Some bands rocket onto the scene, release a few albums, then disappear. Other groups keep plugging along year after year, enduring lineup changes and the fickleness of the music business, to keep doing what they love. Sodom definitely fall into the latter category.

For more than three decades the German trio have been crushing skulls and flying the flag of thrash metal. They show no signs of stopping any time soon with their latest opus Decision Day. Vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper has been there since the beginning back in 1981. Guitarist Bernemann has been in the band for 20 years now, with drummer Makka being the relative newcomer, joining in 2010.

Angelripper’s harsh vocal style has always given Sodom more bite than most thrash bands, and that’s the case on Decision Day. A moderate start gives way to galloping riffs on the opening track “In Retribution.” The longest song on the album at more than six minutes, it’s an interesting choice to kick off the disc, but it works.

The lyrics address many different topics ranging from aggressiveness between nations (“Belligerence”) to trading in animal trophies and bones (“Blood Lions”) to biblical themes (“Caligula”).

Drummer Makka delivers a strong performance and is up nice and loud in the mix. He’s front and center on the aptly titled “Rolling Thunder,” showcasing fills that are sometimes dextrous, other times crushing. Album closer “Refused To Die” is another highlight.

Sodom doesn’t break any new musical ground here, nor do they need to. They continue to write songs that are heavy and intense, but are also memorable and even catchy at times. That’s exemplified on the aforementioned “Blood Lions,” which alternates between head-nodding groove and frantic thrash along with a searing guitar solo.

Even though they follow a similar template, there’s still plenty of originality and creativity on display with Decision Day, making it an easy decision for Sodom fans to add this one to their collection.

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