Sodom dreams of a 'Big Teutonic 4' tour

Kreator, Destruction and Tankard would round out such a lineup

By Peter Lindblad

Sodom's Tom Angelripper (photo by
Robert Schmidt)
America wants desperately to see more of the Big Four together, but Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth haven’t been able – or willing, perhaps, despite comments to the contrary – to bring their epic thrash-metal spectacle to the States.

Meanwhile, the States are, for all intents and purposes, virgin territory for Sodom, one of the most ferocious and rugged speed-metal outfits Germany has ever produced. Bassist/vocalist Tom Angelripper, the driving force behind Sodom and the only founding member left, wants to change that. And he’d like nothing better than to put together a “Big Teutonic 4” tour of Germanic thrash titans with Kreator, Destruction, and Tankard to conquer North America.

“I know that we have to talk about the U.S./North American tour, you know, but one of my dreams is to get … we have to talk about the Big Four and bring it up on the stage,” says Angelripper. “There’s a festival next month, Beastival [in Gieselwind, Germany], where all four bands play in a block, you know. And I get so many fans that want it on other stages in Germany or worldwide. It’s what I talk about. The next step is [to make it] real – whenever I talk to Mille [Petrozza] from Kreator, maybe we can do something between Christmastime, or the New Year. I also want to bring it to the U.S. and North America.”

Sodom, who will unleash their latest thrash-metal epistle, Epitome of Torture, on May 7 in the U.S. and Canada on Steamhammer/SPV, has always run into bad luck trying to organize U.S. jaunts.

“We never had a chance to do a big tour in America,” admits Angelripper. “We always had problems, you know. We never found very good serious promoters. We always had problems on the border. The last time we were supposed to play the Maryland Deathfest. The promoter said you have to go as tourists, but a band like Sodom, we can’t go as tourists. We have all our guitars, you know. And to do that, we have to go as a band; they know that we are Sodom and going to play there, you know. We need papers or a visa? I don’t know what it’s called, but [we need] working papers and all the stuff you need to go over.”

Other places are more accommodating, like metal-crazed South America for example.

“We never had any problems going to South America,” explains Angelripper. “We get our visa, we get our stuff, and we get a good deal, so we go. That is the thing. We are sitting at home waiting for offers. I think that would be a really good idea to get the four bands on a couple of stages in the U.S. and the Americas – that would be a dream, you know. To get all the four bands together, that’s what I’m working for and that’s my dream. The problem is different companies and agencies, they follow their own interests. They want to make money. All it takes is for the bands to say, ‘Yes, we’ll do it.’”

It would seem that a gathering of this magnitude would be a cash cow for all involved. Angelripper has no illusions, however, of drawing the kinds of massive crowds the Big Four saw during their Sonisphere Festival series run of 2010.

“It’s not like the Big Four, with Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer or whatever,” says Angelripper. “But it’s good for 2,000 or 3,000 people, you know. And if there’s any promoter that would help us do it, we will do it. I have a different booking agency than Kreator, you know. So we have to get at one table and talk about this shit. We want to go. We want to go to South America, to North America … anywhere.”

Any of those places would welcome Sodom with open arms upon hearing Epitome of Torture, an intense, punishing attack from start to finish that couches themes of war and peace in raging guitar riffs, slamming drums – from new drummer Markus “Makka” Freiwald – and bass that could cause a seismic event. And that’s exactly what Angelripper wanted to hear in this latest record.

“We did a kind of pre-production before, you know, and [producer] Waldemar [Sorychta] was also important in the songwriting and the arrangements you know,” reveals Angelripper. “And yes, we did talk about what we did with In War and Pieces, what we can change now, and when we started writing new songs actually, the most important thing was that we get a new drummer. It’s ‘Makka’ [Markus Friewald] on the drums nowadays, and we were able to do more heavier songs and more faster songs than on In War and Pieces.”

Angelripper also was displeased with the public reaction to In War and Pieces.

“We also talked about the sound,” he says. “There are some fans who told me that In War and Pieces sounds like a new metalcore band, which I hate. So we talked about how to get more Sodom spirit into the songs, more dirt … to pick up hate sounds, you know, we did a ton of re-editing with hate sounds, like Venom, you know. I thought [it should be] like when you listen to old Venom stuff, you know. I know we recorded [digitally], which is usual and also [cheaper] nowadays, but when I had the production sound, I wanted it to sound more on the low end, like in the ‘80s, you know. I wanted to get the Sodom spirit and the Sodom sound out, you know. But it was Waldemar who could help us. He’s a wonderful producer. It was important for me to spend the money not for a high-priced studio; it was better to spend the money for a producer who is going to help us from the beginning to the end.”

Waldemar’ influence is felt on Epitome of Torture, which will come out in three versions – a standard jewel case CD, a two colored LP plus three bonus tracks – double gatefold with printed innersleeves – and a limited-edition digipak, with two bonus tracks and a poster. For more information, visit

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