The Final Sign of Evil
9/8/2008 - Review by: Vinaya Saksena
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Now this is just too much. Having long harbored a passing interest in thrash, I thought it would behoove me to check out one of the bands considered among the German contingent of the genre's originators. Yes, Sodom's music is fairly new to me, and yes I am aware that many fans are already griping that this re-recording and expanding of the band's In the Sign of Evil debut EP from '84 isn't exactly their best work. And for the band's sake, it's a good thing this information has gotten out somewhat via their fans, because on evidence of this album alone, the idea of these guys as innovators in the thrash and black metal subgenres (or anything else for that matter) would be, frankly, laughable.
On its own face value, in fact, The Final Sign of Evil is just that--an absolute hoot. Much like those pentagram-bearing Venom albums of old, this masochistic twelve-tracker is so hilariously bad that, through a truly twisted set of ears (and accompanying sense of humor), it's good! The vocals are troll-like, the guitars loveably muddy and erratic, and the playing of long-lost drummer Chris Witchhunter is just about the sloppiest I've heard on a CD with worldwide distribution in recent years--and understandably pretty low in the mix. The lyrics are a violent, Satan-courting joke, almost like the first Running Wild album without the intelligence and command of the English language.
Of course, the informal nature of this release means that not much more can or really should be expected. The motivation behind it was apparently bringing In the Sign of Evil to its originally intended full-length status and allowing one last hurrah for the original lineup, so I guess it serves its purpose. And through the bush-league racket of tracks like 'Blasphemer," 'Bloody Corpse" and the awkwardly titled "Burst Command 'til War" (huh?), it also serves to entertain in a perverse fashion, like a Muppet throwing a drunken tantrum. Gotta love it!
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