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Agent Orange - 90%

Bleach Theory, November 8th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2010, 2CD, Steamhammer (Digipak)

How about some classic thrash? How about some strong classic thrash? Well then good, because this is a review for Agent Orange. Its strong, packed with raw power and energy and brimmed with thrashy hardiness. Its also by none other than Sodom, my personal favorite of ye olde German thrashers.

So what to talk about first? Let's talk guitars. Like every good thrash album you have an abundance of fast, muscled and thrashy riffs. Of course, in order to be a classic or something that stands out it needs to have a bit of variety so it can't be a train of non stop thrash. The album begins with Agent Orange which starts with a slower but still thrashy riff, moves to a more melodic section before it jumps into the Teutonic madness. Tired and Red has a brief acoustic interlude half way through. Every song has a long instrumental section and of course shredding guitar solos.

Then of course we have Angelripper's raspy yells as vocals. This is the main style of vocals used, but there are also gang shouts here and there, especially on their cover of Don't Walk Away if you have certain later releases of the album. There's even a track with melodic singing.

Sadly however, while the production allows everything to be heard its not the best. The bass can be heard and it follows with the guitar most of the time but it sounds less like the 4 string instrument we're all familiar with and more like a lot of low end popping noise. The drummer on the other hand sounds fine for the most part, he delivers his fast paced beats with no problem but his fills sound like plastic.

In a quick nutshell -ignoring the outliers- songs generally fire up with a quick guitar riff which will be accompanied by Angelripper's harsh narrations of war, incest and evil. It'll go along a variation of the fairly standard 'verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo/bridge-chorus' structure using long instrumental breaks in between the second chorus and the solo which of course emphasizes the instrumental elements of the music. The end result is a raw and energetic thrash album with a strong war vibe.

Agent Orange is a strong thrasher impeded only by a few production issues and the fact that the original length of 8 songs feels a bit too short.