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 quickly replaced by Chris Witchhunter, with whom they released two demos, 1982/83’s Witching Metal & 1984’s Victims of Death, before signing a deal with SPV GmbH. After a 1984 gig in Frankfurt (with Destruction & Tankard), Manfred Schütz of SPV GmbH approached the band & 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’d 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. A full album’s worth of material was intended to be recorded for In the Sign of Evil, but problems with the label caused the release to be truncated to an EP.