Album Review: Sodom – Out on the Frontline Trench EP

It’s that time again! Moshville Times’ resident Sodomaniac has a reason to wreck his neck – a new Sodom release has arrived! Last year’s shakeup to the band’s line-up produced the cool teaser in the Partisan EP and the productivity doesn’t seem to be letting up with a new album on the horizon. The last record may be the amuse bouche to whet thrasher’s appetites, but the latest effort – Out on the Frontline Trench EP – is the starter to get the black leather hordes ravenous for more.

Opener “Genesis XIX” sets the scene with its harmonised intro building to some straight up old-school thrashing. The riffs are simple, in your face and get the neck nodding from the moment the beat kicks in. The song itself is a microcosm of Sodom’s style from across their expansive career – there’s punky power chords, clean arpeggios and of course no-nonsense thrash, all filtered through the band’s resurrection of their classic blackened sound.

Sonically Out on the Frontline Trench is sharp and cutting – reminiscent of millennium milestones Code Red and M-16 but with the modern darkness of Decision Day and Partisan. Musically, elements of these killer Sodom sounds in follow-up track “Down on Your Knees”. There’s a more melodic flavour to the riffs, yet the song still remains aggressive and extremely catchy. The title track follows opening with with a growling intro from main man Tom Angelripper over haunting war sounds before launching picking up the headbanging pace. The blackened vibe is back with the main riff over the thrashing power chords and the tremolo-picked texture in the chorus.

The EP ends with a duo of a re-recorded version of classic “Agent Orange” and a live version of common gig closer “Bombenhagel”. The former stays very true to the original and although inessential to the Sodom back catalogue, it still makes for a fun addition to the record. It must have been a good time for Angelripper and recently returned old-school era guitarist Frank Blackfire to jam on one of their signature tracks 30 years after the original. “Bombenhagel” is always a fun end to a Sodom show but this time it’s done differently, in a blasting blackened punk style, bludgeoning like never before.

Out on the Frontline Trench is another cool EP to add to Sodom’s extensive discography. The new lineup established in 2018 with Yorck Segatz and drummer Husky alongside Angelripper and Blackfire seems to be a well of creativity with the selection of EPs produced since its inception. The songs aren’t groundbreaking but they don’t need to be. Out on the Frontline Trench is simple, straight to the point and insanely catchy with lots of replayability. It sounds like a band enjoying jamming out some killer tracks with the sole intention of simply enjoying playing some cool thrash metal together. Sodom’s recent output seems to be relishing in their history of blackened thrash and punk, sounding old-school in production but with modern standards. The band is staying forever true to their sound yet still evolving into something that’s familiar yet new. With a new full-length album expected in 2020, I can’t wait to see what my favourite band do next.

Out on the Frontline Trench is available now via SPV/Steamhammer.

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