Original logo found since the very first demo "Witching Metal"
|Sodom (so'dom) 1. Biblical city destroyed by fire from heaven. 2. City often referred to in Scripture as symbol of wickedness and warning for sinners. 3. German thrash metal band playing extremely heavy, fast and technical music, which currently consists of Tom Angelripper, Bernemann, and Bobby Schottkowski. See also 'Kreator'; 'Destruction'.
SODOM were founded by ANGELRIPPER (bass/vocals), WITCHHUNTER (drums) and AGGRESSOR (guitar) in early 1980. From the very start the trio, heavily influenced by bands like Motörhead and Venom, dedicated themselves to the toughest variety of heavy metal. SODOM's first two demos "Witching Metal" (1983) and "Victims of Death" (1984) caused a sensation in the scene, and after successful gigs in Frankfurt with Venom and Destruction / Iron Angel they signed their first recording contract with Steamhammer in 1984. Guitarist AGGRESSOR left the band even before the studio sessions and was soon replaced by GRAVE VIOLATOR, with whom SODOM recorded their debut EP "In The Sign of Evil". He in turn was later to be succeeded by DESTRUCTOR.
After their first major success in 1985 - SODOM played in front of 1000 fans in Belgium - they enthusiastically set about recording their first album "Obsessed By Cruelty". Having completed the recording, DESTRUCTOR also departed. The EP "Expurse Of Sodomy" followed in 1987. It was axeman FRANK BLACKFIRE's debut with SODOM, and he helped the band on their way to brilliance and professionality. The EP, which also contained the classic "Sodomy And Lust", earned SODOM positive reactions even from formerly critical voices. That same year their second album "Persecution Mania" came out. The press enthused about a "perfect thrash album", and SODOM were well on their way to an international breakthrough. In 1988 they embarked on their first European tour with US thrashers WHIPLASH. SODOM's first live album, entitled "Mortal Way Of Live", consisted of live recordings from the shows in Dortmund and Düsseldorf. The sales figures surpassed all expectations: the concept of the record and the amazingly driving sound did not only impress old fans but gained the group numerous new supporters. In January of 1989 SODOM celebrated their biggest live success of the Eighties with close to 10,000 fans in Katovice, Poland, and in March they set out a record which was to mark an interim highlight of their career. Their masterpiece "Agent Orange" came on the market in June 1989 and acheived what no other thrash album worldwide had accomplished: it entered the German Media Control album charts! "Agent Orange" also marked the begninning of a collaboration with producer Harris Johns which continues to this day. Johns had made a name for himself with productions for Helloween, Voivod and Kreator.
"Agent Orange" reached No. 36 of the album charts, and the single "Ausgebombt", which was released on time for the European tour, immediatelyacheived indisputable cult status. An unknown Brazillian metal act by the name of SEPULTURA, whose unstoppable rise to stardom was only beginning, supported SODOM on their consequent tour. In the meantime Frank Blackfire had moved on to team up with KREATOR. During the tour progressive metal act MEKONG DELTA's stringsman lent a hand.
For their 1990 album release "Better Off Dead" they enlisted the support of guitarist Michael Hoffman (ex-Assassin), but he didn't last long either; during their Japanese tour that year Hoffman sacrificed his career in favour of a Brazillian beauty, and the position was once again vacant. In autumn '91 Andy Brings appeared on the scene. He delivered his debut with the album "Tapping The Vein" (1992) which presented a return to the mega-tough SODOM sound of the early days with songs like "Body Parts" and the german language ditty "Wachturm". Like "Better Off Dead", the album was produced by Harris Johns. They later toured with Berlin act DEPRESSIVE AGE.
In the same year SODOM's longtime drummer Witchhunter left and was replaced by ATOMIC STEIF (formerly Living Death), who first appeared on the EP "Aber bitte mit Sahne". 1993 saw the release of the sixth SODOM offering "Get What You Deserve" with the extremely popular number "Die stumme Ursel", yet another highlight of German musical heritage, and said Ursel has become an undemending and easy to handle escort during SODOM's tours. SODOM's tenth anniversary was celebrated in style with a sold-out gig at Essen's Zeche Carl, featuring every former SODOM member as well as many musician friends all together on stage.
