Sound — 8
Thrash revival gives us another more than solid album, on In War And Pieces Sodom takes an approach fairly similar to Kreator's on Hordes of Chaos -fast and heavy thrash metal but at times very melodic. Don't be deceived by that word "melodic" because Sodom still do a lot of blasting in the 200+ bpm range and all of this is presented to you in a clean and crispy production(something for which Sodom are not best known).The album has been made even more fresh by the light use of the oriental scale, however it's not all good news I'm afraid. For some reason Sodom have given several songs that are actually good ballad-like intros and structures, the intro of "God Bless You" is perfect example of how not to use clean guitars in thrash and the first 40 seconds of "Through Toxic Veins" is like something off the Black Album, the song does eventually start to sound like Sodom so I wouldn't say that it's that bad. Another songs worth mentioning is "Nothing Counts More Than Blood" which opens with an epic, to say the least, riff. For those who prefer the old Sodom style there are "Hellfire" and "Knarrenheinz" which sound more like the late 80s. In War And Pieces is a mix of different styles so it's for the better part not tiring as the previous album was.
Lyrics — 7
Sodom's lyrics mostly revolve around violence, war, blasphemy and human disintegration and this album is little different. With that said one can definitely see a trend in the lyrics over the years, lately the lyrics have an almost philosophical tendency which is very different from the early bloodthirsty style.Again Tom "Angelripper" shouts his way through the album but this time his vocals are not as massive as they once were. Angelripper's near guttural vocals are now much more tamed and cleaner but this ads more to the overall freshness of the album so it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Overall Impression — 8
Well after "The Final Sign Of Evil" any improvement would be welcomed but In War And Pieces is more than a simple oil change, it's almost an complete rework at some points. It doesn't go to far where you couldn't say that it's really Sodom but it goes far enough to show that there still a strong impulse in the band. If you are not a fan of the few ballad minutes don't worry because Sodom still do what they do best: thrashing violently.