S.O.D.

Crossover Thrash • United States
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S.O.D. (Stormtroopers Of Death), formed in New York in 1985. They are commonly credited as being among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal into a new sound dubbed crossover thrash. They have also been the victim of controversy due to their utterly politically-incorrect lyrics. However, Dan Lilker has stated that “The lyrics were never intended to be serious, just to piss people off.”

Stormtroopers Of Death includes the famous Scott Ian on guitar and Charlie Benante on drums (both of Anthrax fame). Also, bassist Dan Lilker has been in many other underground metal bands, including Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, Exit-13 and early Anthrax among others.

S.O.D. don’t always write songs to anger, but often pen lyrics to amuse. For instance, in response to their (misconstrued) earlier lyrics, S.O.D. wrote the politically-correct (and Agnostic Front-esque) We All Bleed Red: a track that condemns racists and racism. Also, S.O.D. include
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S.O.D. Discography

S.O.D. albums / top albums

S.O.D. Speak English or Die album cover 3.80 | 14 ratings
Speak English or Die
Crossover Thrash 1985
S.O.D. Bigger Than the Devil album cover 3.00 | 5 ratings
Bigger Than the Devil
Crossover Thrash 1999

S.O.D. EPs & splits

S.O.D. Megaforce Worldwide - Volume One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Megaforce Worldwide - Volume One
Crossover Thrash 1995
S.O.D. Stormtroopers of Death / Yellow Machinegun album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Stormtroopers of Death / Yellow Machinegun
Crossover Thrash 1999

S.O.D. live albums

S.O.D. Live at Budokan album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Live at Budokan
Crossover Thrash 1992

S.O.D. demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

S.O.D. Crab Society North album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crab Society North
Crossover Thrash 1985
S.O.D. 1985 Rehearsal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1985 Rehearsal
Crossover Thrash 1985

S.O.D. re-issues & compilations

S.O.D. Rise of the Infidels album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Rise of the Infidels
Crossover Thrash 2007
S.O.D. Crab Society Demos '85 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crab Society Demos '85
Crossover Thrash 2011

S.O.D. singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Seasoning the Obese
Crossover Thrash 2000

S.O.D. movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Budokan
Crossover Thrash 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Speak English or Live
Crossover Thrash 2001
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Kill Yourself, The Movie
Crossover Thrash 2001
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5.00 | 1 ratings
20 Years of Dysfunction
Crossover Thrash 2005
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Fenix
Crossover Thrash 2007

S.O.D. Reviews

S.O.D. Speak English or Die

Album · 1985 · Crossover Thrash
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martindavey87
Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D... duh!), is a crossover thrash side project of Anthrax members Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, along with Nuclear Assault’s Dan Lilker (formerly of Anthrax himself) and Billy Milano of the band M.O.D. Their debut album, ‘Speak English or Die’ was released in 1985, and is mostly a metal album with a punk mentality, with plenty of short, minute-long songs featuring satirical, aggressive, and downright offensive lyrics.

The problem for me is that it’s not 1985 anymore, and most of the satire, irony and downright offensive material goes straight over my desensitized head. The music is fast and heavy, and when the band do play for more than 30 seconds, there are a couple of decent headbangers here. But for the most part, these are all comical tracks, recorded by a bunch of friends who had some leftover studio time to kill. Oddly, this would go on to be a hugely influential album. Wish I could get that lucky.

Ultimately, this just isn’t my cup of tea, and the only reason it’s in my collection is because I’m a huge Anthrax fan. For what it’s worth, the songs ‘March of the S.O.D.’, ‘Sargent ‘D’ and the S.O.D.’ and ‘Milk’ are alright, and I’ve always found ‘What’s That Noise’ a pretty laughable track, but otherwise this is mostly immature and juvenile, and that’s probably exactly how the S.O.D. intended it to be.

‘Speak English or Die’ is not an album to be taken seriously, and whilst I’ve never been under the illusion that it was anything else, it’s just not something I’m into.

S.O.D. Speak English or Die

Album · 1985 · Crossover Thrash
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Something incredible happened after the release of the movie Spinal Tap in 1984. It suddenly gave metal music the permission to not take shit so seriously. While many metal rockers would continue down the narcissistic path and end up supporting the makeup and hairspray world making me wish i could travel back to the 80s and buy stock in the cosmetic industry, a few brave souls had the gonads to try something way different for the time. The year 1985 saw the development of humor in metal music but also began the era of crossover thrash that took the best offerings of hardcore punk and mixed them with the newly burgeoning elements of thrash metal. While similar bands like Carnivore entered the arena, i would have to credit STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH aka S.O.D. as the most interesting band of this era of not only crossing over the thrash and punk elements musically but basically not giving a flying bleep about political correctness. SPEAK ENGLISH OR DIE is their debut.

