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Sodom's best thrash - 75%

MacMoney, November 7th, 2002

'Agent Orange' was the album that raised Sodom to the knowledge of the metal public. The earlier releases were noted by many but 'Agent Orange' was their actual breakthrough album. Sodom took most of it's early influences from such bands as Hellhammer (not the drummer) and Venom and not from straight thrash acts like it's brethren, Kreator and Destruction. Their first release, 'In the Sign of Evil', is actually one of the earliest black metal releases. Sodom has always been my personal favorite because of the stripped down style they've had since the beginning. This is no nonsense, straightforward thrash metal.

'Agent Orange' features the best line-up Sodom ever had with Frank Blackfire (joined Kreator soon after the 'Ausgebombt' EP) in the guitar and the original Chris Witchhunter in the drums. The album mostly consists of tracks of straight in-your-face thrash metal but some of them fall into slower paces. For example the title track is pure straightforward thrash metal that'll get you moshing in no time but 'Remember the Fallen' is a slower and more atmospheric track, a tribute to all the people who have died in wars. Also 'Tired and Red' goes from a fast thrash part to a slow acoustic passage with melancholic guitarlines and then into a mid paced thrash part. When the thrash part goes on, the best part of 'Agent Orange' really strikes up. That is Frank Blackfire and his guitar. The solo in that part of 'Tired and Red' is unbelievably good and his solos in the other songs don't lose by much. Also Blackfire has composed much of 'Agent Orange' (if I'm not mistaken) and it shows. The riffs are better than in most other Sodom albums and the songs flow very well. There isn't much variation, but since when has Sodom needed any? The title song is six minutes of mostly the same riff and same drum rhythm at breakneck speed but doesn't get boring at all.

The album isn't all thrash though. Seventh track, 'Ausgebombt', is a hardcore track and it also formed the center of their most selling release, the 'Ausgebombt' EP. It also showed towards what sound Sodom would go in the future. Also 'Don't Walk Away' is a cover from a NWOBHM band Tank and doesn't sound anything like rest of the stuff. Those two songs break the flow of great thrash metal from the speakers. Besides that fact, there's nothing wrong with the CD.