Sacred Reich - Awakening review




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Band: Sacred Reich
Album: Awakening
Release date: August 2019


01. Awakening
02. Divide And Conquer
03. Salvation
04. Manifest Reality
05. Killing Machine
06. Death Valley
07. Revolution
08. Something To Believe


Another thrash band from the '80s decides to unleash a new album in 2019 after decades of musical drought. It's officially becoming an epidemic and I have to ask myself: is it really necessary? Well, in this case it is.

Sacred Reich used to be one of these bands that managed to gather a relatively large fanbase and stand out from the thousands of thrash acts that tried to make it in the '80s by imitating any of the Big 4. Despite the fact that Ignorance was very much infused by Slayer's Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood, and that The American Way sounded so possessed by Metallica's ...And Justice For All, what saved Sacred Reich from being just another uninspired copycat band was their talent in writing good songs and their scathing attack on politics as far as the lyrics were concerned. The plague that hit most thrash acts in the '90s saw them release two more groove-/grunge-/alternative-stricken albums that justifiably received a lukewarm reception. They reunited around 2006 and have been touring frequently ever since, and -quite unexpectedly- they have a new album now 23 whole years after Heal. And it is aptly named Awakening.

If you were disappointed (why?) by the punk rock song "Don't Do It Donnie" that was part of the split release with Iron Reagan earlier this year, fear not my fellow thrash fan. Awakening is by and large a pure thrash metal album with eight songs that expertly balance speed and groove; there is the speedy thrashing kind of "Awakening", "Divide And Conquer" and "Revolution", but also the groovy attitude and swagger of "Salvation" and "Killing Machine". In a league of its own is "Manifest Reality", which begins with an "Inner Self" intro (or "Death Squad" intro to be fairer) and then goes all Slayer on you. However, the two most surprising songs are "Death Valley", with its southern hard rocking vibe, its catchy lead guitar work and its grunge-y chorus, as well as "Something To Believe" with riffs that follow the cool bass lines and drum rhythm, and Rind singing from his heart that "love's the only way to live our life each day". Yeah, that's what twenty years of Buddhist practice does to you.

Apart from the very interesting and varied -for thrash standards- songwriting, musicianship is also on point in Awakening. The album was recorded with significant line-up changes; founding member Greg Hall has been replaced by former Sacred Reich and Machine Head drummer Dave McClain, and guitarist and also founding member Jason Rainey unfortunately had to step down due to health reasons and was replaced by Joey Radziwill, who wasn't even born when the last Sacred Reich record came out. Despite the changes, the band sounds very tight and especially McClain is a king behind the drum kit. The quality of this record, as opposed to the lack of it in Catharsis, proves that his decision to take the reverse route to the one he followed in 1995 was a very wise one.

Awakening is a very mature offering. It makes its statement in just over 30 minutes and shows how experience and maturity enhances the art of editing and fat-trimming, so that only what is necessary is being included. It is in no way soft, instead it's pretty heavy and aggressive, but it is also positive and optimistic. Frontman Phil Rind has managed to channel his anger into creativity and Sacred Reich have released one of the best albums in their career in freaking 2019. Who could predict that?

"When I was young, I had to change the world.
Now I know I can only change myself."


 



Written on 19.08.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 119 users
19.08.2019 - 22:30
No one
Didn't even know this had been released in full.
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19.08.2019 - 22:58
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Talking about mainstream money media and your new Ferrari... ...do they really pay that much now?

Last thing I heard was an old Fiat for a 9,7/10 review and a bloody Vespa for casual "AOTY!!!1!1!" shouts.
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signatures = SPAM
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19.08.2019 - 23:14
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by No one on 19.08.2019 at 22:30

Didn't even know this had been released in full.

It hasn't been released yet, it is out this Friday.
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19.08.2019 - 23:23
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Starvynth on 19.08.2019 at 22:58

Talking about mainstream money media and your new Ferrari... ...do they really pay that much now?

Well, now that I've made Wormwood more popular than Metallica by both reviewing and interviewing them, I am living the life of Dan Bilzerian courtesy of the band's multi-billion dollar label.

I am of course praying they won't find out that I am just copying my reviews, otherwise I'll lose the megabucks I am making.
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20.08.2019 - 04:39
Darkside Momo
Retired
Well, seems I should listen to this album and them on tour this autumn... Goos news I guess!!
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
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20.08.2019 - 12:58
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Darkside Momo on 20.08.2019 at 04:39

Well, seems I should listen to this album and them on tour this autumn... Goos news I guess!!

Well, if you used to like them in the past you certainly won't be disappointed by this album
Who are they playing with in France?
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20.08.2019 - 13:43
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by nikarg on 20.08.2019 at 12:58

Written by Darkside Momo on 20.08.2019 at 04:39

Well, seems I should listen to this album and them on tour this autumn... Goos news I guess!!

Well, if you used to like them in the past you certainly won't be disappointed by this album
Who are they playing with in France?

Seems it's Night Demon
----
My Author's Blog (in French)


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"
Loading...
26.08.2019 - 20:19
Bad English
Masterchief
Another needet old school bands reviev
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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04.09.2019 - 07:29
No one
Written by Darkside Momo on 20.08.2019 at 13:43

Written by nikarg on 20.08.2019 at 12:58

Written by Darkside Momo on 20.08.2019 at 04:39

Well, seems I should listen to this album and them on tour this autumn... Goos news I guess!!

Well, if you used to like them in the past you certainly won't be disappointed by this album
Who are they playing with in France?

Seems it's Night Demon

Vio-lence here
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