S.O.D. was an early splinter band from Anthrax where Ian Scott reunited with former “Fistful Of Metal” bassist and fellow Anthrax founder Dan Lilker along with another Anthrax entity, drummer Charlie Benante. The whole idea came from Scott Ian who after only one album with Anthrax was already chomping at the bit to express his less serious side where he could raise multiple middle fingers to the world and spit in the face of political correctness. It began as Scott’s doodlings of a character called “Sargent D” during the “Spreading The Disease” studio sessions where he would accompany his drawings with slogans like “I’m not racist, i hate everyone.” Keep in mind that this was the Reagan era in 1980s USA where faux conservatism was manufacturing all kinds of stupid nonsensical new paradigms of the religious right in their pursuit to sterilize all differences and to instill obsequious deference to the new power structure. Well fuck that!

This is the perfect antithesis to political correctness (today more than ever!) and guarantees to offend everybody if taken seriously in the least bit. In short, words can be weapons and don’t necessarily convey the reality of the true intent of the speaker. This album is all about deconstructing such verbal manipulations and creating a parallel faux universe where words construct a paradigm without any true meaning, so if you get all hoity toity and take this shit seriously then you are truly missing the point of the whole thing. Personally i don’t give a flying fuck about lyrics for the most part, at least in metal music and if i like the passion delivered in the music itself, that’s enough for me to get excited about. So fuck it all and bang your fucking heads, bitches.

This album is just brilliant. It somehow manages to incorporate all the principles of hardcore punk: shouted vocals, sloppy guitar riffs with bass and drums but thrashifies them with vengeance meaning guitar riffs are faster, drumbeats are faster and well, everything is faster! The punk meets metal elements have never fornicated as well as they do here and could possibly be prohibited under anti-beastiality laws in some states, but for me and my sickened brain, this is a cross genre ecstatic dance of the most opposing extreme musical genres dancing offering a musical truce in order to defeat a mutual enemy. Although i couldn’t swear to it, i would bet that this could qualify as an unholy sacramental listening experience endorsed by Jello Biafra, James Hetfield and Jesus anti-fucking-christ himself. For 1985 this must have come as a complete left field curve ball. Thrash music was merely in its nascency and suddenly already splintering off into a fireworks display of sonic pyrotechnics.

All i can say is that i truly dig this shit. S.O.D. nails the punk elements, marries it with thrash ferocity, injects the proper comedic politically derisory elements which have no true intended meaning but are designed to be as societally caustic as the distorted musical frenzy that has solely one goal in mind and that is to offend everyone except for, of course, the unoffendable! This is one of the fucking narliest metal albums ever to come out at any point in time. It is a short but sweet experience not even a half hour in length but manages to push all the proper dysphemistic societal buttons for the ages. This is relevant even in this day and age. With all the political hyperbole trying to create societal divisions, one has to appreciate a metal band that can just say FUCK OFF WORLD!

Quickie trivia: The track “Milano Mosh” was the theme track on MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball” in the 80s and 90s AND… well, that’s it really.

This album REALLY stands out amongst the competition. Every single element is perfect. This is a classic of the ages.

It is basically celebrates a “coming-of-age” mentality when you realize that the world is nothing more than fucked up mind control shit where everyone is trying to fuck with your mind and induct you into their cult but once you stop giving a serious flying fuck, everything is OK once again.

So go fuck yourselves and listen to this goddamn masterpiece already.

S.O.D. Movies Reviews

S.O.D. 20 Years of Dysfunction

Movie · 2005 · Crossover Thrash
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Vim Fuego
'20 Years Of Dysfunction' celebrated the anniversary of the release of the venomous `Speak English Or Die'. Recorded in three days, this relatively short album created huge waves in both the metal and hardcore scenes at the time. Sgt. D stomped into town, annoyed everyone and promptly left again. What started as Scott Ian's hardcore/metal crossover brainchild became Billy Milano's lovechild. S.O.D.'s vocalist has become its biggest fan, and pieced together its recorded history like a fan would.

