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Bombed Out! - 90%

Metal_Jaw, March 28th, 2012

Here they are, one of the masters of The German Thrash Triangle: SODOM! "Agent Orange" is oft considered to be the band's finest achievement, a powerhouse in hyper-aggressive riffing, bloodthirsty vocals and monstrous solos. And for all intents and purposes, I agree.

Armed with big production values and big-budget artwork, this lineup attacks all-out practically with demonic perfection. The one and only Tom Angelripper rips it on vocals and bass. Fuck this guy sounds mean, his voice a hoarse, raspy growl that poseurs just aren't ready for. His bass rules too; it's fairly loud in the mix and has that classic, crunchy teutonic sound that makes us all shit our knickers. Frank Blackfire (who also played with fellow German thrash giants Kreator) is a masterful, underrated guitarist; his playing is just dead on, with the focus on perfectly aggressive speed-shredding so dead-on that one wonders how the guy's guitar never caught on fire. The late great Chris Witchhunter is also a speed monster on his drum kit; not terribly technical, but who cares when you can pound it out as fast and precise as this guy!

From beginning to end, "Agent Orange" is one of the coolest thrash attacks you'll ever get head-fucked by. We start off with the immense title track, with the band's classic spitfire playing in full effect. The chorus is simple but awesome ("The fire that doesn't burn!!!"), and the boys let loose with one of the band's strongest assets: The Sodom Solo. Prepare for some of the most kickass solos you'll ever get crunched by right here! It gets even better with the album's strongest track, "Tired And Red". We're treated to aggression similar to the title track, and another cool chorus. But this song's solo. Oh boy! Ladies and gentleman, I give you the best thrash metal solo EVER! We start off with a short acoustic part, which then slowly fades and then slams into the brutally mid-paced solo, armed with a simple but absolutely prime riff to accompany it. This album is worth snatching up just for this sucker alone! Things go up and down in quality with the rest of the songs. "Incest", is probably the most vicious song on here, but it gets stomped out quick like a small firecracker. At least it comes armed with another killer solo. "Remember The Fallen" is a ballad done right, but at the end of the day still a ballad. The song has a good sound to it and certainly doesn't deem skipping. "Magic Dragon" is another plus-sized thrash monster akin to the title track, though I think they could have done better with the solo at this point. The ferocious fight song "Exhibition Bout" is pretty catchy and that spitfire aggression comes into full effect again, with yet another wicked mid-paced solo tagged on. "Ausgebombt", a personal favorite, is probably the least thrashy song on here (it's basically a Motorhead-type speed metal song), but it's still quite a fun listen and is damn catchy. We end with the decent "Baptism of Fire", with more killer riffage, aggression, and mid-paced crushing all in one place. Oops, a near track-by-track review. Sorry folks, I guess.

Overall, this is one of the best thrash metal albums you could ever hope to get your mortal hands on. Just about every track is perfect in its own way, and the wild aggression and number of unforgettable solos will leave you speechless and ear-raped. Highly fucking recommended!