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Tapping the Vein

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Album Review

For all of their acknowledged contributions to the death metal genre in its late-‘80's infancy, the fact remains that Germany's Sodom were, in essence, a thrash and speed metal band, ever bound to the mindset of an earlier, pre-death generation. So it was surprising, but not altogether shocking, in the wake of their touring humiliation by Brazilian death giants Sepultura, when Sodom attempted to make the transition from thrash to death themselves with 1992's Tapping the Vein. The adoption of bottom-heavy guitars, double kick-drum work, and a throatier delivery from main Tom Angelripper was evident as soon as the manic opening tandem of "Body Parts" and "Skinned Alive" blazed past (also note their horror-based lyrics, typical of death metal). But, although credit must go to Angelripper for at least trying to re-energize his band's diminishing career fortunes, the truth remains that Tapping the Vein is a merely competent, never stunning, ever-tentative death metal album. Occasional standouts like "One Step Over the Line" and "Bullet in the Head" are pretty darn good by most standards of the time, but, like the even more memorable "Hunting Season," which borrows a number of tricks form the above mentioned Sepultura, they're clearly following trends, not setting them like in years before. Any way you slice it, though, Sodom fans could do a lot worse in terms of the group's terribly pot-holed recording output than by picking up Tapping the Vein — there's definitely something here worth hearing.


Formed: 1981 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

This German black metal band's early lineup consisted of Tom Angelripper (bass/vocals), Aggressor (guitar/vocals), and Chris "Witchhunter" Dudek (drums). They were heavily influenced by thrash/speed metal bands like Motörhead, Venom, and Mercyful Fate, exploring the darkest subject matter possible. Aggressor quit the group before its first full-length album was released and was succeeded in turn by Grave Violator, Destructor, and Blackfire. Mortal Way of Life, recorded on a European tour, was the...
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Tapping the Vein, Sodom
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: 01 August 1992

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