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Sodom Nearly Hit The Big TIme - 80%

beardovdoom, November 24th, 2013

I only recently got into Sodom (the band, nothing rude). I listened to them a few years ago and didn't really care for them, possibly while i was going through a phase of not bothering with thrash at all. Somewhere down the line, i got a renewed urge to explore the thrash i didn't already own which led me to Sodom and Destruction among others. I knew this album was widely regarded as one of Sodom's best so i started here. All i can say is i've been missing out!

Sodom have evolved over the years. Firstly a raw, Venom inspired black metal sound led to thrash, then a punkier phase and finally back to thrash. Sort of like Slayer meets Kreator but not as frantic. Agent Orange is the peak of the first thrash period both critically and commercially. This album apparently sold over 100,000 copies in their native Germany and charted fairly highly, It's a shame then that thrash pretty much died a couple of years after this otherwise they may have maintained their popularity.

This album is a little bit samey at times, a common trait of thrash metal or any album that sticks rigidly to a style. This isn't a major complaint though as the songwriting is strong. The opening 3 songs are probably the best, but the Motorhead inspired 'Ausgebombt' is another highlight. The speed of the album is more mid-paced to fairly fast, it has just enough variety to keep things interesting and is fairly short so you won't stop paying attention while listening. The production is nice and clear without being overproduced, all of the instruments are well balanced and the talent of Frank Blackfire really shone through on this album, his last with the band unfortunately (he joined Kreator after this).

This is definitely the album to get if you're new to Sodom, it's a really solid thrash album with fairly harsh vocals but not like the early releases, and is also a better album than most of their more recent thrash albums (which are also pretty good).

Recommended tracks: Agent Orange, Tired and Red, Ausgebombt