SODOM — In the Sign of Evil (review)

SODOM — In the Sign of Evil album cover EP · 1984 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
"In the Sign of Evil" is an EP release by German metal act Sodom. The EP was released through Steamhammer in May 1984. It´s the band´s first label release after forming in 1981 and releasing the "Witching Metal" demo in 1982 and the "Victims of Death" demo in 1984. "In the Sign of Evil" features five tracks and a full playing time of 19:13 minutes. Four of those tracks are new original compositions, while "Witching Metal" is also featured on both preceding demo releases.

Sodom are mostly known for playing teutonic thrash metal and being one part of the unholy German thrash metal triumvirate of Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction, but on this EP the music style is a blackened type of speed metal. It´s raw and aggressive, it´s noisy, it´s primitive, and it´s above all unpolished and authentic. One simple and raw speed metal track with raspy snarling vocals succeed the one before, and it´s all delivered in an almost helpless untight fashion. So this more or less sounds like a couple of angry teenage boys playing and recording in their parents garage somewhere in Gelsenkirchen. It´s especially Venom I´m reminded of (Bathory and Hellhammer too), but there´s a Motörhead influence in there somewhere too.

Now I know some black metal purists, who consider a release like "In the Sign of Evil" the unholy grail, will probably choke on their glass of blood, but viewed upon in terms of musicianship, productions values, and songwriting, "In the Sign of Evil" is a very immature and badly produced release. There´s plenty of authentic aggression and rawness to it, but if you crave just a slight bit sophistication in terms of compositional standards, this probably won´t meet your demands. Personally I view it as a historical document of the early speed/black/thrash metal scene and find it interesting as such, but I don´t put in on for listening pleasure. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.
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Vim Fuego wrote:
1 year ago
I love this wee beast! To this day Sepulchral Voice remains one of my all time favourite songs.


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