove in their genre, there is really not much more to expect. Just appreciate the creativity, as creativity as another aspect of life that is constantly changing with generations.

Release Year: 2020
Label: Steamhammer / SPV
Category: Album
Country: Germany

Reviewed by Justin