When political times start to get ridiculous, artists tend to stand tall and hold a mirror to all that is going on. Punk led the way in the 70s and early 80s before thrash and hardcore took over, then crossover thrash arose, blending the best of both musical worlds with acts D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies and RKL creating waves and asking questions.
Then from Arizona came Sacred Reich. Generally more forthright in their lyrical approach, they pulled less punches and showed how with the right approach open people’s eyes. The only problem with that is that the general music consumer isn’t interested in being told directly what is wrong with the world, meaning they never managed to achieve the same kind of infamy as some of the previously mentioned bands and the band drifted away and eventually went on hiatus as political times changed.
Times having now gone full circle, politics seems to have gone mad again. Particularly in the US, but also throughout the world, time is that artists need to stand tall again and hold that mirror up again, and who better than a band that was one of the best at it in their time?
With the album covering only 30 minutes across eight tracks it would be easy to give a complete rundown, but quick highlights will allow you to get straight to the thrashing madness. Getting right into it, ‘Awakening’ shows why Sacred Reich were always great, coming out thrashing mad before slowing into a groove towards the end. ‘Divide & Conquer’ follows up quickly, overt in critiquing the modern political spectrum and in particular the route it has taken in their homeland in the last few years.
‘Manifest Reality’ and ‘Revolution’ bring back a slightly more personal touch; ‘Killing Machine’ is the great antiwar track that every thrash album needs. The album finishes on a bit more of a groove with ‘Something to Believe’ allowing drummer (and ex-Machine Head member) Dave McClain to show off a groove he hasn’t been able to swing in sometime, as well as showing just how good vocalist Phil Rind’s voice still is.
This is very much an album for the times, one that will hopefully help be a part of an awakening (sorry…) that will see artists beginning to lead the charge of much needed change around the globe, before such complacency and ignorance becomes normal again.
- Divide & Conquer
- Manifest Reality
- Killing Machine
- Death Valley
- Something to Believe