Patrick Stott | Rolleston, Canterbury, New Zealand | 03/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As one of the unholy triumvirate of German Thrash, Sodom was always heavier and more evil sounding than either Kreator or Destruction, and owed a huge debt to Motorhead and Venom. Second album `Persecution Mania' recorded in 1987 was a huge step up from the earlier, more primitive output, with a few dents hammered out of the unrelenting Sodom war machine.
As a three piece band Sodom were never going to be overly technical. The riffing is as basic as you'll ever find anywhere, but let's face it, riffs are what Thrash Metal is all about, and these sound good.
The album's lyrical content showed a transition taking place. The cheesy Satanic imagery was on the outer, being replaced by a more thoughtful anti-war lyrical stance.
The first of the anti-war songs, "Nuclear Winter", has a similar wailing guitar effect Slayer used, and indicated the band were lifting their game as far as complexity went. Frank Blackfire's solos through the song are chaotic and far from precise, but it doesn't seem to matter.
The other anti-war song "Bombenhagel" (literal translation "hail of bombs") pointed directly where the classic `Agent Orange' was going to go. The band finally explored dynamics outside just playing as fast as they could. It links several slower passages with heads down thrash outs and bass solos, and pinches the militaristic melody from "Das Lied der Deutschen" (the German national anthem), perhaps as a comment on Germany's conflict filled past. The song finally descends into an ad-libbed groove conclusion.
And the Motorhead influence? Try a cover of the always gutsy "Iron Fist". The simplistic but effective bass line is seems perfectly suited to the album, almost like it was written for Sodom, and Angelripper's take on Lemmy's lyrics add a vicious tone.
"Conjuration" borrows a little from "Overkill" and even the previously aired "Iron Fist", with a vigorous, bass driven theme and a riff which is simplicity itself. It first appeared as "Satan's Conjuration" on the band's early demo `Victims Of Death'.
Often though, Sodom careen along like a runaway train, often playing far too fast for their own good, only just managing to rein things moments before derailment. The title track is a perfect example. Drummer Chris Witchhunter has never been technically proficient, but was usually adequate enough. He seemed to be trying to play catch up on the track, while Angelripper had difficulty trying to spit out the multi-syllabic lyrics. Only Frank Blackfire seemed to cope with the pace of the song, firing out riffs and solos with ease.
"Outbreak Of Evil" and the three tracks from the `Expurse Of Sodomy' single were added to the album on its re-release. "Outbreak Of Evil" came from the overtly Satanic and wonderfully primal `In The Sign of Evil' EP, while the other three tracks sound little different to the majority of the album.
While not the Thrash essential `Agent Orange' was, `Persecution Mania' is a terrifying monster of an album when put alongside pallid, limp offerings of the time like Megadeth's `Peace Sells', Testament's `The Legacy' or Exodus' `Pleasures Of The Flesh'."
BRILLIANT THRASH FOR THE THINKING METAL FAN
LLB | Mississauga, Ontario Canada | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"absolute gem of a thrash band, so much to say lyrically and musically. these guys have always been a breath of fresh air choosing to stay away from the generic stereotypes of metal like the cheesy evil obsessed and laughable satan references. much of their material stems from the sins of WAR and much more relevant topics. oh ya, they also kick ass, hope you have forgiving neighbours. play it loud, cheers"
Sodom - 'Persecution Mania' (SPV)
Mike Reed | USA | 04/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Probably one of the planet's unholiest bands,that for sure.Didn't even know until recently that these scream-until-you're-dead black metal merchants were even still together.This CD is the band's second effort and maybe one of their best to date.Tracks that about made my wall clock fall were "Nuclear Winter","Outbreak Of Evil",their Motorhead cover "Iron Fist","My Atonement" and "The Conqueror".Line-up:Angel Ripper-bass&vocals,Aggressor-guitar&vocals and Witch Hunter-drums.I'm assuming these aren't their REAL names.Should appeal to fans of Forbidden,Exodus,Onslaught,S.O.D. and King Diamond."
Sodomaniacs and 80s thrash fans unite!
