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Review of the Album "M -16" by German Thrash Metal Band Sodom

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Sodom's 10th Studio Release is a Concept Album

M-16 is the 10th full length album by German thrash metal band Sodom and if Code Red was any indication of how great that album was, this next one is almost as good. The album is a concept album about the Vietnam War and it can be said that this approach may as well be new territory for these guys because they had not done something like this before. Whether it is coincidence or just at random, I stumbled upon this album almost 20 years after its release on October 22, 2001 (the release date). There are bands previously that had recorded concept albums such as Blind Guardian when they recorded Nightfall in Middle Earth in 1998. But instead of fantasy based lyrical themes, Sodom instead focuses on a major real life issue such as the effects and horrors of a war in Southeast Asia.

If the Vietnam War had not even occurred then obviously Sodom would not have written a concept album about it and we would have a different album title but the music would still be thrash metal. Given the history and the tendencies of this band, the lyrics still would have more than likely still focused on political themes by this point in time.

Why the Album M-16 Shows the Evolution of the Band Sodom

The third song “Napalm in the Morning” in terms of its style resembles Kreator. Those two bands must have studied and observed each other’s musical approaches or something like that. Near the end of the album, the very catchy “Marines” is lyrically about what the song’s title is. These marines fight and die for their country. So the song is trying to point out that in a way we should keep our system clean. The chorus is the most memorable part of the song as Thomas delivers a performance worth remembering. M-16 also shows the evolution of the band Sodom. While the previous album Code Red did have lyrical themes about politics and war, this album focuses on one single major historical moment while lyrically the band Sodom hasn’t really changed much. I see that approach that lets me know that the band Annihilator may have been influenced by these guys.

Final Thoughts About Sodom's 10th Studio Album

20 years into their career, Sodom delivers another album that is worthy of praise of the highest degree. However, not all is perfect on this 10th chapter of the Sodom. For one thing, many of the song titles are negative words. Then there is the cover song at the end which is not good at all. But if that’s all there is to complain about this album, then not much is flawed with it. To put it more simply, the song titles are related to the vocabulary we would use to describe the situation in times of war. For Germany’s Sodom, the album M-16 while being a concept album about one of the bloodiest wars in the history of the world is still a memorable album even for Sodom’s standards because this is an album that lovers of heavy riffing should enjoy.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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