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Sodom was formed by Tom Angelripper and Aggressor in 1981 in the Western German industrial town of Gelsenkirchen. They were mostly influenced by bands like Motörhead, Tank, Raven, and Venom.

They soon found a drummer called Bloody Monster who was, however, quickly replaced by Chris Witchhunter, with whom they released two demos, “Witching Metal” and “Victims of Death” in 1982 and 1984, before signing a deal with SPV GmbH. After a gig in Frankfurt in 1984 (with Destruction and Tankard) Manfred Schütz of SPV GmbH came to the band and spoke the legendary sentence “You guys are so bad, you will sell a lot of records!”. This led to the recording of their debut EP “In the Sign of Evil”. Missing was Aggressor, who had meanwhile left the band. He was replaced by Grave Violator (recommended to the band by Kreator’s Mille Petrozza), who also wouldn’t stay very long. In his place, Michael Wulf joined, just to leave the band shortly after the recordings of their first full-length album “Obsessed by Cruelty” in 1986 to join Kreator (where he would last only one show). Michael Wulf died in a motorcycle accident in 1993.

After “Obsessed by Cruelty” was released, the band abolished their satanic image and replaced it with the (pacifistic motivated) war theme that can be found on most of Sodom’s records. With their new guitarist Frank Blackfire, the most legendary Sodom line-up recorded two albums (plus a live album, “Mortal Way of Live”, the first of various Sodom releases which had a censored cover in Germany): “Persecution Mania” (wich was the first Sodom album produced by the band’s long-time producer Harris Johns, and also had the first cover that featured the band’s mascot “Knarrenheinz”) and “Agent Orange” (including the single “Ausgebombt”).


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