Reviews roundup – Sodom vs. Vivaldi Metal Project vs. Sari Schorr vs. Asenblut
Steamhammer / SPV
It’s thirty five years since Sodom were formed by Tom Angelripper in 1981. This is their fifteenth album and you’d think they would have nothing left to say. Well, you’d be wrong as this is possibly their finest album in a long career.
It’s certainly the most ferocious album they’ve unleashed with some added melodic death metal riffs to bolster their patented thrash sound. The guitar sound in particular seems to have risen to a new level. And that, allied to some of their finest songs makes this one of the best out and out metal albums of the year to date.
It’s hard to pick highlights with “Sacred Path”, the title track of their 2014 EP, “Caligula” and “Belligerence” my current favourites. Long term fans will find the thrash side of things as good as ever, and anyone new dipping in will find themselves captured.
It’s out in a multitude of formats with digipak CD (+ poster), double gatefold 180 gram red vinyl LP with bonus track, (+ CD in paper sleeve), and limited edition (to 1,000) box set, containing Digi, LP, poster, sticker, button, patch, flag and more.
VIVALDI METAL PROJECT
The Four Seasons
Pride & Glory
The Vivaldi Project is the brainchild of Italian keyboard player Giuseppe Iampieri who has had a passion for Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ since childhood. He dreamt of making a metal version and after enrolling fellow Italian Alberto Rigoni finally got the ball rolling.
Things get off to a shaky start as the opening number which features metal legend Rob Rock isn’t actually by Vivaldi at all!. A bit of a WTF moment there, although it’s a decent enough metal tune. So it’s track two that really gets the show going.
Now I’m sure classical purists will be falling over themselves to decry the addition of guitars and vocals to a classical masterpiece, but stop for a moment to appreciate the arrangements and orchestrations which are just fantastic. The melodies are largely intact and the assorted international cast, who include the likes of Mark Boals (Malmsteen, Royal Hunt), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Angra), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Dani Löble (Helloween), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation) and countless others really seem to get into the project.
It’s not faultless,but I have nothing but admiration for someone who has a dream, goes for it and delivers something of value.
Sari Schorr has released a single of the old Leadbelly classic, “Black Betty,” which is featured on her debut album, ‘A Force Of Nature’, out on September 2.
It slows the tune right down, amps up the bludgeon and Ms Schorr delivers a powerful vocal. It’s certainly different from most modern versions which seem to just copy Ram Jam, and with the accompanying video, it should certainly get people snapping up the album.
Back to Germany now for some more thrash metal and it’s the third album from Asenblut and first on their new label, which should hopefully raise their profile a wee bit.
Unlike Sodom, Asenblut have added some black metal touches to their thrash metal sound. Chuck in some pagan/folk metal embellishments and you’re left with a very powerful album. They certainly know how to brutalise you and songs like “Offenbarung 23” and “Schatten über Arkham” will leave your eardrums reeling.
I won’t be the first or last person to point out some Amon Amarth moments, but if you’re going to sound a wee bit like someone else, then choose someone magnificent. Have a listen to “Berserkerzorn” with its festival friendly tempo and great guitars. It comes with a great production and is chock full of metal madness. Highly recommended.
It’s out on CD and a limited boxset (500 units) with CD Digipak, flag (110x75cm), wristband, poster booklet, signed postcard, sticker, certificate of authenticity, everything in a clamshell box.