Displeased Records, 2010
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/21/2010
They need to make a movie called Sacred Reich: The Story of Sacred Reich so that more people in the world know about this thrash metal band. They have never received the recognition or accolades that other thrash bands have gotten. Independent was released in 1993 and this rerelease adds five tracks you could only previously obtain from one of their EPs.
Absorbing vocalist/bassist Phil Rind’s lyrics still requires work. Songs like “Who’s To Blame” point a finger at parents who do not do more to be involved in their child’s life. On this track, Rind describes “Johnny” who liked “Ozzy, Judas Priest” and who wouldn’t open the door to his bedroom. The story continues until Johnny is found dead in his room. Death was also on Rind’s mind when he wrote the chilling pseudo-ballad “I Never Said Goodbye” about a life being taken from this world too soon. Personally, I have been a witness in the last couple of weeks to a mother grieving for her teenage daughter’s unexpected death. I feel a strong connection with the lyrics of this song. Rind sings these words soulfully over a simpler guitar riff, which allows the words to be more powerful because your attention is not diverted to the music as he sings “All of a sudden you were taken / Now you’re gone / I’m afraid it’s much too late / you’ve been taken away.”
When you do begin to pay attention to the instrumentation, you find some exceptional thrash metal, especially the drumming from Dave McClain. Listening to the tight rhythms of the double bass that follow guitarists Wiley Arnett and Jason Rainey is magical. It happens multiple times in multiple songs, including the bonus track “A Question” and opener “Independent”. The acoustic instrumental “If Only” serves as a fantastic intro to “Crawling,” which was released as a single. The tempo is slow and dirty during this track with lots of thrash guitars. This track initially drew me into this band seven years ago. With this rerelease, there is a radio version of “Crawling” and other songs that were released on EPs. Radio stations that are around me still wouldn’t touch “Crawling,” even with the radio edit version. The starts and stops during “Free” are also noteworthy, as the music pauses just prior to the guitar solo.
Sacred Reich has always been a thrash band that has released interesting material. This release has aged gracefully since its original release. It was an impressive thrash metal disc then and it is an impressive metal disc today. There are no filler tracks and the addition of the bonus cuts is a welcome addition to the release.