Thrash metal from Arizona, USA!
Sacred Reich - Ignorance (Hollywood/Metal Blade) 1987
1. Death Squad
"Ignorance" is the full length debut from Phoenix, AZ thrashers Sacred Reich. The music is fast, punk-infused thrash metal built around razor sharp riffs and Phil Rhind's distinctive voice. In general, "Ignorance" is considered a classic among thrash enthusiasts and I wouldn't disagree. For the most part the songs are driven by bleak social and political commentary. However, the lyrics to "No Believers" state, "There is no God, there is no proof...the Bible is a lie..." If ever there was a statement of "ignorance," that would be it!
Sacred Reich - The American Way (Roadracer) 1990
Sacred Reich were just so much fun. They didn't have the speed of Dark Angel, the technical prowess of Believer, the dark image of Slayer or the intensity of Nuclear Assault, but they had cool riffs, songs that made you want to bang your head and usually something intelligent to say. The title track, for example, has those catchy grooves that would have any metalhead moshing around the room. As with the debut, the lyrics are quite heavy with political and social commentary. Regardless of whether I, or anyone else agrees with them or not, the lyrics gave you something to think about and could provoke a reaction. "31 Flavors" is the only song on the disc that is not straight forward thrash but is an experimental, humorous funk tune. The lyrics to this particular song make a point for listening to all types of music and not just metal, comparing music to different flavors of ice cream. Granted different flavors are cool but vanilla and chocolate are still the best flavors. Why listen to garbage when there is so much cool metal to listen to?
Sacred Reich's third full-length album sees the band leaving Metal Blade Records (temporarily) and is released on new label Hollywood Records. With it comes an only slightly altered sound from the meat and potatoes thrash metal the band has always delivered. With "Independent" the band incorporates more of the heavy groove than ever before. Sacred Reich have always had that groove element. One of the band's most popular songs from the past in "The American Way" and there is no denying that the song is built around a simple, but massive groove. On "Independent" the riffs are still heavy, caustic and lethal. Vocalist Phil Rind adds slightly more grit to his vocal delivery than in the past. The title track is a monstrous thrash song with a solid hook. "I Never Said Goodbye" is a power metal ballad, which is very uncharacteristic of Reich, and pretty much blasphemy for most thrash metal bands. Personally, I like it. Mixed throughout the album are hints of Black Sabbath, a few bluesy influences and the band's usual fiery punk deliver. Otherwise, "Independent" is business as usual. Politically fueled thrash metal for the masses delivered from the sunny city of Phoenix, AZ, USA!
1. Blue Suit, Brown
"Heal" was released in 1996. By 1995 heavy metal had become a dirty word and thrash metal certainly was not in vogue. In the mainstream it was either trendy nu-metal stuff like Korn, Limp Bizcrap and Deftones or any number of Pantera clone bands. Even in the metal underground it was all about black metal, death metal, and European power metal led by bands like old bands like Blind Guardian and newbies like Hammerfall. There was very little interest in thrash and speed metal and few new bands were playing it . Most thrash bands from the 80's were exploring different sounds and styles. Despite the trends, Sacred Reich stuck to their musical guns. "Heal", the band's fourth full-length studio album, is a heavy metal album in the spirit and tradition of what Sacred Reich had been doing since "Ignorance" back in 1987. "Heal" is one heavy chunk of steel! The songs are guitar driven, stripped down to the basics and can be broken down into two types; 1. fast and furious, 2. slow, churning and menacing. The album opens with one of the albums fast and furious tracks, an angry rant against racism. The song has a bit of a crossover vibe with a punk delivery. The second song, the title track, is one of the slow, churning, punishing and mega-heavy tracks. With this song, think Souls at Zero or even a less digital sounding Pantera. Of course some accused Sacred Reich of going a more modern route, but that simply isn't the case. Sacred Reich have always incorporated a heavy groove into their thrash metal sound. If anything Sacred Reich were an influence to Pantera. more-so than the reverse. For the most part this is how the mix of Fast thrashers and mid-paced crushers is how the album flows! "Ask Ed!" is the one exception being a bit of a blues based heavy metal song about smoking weed. Unfortunately "Heal" turned out to be the last studio album for Arizona thrashers Sacred Reich going on two decades.
"Who Do You Want to Be" is an Oingo Boingo song, I think.
Sacred Reich - Still Ignorant (Metal Blade) 1997
1. American Way
"Still Ignorant" marked the end of an era for Sacred Reich. This live offering was the bands last release before they called it a day. The material is a spattering of songs from all the band's albums, and also includes a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". Sacred Reich were never an overly technical band, but they were tight and had a great groove. Add to that the intensity brought on by a live performance and a wall of sound mix, and you have yourself one fine testament to this band's legacy.
Back to Index