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One reviewer says of them, "Gives Metal a bad name, steering away potential converts in droves." Not surprising, given most critics' milky disregard for genuinely brutal music, and given that Sodom aren't exactly searching for converts. They've done well enough, thank you, with a small but loyal claque of fans who admire the band's refusal to compromise in ferocity or velocity. Their early albums from the '80s rolled out more heavy artillery than General Rommel, triggering a kind of arms race in Metal by pushing bands in Speed Metal, Death Metal and Black Metal to get tougher, move faster. Drum pound for pound and riff for riff, those early albums -- Obsessed by Cruelty, Persecution Mania and Agent Orange -- are right up there with Slayer's Reign in Blood and South of Heaven; and while the band's '90s material doesn't break any new ground, it still stomps and grinds admirably. Only a truly ingenious group of nihilists could make torture sound fun. Sodom have the skills to spare.
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