Sunday, December 23, 2012


Sodom - Persecution Mania
Steamhammer, 1987
Genre: Thrash Metal

1. Nuclear Winter
2. Electrocution
3. Iron Fist (Motorhead Cover)
4. Persecution Mania
5. Enchanted Land
6. Procession to Golgatha
7. Christ Passion
8. Conjuration
9. Bombenhagel
10. Outbreak of Evil
11. Sodomy and Lust
12. The Conqueror
13. My Atonement

Since its release in 1987, “Persecution Mania” has since obtained legendary status within the Thrash Metal scene and just about every other metal genre out there today.  Sodom definitely pulled out all the stops for this album because they didn’t put in a pure Thrash Metal approach they decided to take things up a notch and bring some Speed Metal aspects into the fold.  Which I think is plainly noticeable in the drum performance, because it has that higher degree of complexity.

Track after track is just superb and this seems to be an album dedicated mostly toward war and violence in terms of their lyrical conceptions.  I especially enjoyed the song “Nuclear Winter” on this album because it has a great driving chorus part.  Also the part that stands out in some sections is that the bass playing actually comes into the foreground of the music.  Like in the song “Nuclear Winter” it starts off with an intro where the bass is turned up almost too loud in the mix at first, but displays this feeling of a foreboding force before the song kicks off.  Not to worry though, the bass doesn’t overwhelm the mix throughout the song or the entire album for that matter.  Other than that the album contains riff section after riff section of great guitar work with blazing solos coming in to assault the listener’s ears.  Another interesting part is that Angelripper actually deigned to use echo quite a few times on his vocal performance.  This was the only part I didn’t find overly desirable on the album, sometimes it was very applicable, but I found that in some cases he may have used it too often.  I, being a Black Metal fan, obviously enjoyed the song “Christ Passion,” which, if played slightly differently, could easily be passed off as a Black Metal song.  I was really surprised when this song started playing because it was so far removed from the other tracks on this release.  It’s basically the only track that isn’t a full on Thrash/Speed metal song, there are Thrash sections in the song itself, but the Chorus line of “Christ Passion” you can really hear how this song influenced the future of Black Metal in the coming years.  For example the band War even covered “Bombenhagel,” and you can even hear the influence of “Christ Passion” in the music first and foremost.  Regardless “Persecution Mania” would become a highly influential album in the coming years.

Other than that I think that essentially sums up the quality aspect of this album.  I really had a difficult time coming up with words to describe the album, but the problem with describing bands this early in the metal fields is you can’t really reference it to any prior material.  Sodom certainly doesn’t sound exactly like someone else, for me personally, at this era they leave bands like Venom in the dust.  The only one that really contends for me is Kreator, I would say Destruction, but I prefer Kreator and Sodom to Destruction at this early juncture.  Sodom just happens to belong to the big German Three in the field of Thrash Metal, so naturally the material they put out will be quite desirable in most cases.  Though for “Persecution Mania” they are adding more into their Thrash Metal and makes for a great listen overall.

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