Alcatraz Line up: 2019
Conceived in 1981, the German thrashers of Sodom are one of the so-called Big Four of Teutonic Thrash. Nevertheless, throughout much of their career their output has been characterised by other genre influences such as death and black metal. Originally formed as a black metal outfit, Sodom forced a breakthrough when they switched to thrash metal on ‘Persecution Mania’ (1987) and the seminal album ‘Agent Orange’ (1989), both of which are considered absolute classics. 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. Frontman Tom Angelripper caused a great deal of consternation when he fired all the other band members in early 2018 but with former guitarist Frank Blackfire returning to the fold and the addition of skinsman Stefan ‘Husky’ Hüskens (ex-Desaster, Asphyx) and newcomer Yorck Segatz on guitar, he has managed to assemble a stellar new line-up. The first few shows garnered rave reviews so this is the perfect opportunity to catch one of their rare Belgian shows.