Stormtroopers of Death

Rise of the Infidels

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For a band who released so preciously few albums during their on-again/off-again lifespan (two full-length studio sets), there has certainly been an exceedingly high number of live CDs and DVDs issued over the years from S.O.D. But truth be told, the group -- who was one of the first to merge hardcore and metal -- was certainly one of the most brutally heavy live acts in all of rock history, as evidenced by the 2007 live CD Rise of the Infidels. What sets this release apart from the earlier ones is that four previously unreleased studio tracks kick off the album -- two venom-filled originals that are certainly worthy of the S.O.D. name ("Stand Up and Fight" and "Java Amigo"), as well as two hardcore covers (Agnostic Front's "United and Strong" and Negative Approach's "Ready to Fight"). And although the live tracks (recorded in Seattle) sound like soundboard recordings, the ferociousness of such classics as "March of the S.O.D.," "Sgt. D and the S.O.D.," "Milano Mosh," and "Speak English or Die," which kick off the live portion one after another in quick succession cannot be subdued. And no S.O.D. show would be complete without a handful of gloriously distasteful "Ballad Of..." songs, and this time out, Jim Morrison, INXS, Frank Sinatra, and Freddie Mercury, as well as two of Seattle's hometown heroes -- Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana -- all are bestowed this "honor." Raw and unapologetic, Rise of the Infidels sticks out like a sore thumb among all the finely tuned gobbledygook that passes itself off as heavy metal in the early 21st century. Just the way Sgt D. likes it.

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