After various non album releases the past years, Sodom return with a great album that should have been released about a decade ago to follow the very succesfull duo of ”Code Red” (1999) and ”M-16” (2001). The band since then made countless gigs, released live albums, compilations, re-recordings, dvd’s and even a split. I kinda missed such an energy and quality in a Sodom album the last twelve years, but their thirteenth album ”Epitome Of Torture” comes in order to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary which took place in 2012. A little delay doesn’t matter in this case, as we’re talking about an album that deserves the Sodom logo on its cover (Knarrenheinz looks really deadly).

Kicking off with ”My Final Bullet”, the headbanging process begins quick enough (once you don’t get tricked by the acoustic beginning). ‘‘S.O.D.O.M.” makes this new album rather special, as they decided to record the band’s name track (which is really groovy and thrashing). I hadn’t had so much hunger, energy and need to prove ”we’re still Sodom” for a lot of years, the band plays clearly relieved from the departure of Bobby Schottkowski and the entering of Markus ”Makka” Freiwald, who proves to be a very wild card for the band, from his very first album with them (those who saw them live since Makka came, have already understood the difference).

The album goes on with great tracks like the title track, the furious ”Stigmatized” and the gargantuan riffing of ”Cannibal”, but a track that really makes the difference is ”Shoot Today, Kill Tomorrow”. It is fast, raw and ends with a gigantic mid-tempo riff. In mid-tempo process follows ”Invocating The Demons” before an outburst after the first minute. It offers all that Sodom have been about in these thirty one years of existence. ”Katjuscha” is a track which contains a melody from the Soviet WWII song ”Katyusha”, originally composed by Matvei Blanter in 1938. A great warlike track from Sodom once again (don’t forget that the band has covered the war issues with total success in the past).

Tom Angelripper sounds renewed and very certain in his vocals, it’s many parts on most tracks where you feel like he really spits out every lyric and that there was a lot of repressed rage in him. He must really be proud of himself in this album, as for his two colleagues. Bernemann plays his most inspired and metal riffs the last decade and together with Makka’s steady, fast and full of quality drumming they support the band’s undoubted leader in an IDEAL way. I bet that they will kick serious ass in their upcoming gigs from now on, it shouldn’t mind you if they choose to play a lot of tracks from ”Epitome Of Torture”, they’ll surely sound better live with this line-up.

I’m very happy that Sodom released such an album, it sounds solid and it is worked to the final detail (the production is clean and loud, but not cheesy and out of the band’s traditional sound). The last two tracks, ”Into The Skies Of War” (with its mid-tempo touch) and ”Tracing The Victim” (kick-ass bombastic final taste) make the album sound even better as it ends. If you buy the limited edition, it contains two more tracks, ”Waterboarding” and ”Splitting The Atom” which add ten more minutes of Sodom’s evolution in 2013 (the initial release is shorter than forty minutes). A great album from Sodom, which makes me consider that with Makka on the line-up, they can release even better ones in the future (as long as it doesn’t take three, four or five years like they did with the last three albums, including this album).

Track List Line Up
01. My Final Bullet
02. S.O.D.O.M.
03. Epitome Of Torture
04. Stigmatized
05. Cannibal
06. Shoot Today, Kill Tomorrow
07. Invocating The Demons
08. Katjuscha
09. Into The Skies Of War
10. Tracing The Victim
11. Waterboarding (Bonus Track)
12. Splitting The Atom (Bonus Track)
Tom Angelripper – Vocals/Bass guitar
Bernd “Bernemann” Kost – Guitar
Markus “Makka” Freiwald – Drums