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Sodom/ Finntroll

Date: 1/8/05
Venue: BB King Blues Club, NY
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

What an interesting bill this was. First you have Germany's Sodom, who aside from playing I think just one festival in the States in their 20 year career have finally made it our shores to do at least a few shows. Then you have Finntrol from Finalnd , a younger band who has only been around for about 6 years and five cd's to their name. It takes over 20 years for Sodom to get here and only 5 for Finntrol , very odd.

Anyway, Finntrol started off the night with what can be called “Polka Metal”, yes that's right, polka. Now, with six members who wear black leather kilts on stage you can get the picture of what they may sound like. Take your standard mix of a Death/Black Metal growl, combine that with heavy but yet two guitar lead harmonies, mid tempo drums, and back that up with keyboards utilizing the sounds of their native country creating that humppa or polka sound. Its like being at a Heavy Metal weeding in one of the cold dark Viking countries. Their music actually has a dance like quality to it even though the vocals are not melodic. Their mid paced arrangements backed by the keyboards creates its own sound and gives Finntrol an almost fun quality that the Black/Death Metal genres lack. They played for an hour which is unheard of for a relatively new European band, first time on our shores and with only a few records to their name? Boy these guys got lucky on this one. The crowd was very receptive to the music and reactions among the audience and band was nothing but positive. What a great way to start off here and I was very impressed as to how many people knew there music and were at the venue early to see them.

Sodom , one of the three German Thrash legends from the 80's along with Destruction and Kreator , continue to create new music to this day and for the first time getting to do some selective dates in America .

From their very humble and young beginnings in 1984, the band was and still is fronted by mainman Tom Angelripper who handles both bass and lead vocals. As heard on the debut E.P. “In the Sign of Evil” and first LP “Obsessed By Cruelty”, Sodom started off very primitive in their musical arrangements, tapping into the sounds of Motorhead and Venom while adding odd time changes, guitar soloing and off tempo speeds. The influence of Venom is more so in their past while the Motorhead is still present to this day. Tonight they played three tracks off that debut, “Witching Metal”, Blasphemer”, and “Outbreak of Evil”, all which have much improved sound and focus as the members are no longer young and can just play better. Continuing with their earlier material, they played “Sodomy and Lust” off 1987's off the “Exposure of Sodomy” E.P., and “Remember the Fallen” and the classic title track off what I consider their best album “Agent Orange”.

As musicians and performers, Tom, Bernemann , and Bobby all have a lot in common with Motorhead's motto of delivering fast and raw, beer guzzling, t shirt wearing, and even a bit sloppy in the guitar department. All these qualities can be heard in tracks like “Die Wachturn ” off “Taping the Vein” and ” Ausgebombt ” who's straight ahead delivery has that punk vibe and not as intricate as other songs with the thrashier guitar riffing. One of my other personal favs was “The Saw is the Law” where the music is not as fast and goes for a crunchy mid paced beat.

Aside from revisiting the past, newer songs like opener “Among the Weirdkong ” taken off “M-16”, “The Vice of Killing” off “Code Red”, and even a brand new song “Nothing to Regret” off the forthcoming cd let fans know the band were not just here for a nostalgia trip. With a very large showing of fans for both bands it was great way for Sodom and Finntrol to get a warm welcome to the States. I think both bands walked away impressed.

Sodom Setlist :
Among the Weirdcong
The Vice of Killing
Agent Orange
Napalm in the Morning
Witching Metal
Outbreak of Evil
Eat Me!
Remember the Fallen
Surfin Bird
The Saw is the Law
Nothing to Regret
Ace of Spades


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