November 19th, 2010
Release length: 47:25
Right from the opening chords of the title track, “In War and Pieces”, it becomes clear that this is going to be another brutalizing Sodom album in the same vein of Thrash we’ve come to expect from the past few original full-length efforts. The speed on many of the songs is simply furious, and the music all together comes off as uncompromising. While there’s a good dose of brutal fast paced material, While the title track stands out nicely, it’s also some of the slower tracks that stand out on this recording, though sometimes don’t quite feature the same impact. Take “Storm Raging Up” for example. For the most part, it’s a standard mid-tempo track, having a little more of an old-school feel to it with some chugging riffs that sound like something Slayer might write, and a very simple chorus that actually can bring the music down a little slower, though it’s the bridges and guitar solo that really stands out on this track. Sadly, the song isn’t all that original, and while it’s a great song the first few times you hear it, there’s nothing too special to keep you coming back to it. However, the following track, “Feigned Death Throes”, moves between a much slower chugging pace to a hard hitting fluid mid-tempo, utilizing transitions between the two nicely to weave a catchy desolate track that has some chords throughout that really give off a sorrowful feeling that goes perfectly with the lyrics of the track, making this one of the most enjoyable tracks on the entire recording.
Other then “Storm Raging Up”, there isn’t anything on here that would really seem to degrade over time, or really share obvious similarities to any other established Thrash acts. In War and Pieces is comprised of nothing but solid Thrash from these legends. The only other track that one could argue shares similar qualities to other Thrash styles woould be “Soul Contraband” which has some reminiscing moments of a Slayer-like sound, but not enough that it hinders the enjoyment of the release. Of course, this marks a change in the band’s sound, which does happen around “Storm Raging Up”, which finds the band shifting gears from a brutal sound into a more generic, sometimes melodic, but well done, Thrash approach similar to that of their self-titled full-length effort. Most of these songs are at a chugging pace, or just come off more as standard Thrash without any real honest-to-goodness intensity to them that Sodom can so well put together and displays on “In War and Pieces” through “Through Toxic Veins”. Though, there’s no denying these are still great tracks. “Soul Contraband” has plenty of energy behind it with a powerful vocal performance, and “The Art of Killing Poetry” is a well done track that brings a slow to mid-tempo approach back and some off a little more melodic with a great guitar solo.
In War and Pieces makes for another fine Sodom release that genuinely doesn’t disappoint. Fans of this band or style in general will find plenty of great songs that span various Thrash ideas, such as simply brutal sounding material, to catchy or dismal atmospheric songs. While the band hasn’t necessarily outdone themselves, the release is definitely worth that long gap between original full-lengths, and is well worth every penny spent on it. If you haven’t heard of Sodom before, then shame on you, and take this release as a moment to experience these legends in what continues to be their metal prime.
01. In War and Pieces – 4:11
02. Hellfire – 3:07
03. Through Toxic Veins – 4:43
04. Nothing Counts More Than Blood – 3:49
05. Storm Raging Up – 5:08
06. Feigned Death Throes – 3:59
07. Soul Contraband – 3:50
08. God Bless You – 5:10
09. The Art of Killing Poetry – 4:38
10. Knarrenheinz – 3:37
11. Styptic Parasite – 5:13
|Initial Pressing Score: 9/10