S.O.D. (1985-1986, 1992, 1997-2002, 2007) is a Metalcore band from New York, New York, USA.
.O.D. (Stormtroopers of Death) was created by Anthrax guitarist, Scott Ian, as a side project in 1985 to satisfy his crossover ideas that would not fit into the Anthrax style. The crossover style in question was the fusing of hardcore punk with thrash metal; making them one of the first bands to do so.
S.O.D. is also known for reuniting Anthrax members Scott Ian (guitars) and Charlie Benante (drums) with their former bassist Dan Lilker. Add in Billy "Mosh" Milano (vocals; formerly a roadie for Anthrax) and a remarkably stable line-up ensued for after 4 reformations, it was always the same members.
The idea formed during a delay in a tour with Anthrax, where Scott Ian drew sketches of what is now known as "Sargeant D." (their mascot). Then, while recording Spreading the Disease with Anthrax, Lilker, Ian and Benante were bored in the studio, so they started playing random riffs inspired by hardcore bands like Agnostic Front. Scott who knew Milano, soon later asked if he would like to sing for the newly forming band. At the time, Milano was apart of the hardcore band The Psychos and played bass; he tried out and ended off singing for the first time ever for their band's debut album.
Recording started out by recording a 63-song demo called Crab Society North which let them set to work on a debut album for 'Megaforce Records'. The resulting album, Speak English or Die (1985), was recorded and mixed over three days and became hailed as a landmark album; the first to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal. They toured in support of the album in 1985, opening for Motorhead and The Plasmatics, among others. Their music would eventually serve as the theme of the '80s incarnation of MTV's Headbangers Ball. Their first split occurred when after their tour ended, Lilker left to carry on with Nuclear Assault while Benante and Ian continued with Anthrax. Milano formed the spin-off band Method of Destruction (M.O.D.) whose first album U.S.A. for M.O.D., featured, in part, lyrics written by Scott Ian, as well as an altered version of Aren't You Hungry, an unrecorded S.O.D. track played during their 1985 tour.
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A follow-up album USA For S.O.D. was planned but was ultimately scrapped and never recorded.
S.O.D. reformed for a one-off gig in New York City in 1992, which was recorded and released as the live album Live at Budokan. The record featured most tracks from the Speak English or Die album, some from the demo, as well as covers of Ministry, Nirvana and Fear.
In 1997, S.O.D. reunited again to play the Milwaukee Metal Fest. In 1999 they would then release their second studio album, Bigger Than the Devil. In 2002 the band split up again due to disagreements between Ian and Milano. In 2007, however, S.O.D. reconvened to release their third studio effort, the Rise of the Infidels EP featuring previously unrecorded material and live recordings. This would be a one-off with the act ending again soon after.
Milano and Lilker reunited in a new band called United Forces.
In 2017, Lilker formed a new version of S.O.D. under the name Not S.O.D. - Fist Banging Maniacs, with Brazilian musicians João Gordo, Cléber Orsioli and Guilherme Cersosimo filling in for Milano, Ian and Benante respectively.
While S.O.D. is highly regarded as one of the first "crossover" bands in metal and hardcore punk, they have suffered criticism from the media for often offensive humor. Other acts within the hardcore punk community such as Sore Throat and Extreme Noise Terror for being an "unorthodox" style hardcore band because of the fame they've received.
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Artists mentioned in this article: