SODOM (Music History)
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Sodom was formed by Tom Angelripper and Aggressor in 1982 in the western German industrial town of Gelsenkirchen. They were mostly influenced by bands like Motörhead, Tank, Raven, and Venom.
They soon found a drummer called Bloody Monster who was quickly replaced by Chris Witchhunter, with whom they released two demos, 1982/83's Witching Metal & 1984's Victims of Death, before signing a deal with SPV GmbH. After a 1984 gig in Frankfurt (with Destruction & Tankard), Manfred Schütz of SPV GmbH approached the band & spoke the legendary sentence "You guys are so bad, you will sell a lot of records!" This led to the recording of their debut EP In the Sign of Evil. Missing was Aggressor, who'd left the band. He was replaced by Grave Violator (recommended to the band by Kreator's Mille Petrozza), who also wouldn't stay very long. A full album's worth of material was intended to be recorded for In the Sign of Evil, but problems with the label caused the release to be truncated to an EP.
In Grave Violator's place, Michael Wulf joined, just to leave the band shortly after the recordings of what would be their first full-length album, 1986's Obsessed by Cruelty, to join Kreator (where he would last only one show). He later died in 1993 in a motorcycle accident. Obsessed by Cruelty was entirely re-recorded (also in 1986) with another short-time guitarist at the stipulation of the record company, though confusingly both versions ended up being released. The new recording (featuring additional song "After the Deluge") was used by Steamhammer for the European release, but for the American release through Metal Blade, the original rejected recording was accidentally used instead. Over the years, mislabeled reissues of the album have only served to further muddy the waters, with the original recording ending up being the more widely heard version.
After Obsessed by Cruelty was released, the band abolished their Satanic image and replaced it with the (pacifistic-motivated) war theme that can be found on most of Sodom's records. With their new guitarist Frank Blackfire, the most legendary Sodom line-up recorded two albums (plus a live album, Mortal Way of Live, the first of various Sodom releases which had a censored cover in Germany): Persecution Mania (which was the first Sodom album produced by the band's long-time producer Harris Johns and also was the first cover to feature the band's mascot "Knarrenheinz") and Agent Orange (including the single "Ausgebombt"). This album made Sodom the first German thrash band to enter the charts, reaching #36 on the German Media Control charts.
Blackfire left in 1989 (like Destructor before, he joined Kreator) and was replaced by ex-Assassin guitarist Michael "Micha" Hoffmann.
In 1992, Tom fired Chris Witchhunter after increasing bouts with substance abuse. Atomic Steif, who would stay in the band until 1996 (and, like many former Sodom members, was still embittered that Tom fired him), became the new drummer.
From 1997 to 2010, Sodom had a consistent line-up of Tom Angelripper, Konrad "Bobby" Schottkowski, and Bernemann. In 2001, Tom was awarded double platinum for more than a million Sodom albums sold, which may or may not include the various solo albums he released as Onkel Tom Angelripper.
In 2007, Tom re-assembled the In the Sign of Evil membership (Witchhunter and Grave Violator) to re-record the original EP and other songs from the same era and release it as the full-length album it was originally intended to be under the name The Final Sign of Evil.
Sodom collaborated with famous German schlager singer/actor Roberto Blanco in 2011, making a commercial intended to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease. He also joined them on stage at various gigs (including Wacken 2011) for a metal rendition of his song "Ein bisschen Spaß muss sein".
- In the Sign of Cruelty (7", Sodomania Records)
- In the Sign of Sodom (12", Gomorrah Records)
- "Sepulchral Voice" on Speed Kills II - The Mayhem Continues (Music for Nations, 1986)
- "Blasphemer" on Speed Metal (Metal Blade, 1987)
- "Deathlike Silence" on The Best of Metal Blade Vol. 2 (Metal Blade, 1987)
- "Ausgebombt" on The Future of Metal is Now - The Steamhammer Compilation (Steamhammer, 1990)
- "Remember the Fallen" on Thrash the Wall (Roadrunner, 1990)
- "Obsessed by Cruelty" on Giants of Rock - The Metal Decade 1986-87 Vol. 4 (EastWest, 1991)
- "Ausgebombt" on Giants of Rock - The Metal Decade 1988-89 Vol. 5 (EastWest, 1991)
- "Agent Orange" on Ich Zahl' Nicht Mehr! (Steamhammer, 1992)
- "1000 Days in Sodom" on In the Name of Satan (A Tribute to Venom) (GUN Records, 1994)
- "Wachturm" on Heavy Vol. 3 (Steamhammer, 1994)
- "Agent Orange" on Rock & Metal Factory (Disky, 1997)
-"Let's Break the Law" on So What ?! A Tribute to Anti-Nowhere League (Impact Records, 1997)
- "I'm a Rebel" on Tribute to Accept Vol. I (Nuclear Blast, 1999)
- "Elke" on Götterdämmerung - Tribut an die Beste Band der Welt (dedicated to the punk rock band Die Ärzte, 2001)
- "Outbreak of Evil" on Lords of Chaos - The History of Occult Music (Prophecy Productions, 2002 / Index Verlag, 2008)
-"The Struggle Within" on Metallica - A Tribute to the Black Album (Metal Hammer, 2011)
- "Lifeline" (Sacrilege cover) on Rock Hard No.372 Compilation
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