The Pencil Pushing Area — One Man's Work-in-Progress

In retrospect- R.I.P. Sodom Gonzalez

Posted in cebu, death metal, metal music by R.L. Bertulfo on May 25, 2010

In Memoriam, May 20, 2010 Sodom Gonzalez of Signos

I was informed over the weekend via the infamous Facebook that Sodom Gonzalez, legendary frontman of the equally infamous 90’s Cebuano Death Metal band Signos was found dead at exactly 3:33 p.m., May 20, 2010 in some undisclosed place somewhere alleged death by suicide. Apparent info was spilled over by his better half on FB’s status updates and were immediately made known to his friends/cohorts/hordes/fans alike of his terrible fate. Many of us were hesitant and shook off the news as a cruel joke, knowing Sodom, who was always full of mischief and who’s always on to something thus the delay of this post. I was waiting for what I conceived as reality to set in but to no avail and only left me distraught as the days went by. Deep inside a flicker of hope still embers down that all this is untrue but what sad news it is and all I can do for now is pay tribute to the man.

The whole death metal community here in Cebu is still in a state of disbelief/shock of the news that has befallen them. He was very active on FB as it was his only outlet to the outside world.  Since 2006 (if I’m not mistaken) he has been in hiding from the local authorities here.He was wanted for manslaughter. The only way friends could get in touch with him was on FB and I too am thankful at the least for social networking sites for making it possible to connect/interact with distant friends online.

Looking back, I never really new him more personally than I would have wanted to but I knew him nevertheless. We drank a couple of beers, traded a couple of stories here and there and jammed a couple of times on gigs way back when the death metal scene in Cebu was still tight. His band Signos was the first wave of death metal bands to come out of Cebu and my band was the second and to play side by side with his band was an honor and pleasure in itself to be regarded as peers. What I fondly recall most was when both our bands were the only ones playing extreme metal music that got mixed together with the alternative rock bands on some gigs then and we were proud as hell to wave the metal flag to the listening masses, in awe or dumbfounded, we cared not.

As for Sodom, the man, he was the embodiment to all things death metal. He practiced what he preached. He was the most extreme man I would dare come to know. Outspoken about his ideologies, which can be radical to some and laughable to others. He could be dreadful at one time and calm as a sheep the next. He was just that, a multi-faceted individual. He was dedicated to his music and would be anything he puts his mind into. Although many would disagree with him, his terrible certainties were blatant for all to see and many of the weak of institution, the closed minded would see him as an abomination and would make him submit to the error of his ways but I won’t delve into the left hand path that he tread on, he is but human and to err is our nature. This is my tribute to him, in my humble point of view. Although now we can never witness the resurgence of his band as he had hoped to be, we can reflect and celebrate his life through his music and the memories he left us by. Sodom was a legend but still a man, father, husband, brother, and friend and we shall thank the gods for his existence. To borrow a title of a song from one of his fave band …weightless and horizontal…see you in the afterlife man.

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