Code Red


After a two-year hiatus since their last album, ‘Til Death Do Us Unite , Germany’s legendary Sodom return to the fold with the quintessentially predictable Code Red . But to be predictable isn’t necessarily a bad thing: ’tis far better to milk a tried n’ true formula that actually works (best example: the sorely-missed Jesus and Mary Chain) than bandy about with concept albums, textural exploration, and other high falutin’ gobbledygook.

That said, it comes as no surprise, then, that along with contemporaneous countrymen Kreator, Sodom laid down – in the mid ’80s, no less – the prototypes for the black- and death-metal scenes to follow years later. Whereas said countrymen these days have slowed down their previous frenzy and now allow the power overload to breathe all the more effectively, Sodom have (un-?)wittingly continued to churn away to the same tune, hitting their apex with 1989’s stellar Agent Orange (arguably, the best metal record of the ’80s) and leaving the repeat button on ever since.

Which, again, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because Sodom’s speed-metal is a cantankerous one – singular in its urgency, breakneck in its breathlessness – guaranteed to leave newcomers absolutely bewildered. Ever so tightly wound, the band thrashes away on Code Red with no reliance on trite blastbeats or calculus-complicated riffs, the most exemplary head-rushes here being “The Wolf and the Lamb,” “What Hell Can Create,” and the title track. Though no Sodom chugger will ever eclipse the epic “Remember the Fallen” (from Agent Orange ), they now appear more confident at slower tempos, surprisingly remaining nearly as powerful on “Tombstone” (the self-same chorus almost sounds like “coleslaw”!) and “The Voice of Killing.” And though they don’t touch on the Motorhead-ish punk n’ roll that constituted much of 1990’s Better Off Dead (and both of mainman Tom Angelripper’s two solo albums), Sodom, after nearly two decades, would more or less still sound like Sodom even if they had – rarely has familiarity been so comforting.

Pavement Music, P.O. Box 50550, Phoenix, AZ 85076;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

  • Daniel Silva
    Daniel Silva

    Drummer Daniel Silva talks influences and more with Stacey Zering.

  • Bill Kirchen
    Bill Kirchen

    The Proper Years (Last Music Co.). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives