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Review of the Album Agent Orange by German Thrash Metal Band Sodom

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

A Little Bit of Information About Sodom and the Album Agent Orange

Sodom is one of the big four thrash metal bands in Germany that was formed in the vibrant decade of the 1980s. I say vibrant because there was so much activity going on in the thrash metal genre and of course, I started listening to Agent Orange late in 2019 and I am giving it another chance. Agent Orange was released in 1989 and the sound quality still sounds like something produced at the time. The style is still old 1980s style because of the production and sound.

This image symbolizes what is on the album cover for Agent Orange. A soldier looks on as his side is near victory.

This image symbolizes what is on the album cover for Agent Orange. A soldier looks on as his side is near victory.

Agent Orange Song Review and Analysis

By this point, those that have been reading my plentiful amount of album reviews will see that I cover German metal bands a lot because they are superb for the most part. The vocals in the title track are raspy enough to sound like a death metal vocalist. Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam War and the results were catastrophic. The sound of a chopper can be heard in the song along with the guitar riffing. I hear a Metallica influence later in this song but considering the fact that Sodom and Metallica were formed in the same year of 1981, it is tough to say what band influenced the other.

Tired and Red is One of the Best Songs In the Career of Sodom

Sodom is often times put into a category of what is referred to as the Big Four Thrash Metal bands along with Kreator, Destruction, and Tankard. “Tired and Red” is another fast song that is about something that is pretty much self-explanatory. In a move that is going to catch some listeners by surprise, the song suddenly slows down and we hear a progressive influenced guitar part for a while. Does that part fit in with the rest of the song? It offers that song a contrast that is sometimes needed in thrash metal not just to give our ears a break from the incessant heavy riffing, but this also shows the creative talents of German musicians which is immense. There is a riff in this second song that I can clearly hear that influenced the late Chuck Schuldiner. Those of you that have been reading my reviews will surely remember the first two releases by the Florida death metal band Death. Tired and Red has a great riff section in the middle of the song that adds to how solid the song is. Vocalist and bassist Tom Angelripper also known as Thomas Such kind of sounds like Mille Petrozza of the band Kreator and it sometimes sounds like he has a death metal raspy vocal style but he is competent enough as a vocalist.

The Songs Remember the Fallen and Magic Dragon

“Remember the Fallen” is a song that lyrically is about honoring the soldiers that perished attempting to really defend their nation as they fought to promote good values. However, there have been many times throughout history where wars have been started due to the greed and thirst for endless power and domination. Magic Dragon lyrically is similar to the song Agent Orange however this one starts with heavy and slow riffing before the vocals start. This song starts with the noise of a military helicopter.

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"Tired and Red"

How Are the the Other Songs in Agent Orange?

Exhibition Bout lyrically tells the story of how during certain duels especially in ancient times between man and beast was not punished. In Roman times, there were duels between lions and the gladiators and this was a form of entertainment. The bass guitar in the seventh song which has a rather unusual name sounds like a punk style song mixing in with thrash metal. I am reminded of the era of Iron Maiden around the year 1981 as there was a definite punk metal influence at the time. This is a quality that we don't normally hear when it comes to thrash metal so in that sense, Sodom makes things a little unique for an album of the time period in which it came out. Through the first listen of Agent Orange, I get the sense that this is still pretty darn good in terms of thrash metal however they can do a little better to make the lyrical themes but other than that, Agent Orange offers the listener different kinds of musical influences such as thrash metal, punk, and early Florida death metal influences.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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