The 3-man German Death Squad released these 2 late `80s` monsters and simply cut the nuts off of anything Metallica ever did! [I`m a HUGE fan, can you tell?] For it was around this time that Sodom actually developed a SOUND, a REAL sound. This was evident on the 1986 EP "Expurse Of Sodom", but came to fruition on "Persecution Mania". Gone was the sloppy musicianship and silly satanic themes,and low grade production, to be replaced by ultra precise, ultra fast, and ultra HEAVY riffing and song structures. Top notch production by Harris Johns brought out the very best the threesome [AngelRipper on bass, Blackfire on guitar, Witchunter on drums] had to offer. Themes of war ["Nuclear Winter", "Persecution Mania"], capitol punishment ["Electrocution"], religious zealots ["Christ Passion"], made this Sodom`s most mature statement to date. Other pluses; a KILLER rendition of Motorheads` "Iron Fist" and "Bombenhagel", which roughly translated means "Bomb Rain". No, it didn`t get much better than THIS! Not until.....
This growling anti-war statement pushed the band to the head of Europe`s Power Metal hegemony. Propelled by favorable reviews, Sodom sought to expand their fan base outside what was once known as West Germany. And they had all the fire power they needed to do it! "Agent Orange" expanded upon "Persecution Mania", and showed that the band had truly developed their own sound. The title tracks` horrific vision of the Viet Nam war [is there any other way to look at it?], as well as "Magic Dragon" and "Remember The Fallen" are Speed Metal Protest songs if I ever heard `em! Hard to believe this was the same band that made "In The Sign Of Evil" only 5 years earlier. A tour of Europe was scheduled, including a show at the famous Marquee club in London. But before the tour commenced, guitarist Blackfire [Frank Godzik] bailed to join the OTHER German monsters of the day, Kreator. The band quickly enisted a replacement guitarist for the live dates, and while the shows were well received, Europe first introduction to live Sodomania was not what it should have been, as the band was at half power. [Of course, they quickly got their s**t together after "Agent Orange", but that`s another tImE maCHinE page...] A rather humorous side note; the band opening for Sodom on these dates was none other than Brazil`s Sepultura, who were on their first trek through Europe, also. The Metal press pretty much ignored Sodom, praising Sepultura to the skies as THE NEXT BIG THING [ha...ha....HA!]. Well, look who`s laughin` NOW! [Some history; Not many people know this but Gorbachev did NOT, in fact, tear down the Berlin Wall. Sodom blew that sucker down! It`s true, look it up..... ]