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Music DVD Review: Sodom – Lords Of Depravity Part II

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Sodom are one of the legends of German heavy metal and, along with Kreator and Destruction, they’re one of the big three of Teutonic thrash. They’ve been pounding out top-notch thrash since 1981, which was when the original line-up of Tom Angelripper, Bloody Monster, and Aggressor got together in an attempt to emulate bands like Motörhead, Saxon, Tank and Venom. A couple of demos later and they got their first record deal (and the first of many line-up changes), resulting with the EP, In The Sign Of Evil. This featured ever-present Tom Angelripper on vocals and bass, along with guitarist Grave Violator and drummer Chris Witchhunter.

Fast forward twenty years and Sodom released Lords Of Depravity Part I, which told the story of the band from 1982 until 1995, with backstage footage as well as rare photos and interviews with current and former members of the band, along with a live DVD.

Now, a mere five years on after Part I, Sodom have released Lords Of Depravity Part II. There is an insane amount of material on this DVD, as the double-disc set clocks in at over six hours in length. So you may want to take a day off work for this one. The history of the band picks up where Part I left off, taking in the twelve years from 1995 until 2007 on disc one, with disc two devoted to the band’s twenty-fifth-anniversary show at the Wacken festival in 2007.

The documentary part of the set is the weak link in the chain here, especially if you’ve seen Part 1, as ninety percent of the interesting things about any band usually happen in the early years when they’re all young and dumb. Oh, and naturally enough, all of the interviews are in German, so you’re going to have to practice your speed-reading skills to keep up with the subtitles. They’ve also wasted the wide-screen presentation by having the subtitles in the frame, rather than in the black space. For shame. However, it’s well made, and fans of the band will nevertheless enjoy it.

The real meat is over on disc two, where you get the band’s performance at Wacken Open Air in 2007. Despite a few production issues, it’s a fantastic show as the band ploughs through a hefty chunk of the their back catalogue, with utter gems like “City Of God,” “Christ Passion,” and “Sodomy And Lust” making a concerted effort to melt your TV. It’s been filmed in high definition, so those of you with new tellys are in for a treat. As a bonus, Tom Angelripper also managed to get as many of the former members of Sodom as possible to come and play on the tunes from their time in the band. A really nice touch, that one.

Add in a couple of videos, one for “F**k The Police” and another for “City of God,” and a really well-produced package and booklets, and it becomes an essential purchase for fans of thrash metal.

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