Although rarely mentioned in the same sentence as Slayer
is nonetheless hailed as one of the greatest thrash bands by death metal, speed and thrash fans alike. SPV Records recognized the German act’s historical notoriety and reissued the classic Agent Orange
. Originally released in 1989, the latest edition features a slick gatefold packaging, as well as a bonus disc of live material.
not only represented a classic thrash album with its catchy grooves and neck-snapping riffs, it also fit in with bands such as Slayer
and Rigor Mortis
. These groups tippy-toed the line between thrash and death metal, and definitely inspired death and black metal. The constant kit hammering of drummer Chris Witchhunter (R.I.P.), raspy snarl of vocalist/bassist Tom Angelripper and menacing chromatic-scaled picking of Frank Blackfire surely provided a blueprint for the onslaught
of death. Death metal was already a viable musical entity, which may have influenced Sodom
on this recording. One member is even pictured wearing a Death shirt in the album’s booklet.
Not only does Sodom
give its listeners a punch to the nuts with a magnitude of Bruce Lee, the album is quite dynamic. The title track is filled with terse groove, maniacal speed, infectious chorus lines (whatever happened to that in metal), and otherworldly guitar solos. The following track, “Tired and Red” follows a similar course, but includes a melodic, unplugged section. “Incest” is a disturbingly perverse track of a face-breaking tempered pace. Revealing the truth about war, “Remember The Fallen” was an apt track for this past Memorial Day. Sung in a similar style to Lips of Anvil
, its hard groove would have fit well on Metallica
’s ...And Justice For All
The live portion of the album doesn’t seem necessary. Live albums never recreate the energy of a band’s show, and at best they offer a wide array of material, which is great if you don’t already own those songs. In this case, however, all the songs are here in fine, studio form. The lack of DVD and the fact that Agent Orange
is just a step behind Persecution Mania
results in a 9/10 and not a complete 10/10.