Like Metallica's seminal `Cliff `Em All' video, the live footage here is mostly bootlegged, although generally of a better quality than the Cliff Burton memorial due to technological improvements.

This is an incredible compilation. For sheer power and head banging, fist pumping enjoyment, there is no better way to start any show than with "March Of The S.O.D/Sgt D & The S.O.D." Scott Ian stomps about the stage like a short, bald Godzilla, destroying buildings and eardrums with his flaming six-string. His polar opposite Dan Lilker is anchored to the stage, skinny and hirsute, head in a THC cloud, sub-sonic bass strung impossibly low. Charlie Benante sits at his drumkit, akin to a manic alchemist, turning gold leaden, amazing all with the dark arts of his craft. Enter Billy Milano. Larger than life in both persona and build, Milano bellows like a wild rhino, and like a rhino looks both comic and dangerous at once.

The ballads are a definite highlight. The original "Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" provides the template for the rest of the ballads: steal a riff from a dead artist, play it twice and shout "you're dead!" Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Small, Frank Sinatra, INXS and Jim Morrison all get the treatment. Offensive? Of course. Hilarious? You bet!

Another prime moment of comedy was Milano encouraging a stage diver to jump, so he does- up and down on the spot...

The package includes extensive extras. Pick of the bunch is an interview with producer Alex Perialas, he of "What's That Noise?" infamy. There's an interview by Metal Maniacs reporter Liz with Billy, which covers all things S.O.D. Surprisingly, Billy also included a 9/11 tribute. All New Yorkers were affected by the 2001 terrorist attack, and he witnessed the World Trade Center towers collapse. For someone so often derided for being an insensitive, politically incorrect oaf, Milano's tribute is both thoughtful and poignant.

The largest part of the extra features is the raw material from which the main feature is cut. There are five mini-concerts from around the world, captured during the `Bigger That The Devil' tour, but featuring only `Speak English Or Die' songs.

Included is the audio CD of the infamous `Pussywhipped', bootlegged in 1985 during one of S.O.D.'s initial seven shows. The quality is dodgy, as you'd expect, but it's been cleaned up a little, and the vitality and energy of the original performance remains intact.

The 21-year-old Billy Milano is like a kid whose dreams have all come true at once. Here he is, a singer with limited ability, little different to the assembled audience, backed by three of the world's top thrash musicians. He gives his performance absolutely everything, and it's quite possible to picture the veins bulging, the sweat flying, the fists and eyes clenched as he shouts his way through "Milano Mosh", "Milk", "United Forces", or any of the other tracks. His performance as a screaming harridan on "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues" is hilarious.

The great thing about the ratty production quality is that all three instruments come through loud and clear. There was nothing technical to tackle, so all the emphasis was on speed and power. Charlie Benante kicks “Speak English Or Die” along faster than the studio version, as he does with a number of tracks, and you get the feeling he could play faster still. Dan Lilker’s bass is so distorted it almost sounds like a guitar, a sound as thick as a prehistoric mammoth-swallowing tar pit. Scott Ian thrashes his guitar like a madman, but never misses a note, sharp and vicious throughout.

As in all S.O.D. performances, there are some priceless moments of spontaneity: Charlie was supposed to play the lead on "United Forces", but it was a little difficult from behind the drum kit; Scott broke his guitar on "Kill Yourself", which forced Dan and Charlie to improvise while he fixed it; and Billy's idiotic introductions to pretty much every song. “Diamonds And Rust” appears three times throughout the show, while “The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix” receives three consecutive airings.

There are a few non-studio album rarities which pop up here, but were also included on the platinum edition reissue of ‘Speak English Or Die’. “Momo” and “Vitality (Milk Part Two)”, originally by Crab Society, both appeared on the 1992 ‘Live At Budokan’ album, while the cover of Inferno’s “Ram It Up Your Cunt” appeared on the Megaforce ‘Deeper Into The Vault’ compilation. Last track “Not” is exclusive to ‘Pussywhipped’, not that it’s much of a hidden treasure.

The best thing about the inclusion of `Pussywhipped' is that it's a small but important slice of metal history, which is far better presented in this format than on some twelfth generation cassette tape, and the band might finally make something from it.

This is an extensive collection of S.O.D. memorabilia, presented raw and unpolished, just how the band was. The volatility of the relationships between the band members may be such that there might never be any more output from S.O.D. ever again, but the snarling, cigar chomping skull Sgt. D will be remembered forever.

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