The thrash metal band Sodom hails from Gelsenkirchen, Germany, where vocalist Tom Angelripper co-founded the group in 1981. Inspired by acts like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Sodom released the demo albums Witching Metal (1982) and Victims of Death (1984) before signing with the German label Steamhammer. In the Sign of Evil, the group's 1985 debut, positioned Sodom within the black metal genre, as did 1986's Obsessed by Cruelty. After guitarist Frank Blackfire joined the band's lineup in 1987, however, Sodom revised its sound to include more elements of thrash metal. This new sound was unveiled on 1987's Persecution Mania, and Sodom continued to reinvent itself as a thrash metal band with subsequent releases like 1989's Agent Orange and 1990's Better Off Dead. Two years later, Tapping the Vein found the band returning to its black metal roots and enjoying a strong reception in Germany, where the album reached Number 56. Sodom spent the remainder of the '90s experimenting with a fusion of metal and hardcore punk, as displayed on records like Get What You Deserve (a Number 45 hit in 1994), Masquerade in Blood (a Number 76 hit in 1995), and 1997's 'Til Death Do Us Unite. As the band's lineup continued to evolve during the 2000s, so did Sodom's catalog, with albums like 2007's The Final Sign of Evil and 2020's Genesis XIX featuring new combinations of hardcore, punk, thrash, and black metal. In 2022, Sodom celebrated its milestone anniversary with the compilation album 40 Years at War – The Greatest Hell of Sodom.