The legends of 80s thrash metal might be getting older, but some of them are certainly not slowing down. German gods Sodom have returned after 3 years with yet another record, and while one might expect “Decision Day” to follow largely in the vein of “In War and Pieces” and “Epitome of Torture”, this album shows the band hearkening back to records like “Agent Orange”, “Persecution Mania”, and perhaps more obviously: “Tapping The Vein”. Make no mistake, this is the heaviest Sodom has been in over 20 years. If you seek a brutal thrashing experience, “Decision Day” is going to deliver.
The first few tracks kick things off in rapid-fire succession, with “In Retribution” leading the pack in terms of speed. Though the verses of this song feature only ringing chords amidst chaotic drumming, there are still plenty of hard-hitting riffs to be found all throughout the song. The chorus breaks things down into an immensely heavy section, as Tom Angelripper unleashes his patented growl. His voice continues to be about the harshest sound you can possibly hit while still remaining in the realm of thrash, and he sounds better than ever on this record.
The above description of “In Retribution” sums up this record’s strengths relative to the last couple of albums. Namely, it is faster, heavier, and more aggressive. Some songs, like “Belligerence”, display an impressive ability to move between this relentless pounding, and a slower, more sinister sound. “Rolling Thunder” similarly has a good variety in quickness, even if the tempo remains largely the same throughout the song. This effect is achieved by the excellent performance of Markus Freiwald on drums. Put simply, he shines all throughout this record, displaying some of the most impressive fills on any Sodom record, while maintaining an incredible variation of beats. While drummers typically shine on slower material where they can play increasingly technical fills, Freiwald is actually better on some of the faster tracks like “Caligula”, as he is given free reign to unleash stupidly impressive fills.
There isn’t anything you can fault Sodom for on “Decision Day”. At this point in their career, it is an accomplishment to be making competent thrash, but Sodom is creating superior thrash. There isn’t a single other 80s thrash band out there who thrashes as fast, as hard, or most importantly, as consistently as Sodom does. A lot of the older bands will put out a couple of speedier old-school sounding songs, but Sodom writes albums that are crushing from start to finish. “Decision Day” is no exception, and actually dials up the intensity considerably from their most recent work. This record is absolutely essential for all serious thrashers!
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4.5/5 or 90%.
Written by Scott