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Sodom - Tapping The Vein review


206 users:
Band: Sodom
Album: Tapping The Vein
Release date: 1992

01. Body Parts
02. Skinned Alive
03. One Step Over The Line
04. Deadline
05. Bullet In The Head
06. The Crippler
07. Wachturm
08. Tapping The Vein
09. Back To War
10. Hunting Season
11. Reincarnation

Who put death in my thrash metal? Or should I maybe ask who put thrash in my death metal? Well, the majority of the Sodom audience was less than impressed after the release of Better Off Dead, which was widely considered thin and weak, but let's also not forget that it had massive shoes to fill coming after the classic Agent Orange. The Germans decided to respond to the accusations of "turning soft" by delivering the ferocious and brutal Tapping The Vein, possibly the fastest and most extreme record in their career.

Guitarist Michael Hoffmann, who had replaced Frank Blackfire, did not last long in the lineup and the guitar playing duties were assigned to Andy Brings. The young guitarist fulfilled his role in shifting the band's sound towards yet another new direction, often playing heavier and more violent riffs at the speed of light. This tremendous speed is actually what makes amends for the impression of repetitiveness that is sometimes noticed in the riffing. Harris Johns' production aids the cause of aural annihilation, providing a fuller and louder guitar tone, as well as a raw and unpolished drum sound. Speaking of drums, this is Chris Witchhunter's last album with Sodom, with the exception of The Final Sign Of Evil, giving this release an extra sentimental value. Angelripper's throat-ripping vocals have always been quite distinguishable, but here Uncle Tom is growling more than ever before - or after for that matter - infusing this album with significant doses of death metal (listen to the frenzied attack "The Crippler" for example).

The thing with Tapping The Vein is that it was a totally unexpected release. Sodom seemed to be softening their sound with every full-length since Persecution Mania, so hearing the blasting first couple of songs, aptly named "Body Parts" and "Skinned Alive", leaves you in a state of shock, not knowing what hit you. The skull-piercing, slow riffing of "One Step Over The Line" that comes right after serves the same purpose, leaving the listener feeling devastated beyond salvation. Of course there is some meat here for the punk-loving thrashers like myself, such as the catchy "Bullet In The Head", the Motörhead-influenced "Back To War" and especially the mosh pit favourite "Wachturm". The keyboard-enhanced and progressive (!) "Reincarnation" provides a well deserved, somewhat calming ending in a record that, through its entire duration, pushes at the boundaries of thrash.

The only clearly bad thing here is the artwork, but I forgive them and I can also see a hidden meaning behind the cover of Tapping The Vein. Sadly, thrash metal was nearly dead and buried by 1992, but Sodom refused to go with the flow. Instead, the band remained the familiar warrior that has consistently been shattering your eardrums for more than three decades; this is a steroids-boosted version though, so be prepared for a merciless assault that will inject a fiery mixture of thrash and death metal into your veins.

"Adrenaline is pumping
Better you than me
I'm gonna make you bleed
I like brutality"

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 27.06.2017 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 28 users
28.06.2017 - 03:43
Awesome fucking album when i first heard it, it was the most brutal thing i had listened to up to that point
28.06.2017 - 14:18
Old Nick
Written by sbgmetal on 28.06.2017 at 03:43

Awesome fucking album when i first heard it, it was the most brutal thing i had listened to up to that point

I bought it when it came out and I agree with you, it's nice and brutal. I did like Better Off Dead slightly more though back then and still do now. I'm planning to review it as well at some point.
on and on south of heaven


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