Sodom are a German Thrash Metal band that, along with Kreator, Destruction, and Tankard, are seen as the Trope Codifiers of the scene. Sodom's music style would greatly influence many late-1980s and early-1990s black and death metal bands, among others.
Tom originally formed the band along with Bloody Monster, Arius "Blasphemer", and Aggressor as a way to get out of working in the coal mines. Their music was influenced by Motörhead, Venom, Tank, Accept, Rainbow and AC/DC.
Though they were originally panned for being "a second-rate Venom clone with semi-inventive lyrics", Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik came to the rescue, convincing Tom that thrash metal was moving beyond horror/occult/satanic themes to embrace political, societal, and war themes. Tom was already interested in various wars yet remained a peacenik. New inspiration culminated into Frank's full-length debut with the band, Persecution Mania.
- Tom Angelripper - bass (1981present), vocals (1984present)
- Frank "Blackfire" Gosdzik - lead guitar (19861989, 2018present)
- Yorck Segatz - rhythm guitar (2018present)
- Toni Merkel - drums (2020present)
- Obsessed by Cruelty (1986)
- Persecution Mania (1987)
- Agent Orange (1989)
- Better Off Dead (1990)
- Tapping the Vein (1992)
- Get What You Deserve (1994)
- Masquerade in Blood (1995)
- 'Til Death Do Us Unite (1997)
- Code Red (1999)
- M-16 (2001)
- Sodom (2006)
- The Final Sign of Evil (2007)
- In War and Pieces (2010)
- Epitome of Torture (2013)
- Decision Day (2016)
- Genesis XIX (2020)
Other notable releases:
- In the Sign of Evil (EP) (1984): First studio release, considered part of the first wave of Black Metal. The entire EP is now included as bonus tracks on CD issues of Obsessed by Cruelty.
- Expurse of Sodomy (EP) (1987): Debut of Frank Blackfire on lead guitar, marked Sodom's transition to Teutonic thrash. The three songs from this (as well as a re-recorded "Outbreak of Evil") can now be found as bonus tracks on CD issues of Persecution Mania.
- The Saw is the Law (EP) (1991)
- 30 Years Sodomized: 1982-2012 (compilation) (2012): Compilation of previously-unreleased tracks and live recordings, as well as songs hand-picked by Tom Angelripper from throughout their discography.
- Demonized (compilation) (2017): A collection of Sodom's early demo tapes, limited to 500 copies.
Sodom displays these tropes:
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Tom Angelripper
- Black Metal: Their older material is pretty much First Wave mixed with Speed Metal.
- Concept Album: Agent Orange and M-16 are both concept albums about The Vietnam War
- Cool Guns: Knarrenheinz brandishes an M16 assault rifle on the album cover of Persecution Mania
- He carries a Dissipator variant of an M16 with an underslung grenade launcher on the cover of Agent Orange
- Cover Version: "Iron Fist" and "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead, "Don't Walk Away" and "Turn Your Head Around" by Tank, "Cold Sweat" by Thin Lizzy, "Angel Dust" by Venom, "20000 Feet" by Saxon, "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen and the Live in der Zeche Carl VHS features a live cover of The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop".
- Chainsaw Good: What Knarrenheinz has on his left arm on the artwork for Code Red.
- Death Metal: Not themselves: but their older music would be a huge influence to such. They did, however, give the genre a shot for one album, Tapping The Vein, which displays prominent deathrash elements.
- Epic Rocking:
- "My Atonement", "Christ Passion" , "Agent Orange", "Magic Dragon" and "Capture the Flag" clock at around 6 minutes.
- "Reincarnation" almost hits the eight-minute mark.
- Horrible History Metal: Somewhat of a given considering their lyrics.
- I Am the Band: Tom Angelripper basically defines the band.
- I Love the Smell of X in the Morning: The song Napalm in the Morning begins with Colonel Kilgore of Apocalypse Now fame saying that famous quote.
- Lead Bassist: Tom is a type A, B, and a C, being a highly skilled bassist as well as the vocalist and songwriter.
- Mascot: Knarrenheinz, a soldier wearing a gas mask.
- Miniscule Rocking: Sometimes, mostly on Get What You Deserve - only four songs are longer than three minutes on that one.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally around 9. Sometimes goes down to 8 (even bordering on 7 for their absolute lightest, most Motörhead and Punk Rock-influenced songs), and their absolute heaviest songs are a soft 10.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Thrash Metal, Black Metal, and Speed Metal all into one.
- New Sound Album: Although Sodom is always rooted in Speed Metal and Thrash Metal, some of their albums (especially during The '90s) have toyed around with their overall sound.
- Expurse of Sodomy was their first Thrash Metal release (as opposed to Venom-like Black Metal).
- Better Off Dead got rid of the little black metal that their sound still contained by this point and leaned towards traditional metal and hard rock alongside thrash.
- Tapping the Vein was more aggressive and Death Metal-influenced, Sodom probably being the only massive influence to death metal that later actually tried out the genre they helped create.
- Get What You Deserve had much shorter song lengths and frequently bordered on crossover thrash.
- Masquerade in Blood sounds more like Motörhead than anything else they had done before.
- Revolving Door Band: Angelripper is the only constant member.
- Long-Runner Line-up: Though the Angelripper/Bernemann/Schottkowski lineup managed to last 13 years (from 1997 until 2010)
- Satan: A common lyrical theme in their early days.
- War Is Hell: Though this became their main lyrical subject later.
- Thrash Metal: One of the "Three Teutonic Kings" of the genre along with Kreator and Destruction, though Sodom is arguably the heaviest of the three.