We hit upon the idea to re-record this intro from our 1988 tour in the rehearsal room when we were in the process of planning the setlist for our upcoming gigs and going through our old stuff. And bingo, we came up with a name. It sees us embrace our band history without ever forgetting our roots.
SODOM & GOMORRAH
The ideal opener, as far as I am concerned. This title has all the typical Sodom trademarks. In the 1980s, parts of the song were arranged in a totally different way. The structures were more complex and tailored to the vocalist. Countless masterpieces that we love dearly to this day (among them a lot of our own material) served as a blueprint. You sometimes hear that bands used to develop their songs together in the rehearsal room, which is something we still do today.
The lyrics describe a very delicate situation in the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. That didn't please the Lord at all and his anger rained down on them in the form of fire and brimstone ...
A typical thrash grenade that could only have been penned by Frank. To me the song sounds like a lost gem from our Persecution Mania days and takes me back to a glorious past.
In a very dark chapter of our history, this term (originally old Greek for "death", "dying") was abused to justify atrocities and murder as "mercy killings". From today's point of view, everybody should have the right to decide between life and their own death.
One of the first titles we wrote after the line-up change in 2017. To me it symbolises the departure to a new Sodom era. With its combination of melancholy riffs and super speedy trash attacks, this song was practically predestined to open our most recent live shows.
Again, the lyrics are about the destruction of S&G through the hand of God (in reality it was probably down to a meteorite impact ...) and the story of Lot and his daughters. The Bible provides plenty of historical background and you can learn a lot about people's lives at that time. Even non-believers, among which I count myself, should read it occasionally.
NICHT MEHR MEIN LAND
We haven't used this kind of mix of blast beats and midtempo riffing very often in the past. Now the time seems right again. Particularly since we've enlisted a drummer who can handle these sorts of intricacies. I still recall our sound engineer Siggi saying: "Merciless - one of the best Sodom songs of all time," and I couldn't agree more.
We'd originally planned an English lyric for this title, but why not do something in German again for a change? I grew up during the sixties and seventies, and the 1980s were my most formative years. Notwithstanding all gloomy predictions and starry-eyed idealists, I must admit: Things really were better back then. We currently live in a world full of fear and uncertainty. And I also think of future generations who will have to carry the can and pay for our mistakes. On top of everything else there's the Covid pandemic. It makes the ice of ignorance melt, revealing a big heap of shit, full of social injustice and grievances.
One of my faves on the album. Yorck's awesome main riff cuts right through you (or at least through me), the pre-chorus goes under your skin. The solo part is heavy metal in its purest form. This is another track where I was glad to have a drummer who can play tough and precise bars, like a doctored Glock 20 in fully automatic mode. Again, the lyric is about a serial killer. He doesn't kill out of greed, revenge or political frustration. He kills because he wants to watch a person die. The title is obviously a play on words and was inspired by a visit to the shooting range and a swig from the Jacky bottle.
This number is as deep as the Pacific Ocean and as powerful as a tsunami. And once again our guitarist Yorck has proved to be a first-rate composer. In retrospect, parts of the song remind me of Slayer's "Show No Mercy", but that was probably totally unintentional. Unlike the songs "Tribute to Moby Dick/Silence is Consent" from our GWYD album, which are about the unfortunately still topical and totally pointless mass killing of whales, this one is about the early days of whaling, which was necessary for survival at the time, and the story of Captain Ahab and his deadly revenge campaign against one of God's creatures. The same-named novel by Herman Melville is of course essential reading and the movie starring Gregory Peck a definite must-see.
"We don't play this music to make friends" ... that was one of our mottos in the early 1980s. Basically, not much has changed about that. And sometimes we just can't help being totally without taboos and inhibitions, unleashed and aggressive. In the end, all that's left are black ashes and the despair about the uncontrollable and inhuman world in which we live, in the form of this musical offering.
And that's precisely how this lyric was written, born from my ponderings about a future that we no longer have and that leaves me aghast....
Another masterpiece courtesy of Frank. Here you can hear his passion for acute and tough-as-nails thrash riffs, combined with his penchant for classic rock guitarists from the sixties and seventies. The middle part may sound a little unusual to the inclined listener, but the title has always been and continues to be awesome. We know full well that we don't have to follow every trend and that we basically don't fit into any pigeon hole. But personally, I've always loved accomplished and creative compositions such as this.
It's about the eternal battle of a few for a righteous world and the futile undertaking of fighting and conquering an enemy that is smaller than a grain of sand (a quote by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen ... hahaha ...). And only the privileged northern European countries will benefit from an effective vaccine. The virus will mutate globally and at some point, whether we like it or not, people from the southern hemisphere will migrate to the north and gain access to our domestic comfort zone, with or without violence.
WALDO & PIGPEN
A typical thrash thunderstorm, again written by Frank, in the style of the material that was so popular on our Agent Orange album.
W&P (those were their code names) are two helicopter pilots who came under heavy fire during their deployment on Vietnamese territory. Nothing unusual really, but the recordings of the radio traffic between the two were rediscovered in 2016. You only have to picture yourself in their almost hopeless situation to understand what mortal fear is. Pigpen (Mark Garrison) later wrote a book about his experiences in that futile war.
Fancy a little punk rock? Why not? If that's what you're into. Plus a little chorus chanting and gritty bass sound, and what you get is the ideal get-out number for upcoming Sodom shows (perhaps in 2026???). But not to worry, Bombenhagel will remain part of the set. I for one can't wait ... Cheers
Oh, and of course the lyric: We really have to watch out or we'll end up whiling away as spineless creatures, staggering across this planet as an insignificant species. Perhaps as individuals with implanted chips, with no opinions of our own? Remote-controlled through the data media implanted in our heads? Science fiction? Who knows ...
So, here it is ... my favourite on this album. I can hardly believe or indeed describe how much I love this song. I'm pretty sure it sets the direction for our next album. And in the meantime, I'm convinced that it's the clever sequence and combination of notes in our twelve equal system that makes music (... generally ...) so diverse. Lord, I wish we'd known that back then ...
Often in a war situation, soldiers find themselves having to direct their weapons against their own comrades who are holed up close to enemy positions. These victims were accepted as part and parcel of the overall victory. Large numbers of supposed enemy planes were also shot down ...