The following year "Marooned Live", another live album, was released. SODOM's 7th studio cut "Masquerade In Blood" (1995) was produced at the RA.SH studios in Gelsenkirchen under the direction of Uli Pösselt. In the meantime the band had suffered yet another change of guitarists (the 7th to date!) Andy Brings had been replaced by Dirk -STRAHLI- Strahlmeier. In 1996 ANGELRIPPER launched his first solo project. His album "Ein schöner Tag" was the SODOM frontman's first cooperation with G.U.N. Records. With the support of various guest musicians the self-confessed fan of top fermented German dark beer interpreted twelve of the most popular German drinking songs and two original compositions on the same subject in the familiar hard-as-nails SODOM sound.
And then the long last move to a new label was finalized. "'Til Death Do Us Unite", SODOM's first album to released by G.U.N. was recorded at the RA.SH studios in October and November 1996. And once again there's been a change in the line-up: the tried and tested threesome has remained the same, the new members surrounding SODOM-mastermind Tom Angelripper are Bobby on drums and guitarist Bernemann (both of Crows and Randalica fame).
For the first time in six years "Agent Orange" producer Harris Johns was at the controls again. More than its predecessors, the material on the new album brings the style of their 1989 triumph to mind; as Tom explains: "It was important to me that the result did not sound too modern, so I went back to the classic Eighties thrash. To me "'Til Death Do Us Unite" is a typical, slightly punky SODOM album."
The subjects on the songs, however, are somewhat more varied on the new CD: they reach from personal ads for "very hariy women" ("Gisela" - without a doubt one of the highlights of this CD) to an angry, aggressive condemnation of US American police practice ("Fuck The Police"). Besides SODOM provide a pretty nasty, mean alternative to the popular Bangles version of Paul Simon's "Hazy Shade Of Winter".
With their new album SODOM corroborate once again just why they are so successful, both on a national as well as on an international level. "'Til Death Do Us Unite" should encounter pretty much the same reactions from every SODOM album so far: you either love it or hate it - but it won't leave you unaffected!
SODOM are scheduled to present their new material live for the first time in summer 1997 at the Summer Metal Meetings. "'Til Death Do Us Unite" - for all die-hard fans and fans-to-be alike.
The album 'Til Death Do Us Unite featured a controversial album cover, depicting a woman's pregnant belly and a man's beer gut pressing in a human skull together. This album marked the beginning of Sodom's return to thrash but was more along the lines of a thrash-crossover sound and had much in common with bands like Suicidal Tendencies. It also spawned the song for which Sodom would make their most famous music video, the highly-controversial song "Fuck The Police." After this album, Sodom returned to the studio and released Code Red in 1999 which marked a full return to the Teutonic thrash metal sound of the 1980s, and it was met with praise from fans and press alike. A limited edition featured a bonus CD containing a tribute to Sodom album, Homage to the Gods. With 2001 came the release of M-16, a concept album about the Vietnam War, which took its title from the famed M16 assault rifle. A tour followed with the other two big German thrash metal bands Kreator and Destruction, but Sodom ended up going on its own halfway through the tour due to a feud between Destruction bassist Marcel Schirmer and Tom Angelripper. Destruction claimed Sodom ripped off their music and sound.
In 2003, a double live album was recorded in Bangkok, Thailand, titled One Night in Bangkok. A new album simply titled Sodom was released in 2006, in the same vein as M-16. The title was chosen - as Angelripper explained it - because every band needs a self-titled album, and the band had never released one. The album was delayed however, because the DVD Lords of Depravity took more time to compose than initially thought.
In 2007, Tom was asked by the record label Steamhammer for any tracks to be released on the In The Sign Of Evil EP. Tom believed there were, and the label floated the idea to Tom to get ex-members Chris Witchhunter and Grave Violator (real name: Franz Josef Peppi) to re-record the EP with the bonus tracks. The result became The Final Sign of Evil. Chris "Witchhunter" Dudek died on 7 September 2008 from liver failure after a long battle with illness.
In 2009, Sodom returned to the UK to play their first show in 20 years at Bloodstock Open Air.
In War and Pieces, Sodom's latest album, was released in Europe on November 22, 2010, and is due to be released in North America on January 11, 2011. On November 30, 2010, it was announced that Bobby Schottkowski would be leaving the band, due to "personal and private problems" between Tom Angelripper and Schottkowski. On December 8, 2010, Markus "Makka" Freiwald was announced to be Sodom's new drummer.