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Sodom – The Final Sign of Evil

Label: SPV USA
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Soon after Venom (from England) released their 1981 debut "Welcome to Hell" and laid the ground work for the Black Metal sound, came along in 1984 Sweden’s Bathory who really pioneered the genre. Also in the same year, Switzerland’s Hellhammer who later became Celtic Frost with their debut "Morbid Tales", and from Germany Sodom with the "In the Sign of Evil" E.p. (and "Obsessed by Cruelty" thereafter).


Now while Sodom are known for being German Thrash (and part of the Big Three which also includes Destruction and Kreator), little did we all know that debut E.p. was very instrumental in creating the early primal unpolished occult sounds of Black Metal. When originally released in 1984 the E.p. only included six songs. Now the album has been completed by including the other seven that were intended for the original recording.

As a bonus for purists, original member and frontman Tom Angelripper (vocals and bass) has brought back Chris Dudek (aka Witchunter) on drums and Josef Dominic (aka Grave Violator) on guitars to complete this special re release.

As a bit of trivia, if you notice member names like Grave Violator and Angelripper would later influence the 90’s Black Metal movement with band’s like Behemoth, Burzum, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, and Mayhem who would also take on stage names in reference to or having Satanic origins like Hellhammer, Necrobutcher, and Blasphemer.

If you are familiar with the original E.P. and its poor production then this will come of no surprise. Well maybe it will because unlike other bands such as Testament and Destruction who have gone back re recorded older music with bigger balls and more clarity, Sodom have remained true the original recording keeping it raw and ruff sounding. Tom has decided try and stay as true to the original release as possible. It is a bit better sonically and this clearly does not have that tingy vinyl sound, but yet not over produced. On the original "Sign of Evil" Tom’s voice was pure with the Black Metal snarl and over the years while hasn’t changed remains unpolished in the spirit of Lemmy (Motorhead).

"The Final Sing of Evil" is a solid rerecording that is true to what the original vision was but just cleaned up. Its like a movie that has been remastered removing the dirt from the original negative without the extra bells and whistles.

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