Sound — 7
SODOM - The band hailed as one of the first, and most underrated Black Metal bands by Their debut LP - Obsessed By Cruelty, the gruesome German threesome hailing from Gelsenkirchen, switched directions when new guitarist Frank Gosdzik (or Blackfire)arrived to a full out Thrash Metal assault. Blackfire not only brought speed, and talent with him to the band in 1987, he installed the band's most persistent lyrical niche (even to the present day) - POLITICS. The Production wasn't near as good as what Germany's most famous Thrash Metal band Kreator, was getting in the time, but it didn't matter. The songs and the musicianship made up for themselves on this particular album. The most impressive aspect of this album without any doubt, is the creativity, the lyrics, and the BASS. Most Thrash Metal fans, regardless of taste or opinion, will simply tell you, Cliff Burton was Thrash's greatest Bassist. With Cliff gone by that time, I truly believe that the only thrash bassist better than Tom Such, (or Angelripper) at that time (1987) was Megadeth's David Ellefson. With tracks like Procession To Golgotha, Bombenhagel, and an amazing cover of Motrhead's Iron Fist, how could one honestly disagree with the skills and creativity he displayed on his bass in this landmark album. From the opening track on this album, Nuclear Winter, to the ending track - Bombenhagel, you knew this album had political messages, and was not to be taken lightly now as a Thrash Metal band, they were still heavy, and they were still very evil. Persecution Mania is a masterpiece in German Thrash Metal, END OF STORY!
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics were astounding, politically interesting, and even somewhat foreboding of all the historical/political events taking place at that time (who would dispute this fact with the Americans, and Soviets, were in the heat of the Cold War, with tracks like Nuclear Winter and Persecution Mania.) The lyrics fit. They fit very well, they made sense, they were interesting, and those are the simple facts. There wasn't a single lyrical passage on the entire album that seemed odd, out of place, or quite simply didn't make any sense at all. It's strange, you would think Tom Angelripper, wouldn't know English very well, especially with that thick and defined German accent, but he did, very, very well. The band even wrote lyrics that engaged the audience, some of the most classic and greatest Teutonic Thrash Metal sing-offs happens in their famous track (and frequent encore/show-closer) BOMBENHAGEL. That particular track is famous for many reasons, the lyrics are no exception: "As we heard the threatening sirens Warned against the bombing raid We cowered in a shelter They left us to our fate" Bombenhagel - Bombenhagel (x2) The lyrics were the main reason why I respected Sodom greatly as a Thrash Metal band. Most German Thrash Metal bands like Exumer, Wehrmacht, and Destruction, didn't have the ability to write great meaningful lyrics like Kreator, and Sodom, did at that particular time.
Overall Impression — 10
2/3 times when you ask a Sodomaniac what their favorite Sodom album is, they will hesitantly tell you - Agent Orange (1989). I say hesitantly because that's how good this album (Persecution Mania)really is. It is like asking a Megadeth fan Peace Sells...But Whose Buying? or Rust In Peace. Or asking a real MetallicA fan, Ride The Lightning, or Master Of Puppets....folks its like asking a Slayer fan to choose between Reign In Blood, South Of Heaven, AND Seasons in the Abyss. IT'S JUST TOO HARD TO CHOOSE FROM!! This album is everything that Sodom still represents to this day. This album is what a Thrasher DREAMS OF, this album is what you would use as as your supporting argument in a "Kreator vs Sodom debate...its just that damn good. Perhaps it is the greatest Teutonic Thrash Metal of all time, it's that good. The greatest songs off this album in my opinion are tracks: 1,2,3,4,6,7 and especially 9. ( Nuclear Winter,  Electrocution,  Iron Fist (Motorhead cover),  Persecution Mania,  Procession To Golgotha,  Christ Passion, AND  BOMBENHAGEL.) Bombenhagel is absolutely the defining track off this album, why not? It even ends with Deutschlandlied (German National Anthem). This is a must have in any thrash collection. If you are a fan of Teutonic Thrash, this is an album you listen to when your neighbors invite the cops over for a drink at 11:00PM. What I love most about Persecution Mania, is the all out thrash attack, the Crushing and astounding Bass-lines, the vocals, and Deutschlandlied at the end of Bombenhagel. What do I hate most? The production, it should have been better. If someone managed to steal this album from me...never mind, its under lock and key, no one can steal it, that's how much Persecution Mania means to me! If the band ever released a Remixed/Remastered version of this album, I'd be the first one to buy it. Support your (our) favorite bands! THRASH TILL DEATH!