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In terms of musical style Agent Orange is a more mature form of the previous album Persecution Mania. This is definitely the album that helped Sodom get recognised by a much wider audience worldwide. It showed its effects boosting the sales of the bands next effort ‘Better Off Dead’.
If you want to beter understand how great this album is, you should considet tihe time it was released. Slayer had put out the legendary South of Heaven just less than a year ago, Sepultura had made a great impact on metal with Beneath The Remains, Kreator had released their most successfull album Extreme Aggression and Running Wild was sailing with strong winds in the charts with Death or Glory… Despite the strong competition, Agent Orange is remembered by many as the best album released in 1989.
The album gives you what Sodom does best, which is playing hyper-speed brutal thrash metal, and also some hints about the future directions of the band.
Tracks like Agent Orange, Incest and Magic Dragon are classical Sodom style brutal thrash songs; all played very well. Remember The Fallen is the start of the ‘slow but powerful song’ tradition we see in all Sodom albums. Tom Angelripper explains the bansd’ need to write songs like these by commenting that ‘the slower the song is, the more powerful it gets’. Another hint we get from the album about the band’s future comes from the song Ausgebomt. Starting with this album Sodom included one punk-hardcore type track in almost every release.
Through the years I have met many people who did not like or even hated Sodom. However, not even a single one of them denied the perfection of Agent Orange. Even most of the people who hates Sodom has this album in their collections. This is the album that made Metal Hammer magazine begin valling the band ‘Gods of Thrash'. The reason I did not give 100 points is because I see Baptism of Fire as a weak link.