Written by Alex Stojanovic
Sodom & Gomorrha
Nicht mehr mein Land
Glock 'n Roll
Waldo & Pigpen
Release Date: November 27, 2020
Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records
Tom Angelripper - Bass & vocals / Frank Blackfire - Guitars / Yorck Segatz - Guitars / Toni Merkel - Drums
Now, I was not a fan of Decision Day when it came out. I found that album to be more on the mediocre side. One of the elements that made for the mediocrity was Tom's overuse of his black metal voice that didn't really seem to fit with a lot of the songs. I hoped that he would use his signature shouting voice a bit more as well. There were only two or three songs that really stood out on that entire album. That being said, a little part of me was a bit skeptical about what Sodom would produce next, but at the same time, I was confident that they could make another banger of an album.
After the instrumental intro track "Blind Superstition", we head into "Sodom & Gomorrha". Now, I tend to be picky about production a lot of times, but my first complaints after hearing this track were that Angelripper's vocals were way too low and pushed way in the background, making this song sound like it was written and recorded by an up-and-coming garage band. I'm not sure whether that was the band's intention all along, or it just came out that way. On top of that, the drum production is a little on the weak side as well. After a somewhat weak opening to the record, we come to "Euthanasia", which serves as redemption for the weak opening. It's a real thrashy attack that will have no issues gettings heads banging or windmilling. I believe this track should've switch places with "Sodom & Gomorrha".
After a few raging thrashers, the tempo is dialed back on "Nicht Mehr Mein Land", which translates to "Not My Country Anymore", and is the only song completely sung in German. This is certainly one of the highlights of the album. The tempo picks up right after that with "Glock 'n Roll", without a doubt one of the catchiest thrash numbers here. When we get to "The Harpooneer", it starts off with a very doom-y Sabbath-esque intro, but you're led into a false sense of security when the tempo picks up and it heads back into intense thrash territory in the verses. However, the slower tempo comes back for the chorus. When you see a track reach over the 7 minute mark, it could mean that the song will be a slow one all the way through, or a dynamic one with a good mix of slow, mid-tempo and fast. This one contains both fast and slow, but leans towards fast a bit more. The gritty bass intro on "Indoctrination" feels like a tribute to Lemmy due to its dirty tone, which is always welcome on a thrash album.
My wish on Decision Day sort of came true on Genesis XIX, and that was for Tom to incorporate a bit more of his signature shouting vocals as opposed to just sticking to his lower black metal style vocals. The tracks where he incorporates both vocal styles seem to stand out the most. There's plenty of fast and thrashy moments that will get you moshing in the comfort of your own bedroom, and a healthy amount of mid-paced moments to get heads banging and feet stomping. Now, Genesis XIX doesn't come close to the level of superiority as Epitome Of Torture, but it's a big step up from Decision Day.
Highs: The increased incorporation of Tom Angelripper's shouting vocals is a huge improvement over Decision Day.
Lows: "Sodom & Gomorrha", and slightly weak drum production
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