M. T. Chelmowski | Netherlands | 12/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some of my earliest memories in the metal scene were the furious antics of Sodom. These German thrashers were one of those bands that drew me into the wonderful world of speed and aggression that I never heard before. Persecution Mania was one of those rare gems that never left my CD player for longer than a couple of months. The band was heavily influenced by thrash/speed metal bands like Motorhead, Venom, and Mercyful Fate and like their predecessors they often touched on dark subject matter but kept it somewhat nearer to home in general. By that I mean that they abandoned the demons and fantasy creatures in favor of real life violence and horror. Sodom being German and this being the mid 80s, the ubiquitous theme of Nuclear Holocaust was of course present in the form of the opening track `Nuclear Winter'.It is a record which carefully balances on the line between death and thrash metal without ever disappointing fans of both these genres. Simple, blistering, furious, no holds barred, no subtlety. These epithets really sum up the record in one sentence. Add to this a solid pinch of earnestness and you have a classic on your hands. This album contains many of the audience favorites like 'Nuclear Winter' or 'Outbreak of Evil' and not in the least the title track 'Persecution Mania'. The rec ord starts pummelling you in the face relentlessly from the very first riffs played by the legendary Frank Blackfire. They are not only speedy but also executed quite flawlessly as is the majority of this record. In my opinion it is Blackfire's contribution what makes this record and others by this band so great. Nothing but relatively simple chords and riffs interspersed with aptly placed solos. Many of the tracks even though somewhat limited in depth more than make up for it in pure energy. That energy has to me always remained a trademark of Sodom even on some of their less successful releases of latter years. Another amazing trait of Sodom is the ability to insert copious doses of tongue-in-cheek humor into their recordings without it seeming to be forced or out of place. The unforgettable rendition of 'Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles' during 'Bombenhagel' or the almost cheerful, happy sounding opening riffs of 'Conjuration' always manage to raise a smile on my face. They continued that tradition on their later albums with varied success. Now granted, the humor in their recordings is not immediately apparent to everyone, I just happen to have a rather warped sense of humor.If you're looking for technical antics and complex song structures skip ahead to other bands. If what you're looking for is earnest aggression and real-life horrors this is a record you should pick up and certainly won't regret it. The songs are catchy enough to draw you straight into the record and never let go without sounding too cheesy. Sodom are classic band of the thrash era and even though they may have failed the immense critical acclaim of some of their peers they are definitely a band that you should check out. Persecution Mania is a good kick off point. The only weak point that I can point out is the lack of complexity and somewhat one dimensional songs. But then again this is thrash. You're supposed to bang your head and not ponder on modern philosophy.8/10"
Sodom Best, German Thrash Classic!
TKitO | Hong Kong | 07/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Persecution mania is a Thrash Classic, It's one of the most Evil Thrash Metal album I ever heard! Even Many other black metal bands don't as evil as Sodom, Those raw recording, Raw, Simple and fast guitar riff, Satan and Evil image*, [*songs like Christ Passion, Outbreak of Evil] With Tom Angelripper demon like Voice! It's like a primitive form of Black Metal!
Nuclear Winter, Persecution Mania, Christ Passion, Outbreak of Evil and Sodomy and Lust are The standout in this album,
Nuclear Winter and Persecution Mania just two classic Sodom songs.
Christ Passion and Sodomy And Lust just some of the most evil moment from Sodom, Plus Sodomy and Lust got some Most Evil and Best Guitar Riff I ever heard!
Outbreak of Evil is The most simply song I ever heard, I'm sure who plays guitar for 2 months is already know how to play the whole song, But it's simply amazing!!! Very great song and Evil as Hell!
Many people talk about Persecution and Agent Orange, which one is better? Agent Orange got more heavy clean production, Songs Sounds More complex, Intense and Aggressive, Persecution Mania Sounds more raw and Evil! Well, Both are Masterpiece and I love them all!!!
Together with Kreator Pleasure To Kill are two of the most Raw Thrash Classic from Germany! A MASTERPIECE!!!!"