The Underworld is brimming with excitement yet again as Sodom's return to the capital is sold out. It is surprising that they are not playing a larger venue, considering having sold out their first UK headlining show in twenty years only last year quite a while in advance. Nonetheless, those fortunate enough to score a ticket in time are not to be disappointed at tonight's array of thrash metal insanity.
Having played London earlier in the year at the Southern Cross Festival, Aussie black thrash titans Gospel of the Horns are back, opening with the vicious 'Gospel of the Horns' from the 'Eve of the Conqueror' release. The audience turn out has filled the Underworld surprisingly so, suggesting that their aforementioned London appearance had won over many. The music is unrelenting, raw and clearly influenced by the headliners. The stage presence of the four-piece is a formidable one, even with limited space on the stage, with plenty of headbanging encouraging the audience to do the same. Closing number 'Vengeance is Mine' from 'A Call to Arms' studs the set perfectly and the beer-stained audience appears to emphatically appreciate Gospel's efforts.
The crowd fill the venue with chants of "SODOM!" for what feels like a short eternity before the Teutonic thrash titans Sodom grace the stage and burst into the title track of their latest album 'In War and Pieces', instantly spurring a mass-scale mosh pit. Mainman Tom Angelripper's raspy vocals cut through the venue, accompanied by razor sharp guitar work. Their thrash metal is very raw and dark compared to their American '80s thrash peers, with a more patent punk influence. The setlist is quite the standard Sodom fare with a few surprises, showcasing tracks from throughout their career, but this is not a negative because the German trio's live staples have certainly been engineered to command a live show and do elicit fantastic reactions. The heated 'M16' receives a rabid reaction with bodies flying off the stage and never-resting pits. Angelripper does not appear to be distracted at all by the stage invaders, despite the microphone stands being knocked over, and even seems to greet a few if they remain on the stage for long enough. The ones that overstay their welcome have to deal with the protective roadies.
The familiarity of the setlist is not lost on the crowd as voices sing along to the older classics, such as 'Sodomy and Lust', 'Bombenhagel', 'Blasphemer', 'Ausgebombt' and 'Outbreak of Evil', and newer numbers including the rare 'Fuck the Police' and 'The Art of Killing Poetry'. Covers of Motörhead's 'Iron Fist' and a excerpt from their rendition of The Trashmen's 'Surfin' Bird' (which led into 'The Saw is the Law'). Although there are only three men on stage, the band offer up a stage presence that matches their music, with Angelripper making use of two microphones on stage to avoid being static.
After an encore including a crowd-uniting performance of 'Remember the Fallen', Sodom prove that despite their age, they are still as belligerent as ever and will continue putting on shows that are simply unmissable and entirely memorable. Hopefully they will return to London for another sold out show.