Written by Alex Stojanovic
Down On Your Knees
Out Of The Frontline Trench
Agent Orange (Re-recorded)
Tom Angelripper - Vocals & bass
Frank Blackfire - Guitars
Yorck Segatz - Guitars
Stefan Huskens - Drums
Release Date: November 22, 2019
Label: SPV/Steamhammer Records
When the band released Decision Day back in 2016, I wasn't really impressed with it. However, these two EPs have me really looking forward to the new album that's to come. Out Of The Frontline Trench features three brand new songs, as well as a re-recording of "Agent Orange" and a live recording of "Bombenhagel". Vocally, Tom is sounding just as vicious as ever. One of the things that didn't end up working on Decision Day was Tom's overuse of the throaty black metal type vocals. They're not horrible, but several songs called for his signature shouting vocals, which there was hardly any of. I felt that his throaty vocals were there just for the sake of it. I'm glad that he brought them back on the new songs on this EP.
The new tracks: "Genesis 19", "Out On The Frontline Trench" and "Down On Your Knees" are all vicious thrashing numbers guaranteed to start a mosh pit from the first note. I will say that what tends to garner a chuckle is Tom's pronunciation of "cyanide", where he pronounces it as "cee-uhn-eed", which can be heard in the chorus of "Down On Your Knees". It's not the first time he's done a mispronunciation of a word. On the Epitome Of Torture title track, he pronounces "epitome" like "epi-tomb", which certainly garnered chuckles for many. However, that just adds to the memorability.
As I mentioned before, re-recordings of classic tracks usually tend to get mixed reactions. Many people tend to give classic bands flack because they wonder why a band would do such a thing to an already perfect song. I have no problem with bands doing re-recording classic tracks, just as long as the new recordings sound good, and if they're done for the right reasons. In this case, the re-recording of the band's classic "Agent Orange" hits the mark. They basically re-recorded it to sound the way they would play it live today, where Tom replaced his rasping voice with his shouting vocals.
To cap it all off, the live recording of "Bombenhagel" also works really nicely because it gives people who have yet to see the current lineup a live a sample of what the current lineup sounds like in a live setting. After a kind of disappointing album with Decision Day, Sodom has managed to get me excited again for the next studio album with Out Of The Frontline Trench. Thou shall fail to sit still when ye ears are blessed by the savage new thrash attack from the German thrash masters!
Highs: The return of Angelripper's shouting vocals is a huge plus.
Lows: The re-recording of "Agent Orange" will probably get some mixed reactions.
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