Alcatraz Line up: 2023
Sodom are one of the so-called Big Four of Teutonic Thrash together with Kreator, Destruction and Tankard. The band from Gelsenkirchen had a major influence on the burgeoning European thrash metal scene. Initially they opted for an early form of black metal but in the mid-80s they changed course. Venturing into thrash territory, the new musical direction shook the German metal scene to its foundations. Sodom’s breakout album came in 1989 with ‘Agent Orange’, one of the seminal Teutonic thrash albums. Then in the early to mid-90s, death metal and punk influences crept in, much to the chagrin of some early fans but the band’s live prowess obviously remained intact. ‘Til Death Do Us Unite’ (1997) marked a prudent return to thrash – including the (in)famous video for ‘Fuck the Police’ – but it was the universally acclaimed ‘Code Red’ (1999) that brought things full circle with a return to the all-out thrash attack of their breakthrough days. In the early days lead guitarist Frank ‘Blackfire’ Gosdzik stood at the helm with bassist/frontman Tom Angelripper until Frank jumped ship in 1989. He ultimately returned to the fold in 2018 and their most recent studio effort ‘Genesis XIX’ (2020) is their first outing to feature Gosdzik since ‘Agent Orange’. Sodom played a memorable set here in 2019 and with the old chemistry rekindled, the German thrash masters are back to their former glory.