CD review SACRED REICH ‘Awakening’

(9/10) 23 years after having released with ‘Heal’ their so far latest album and after having played quite an amount of live shows over the last years, Sacred Reich is back with a whole new studio release.

‘Awakening’ is just their fifth album, it has to compete with genre defining longplayer such as ‘Ignorance’ and ‘The American Way’ and it can handle a comparison.

Sacred Reich these days, that’s Phil Rind, Wiley Arnett and Dave McClain, all three being longtime band members, and it is Joey Radziwill adding extra riff power since 2019. The quartet managed to record an album that easily bridges the years between the glorious first era and the nowadays. Matured in sound and rebellious young at heart, that is Sacred Reich’s Thrash Metal these days.

It’s the title track being the start-up wrecking ball that’s convincing right-away. If there was any doubt if the four-piece legend is able to release a great album it’s the opener that swipes away those thoughts. Furious solo parts, an irresistible groove and Rind’s typical vocal are characterizing the song and a remarkable start.

The Thrash Metal veterans builds on the energy from the opener and continue cruising through an impressive tracklist with ‘Divide & Conquer’ is the second stop. The raging song fires on all cylinders, but also has some melodic parts in the chorus.

‘Awakening’ is an album that didn’t become extraordinary long. Eight songs and 32 minutes are at the bottom end when it comes to running time. What helps to forget this fact is that each of the recorded tunes is a winner. ‘Salvation’ for example reduces pace a bit and enters the fields of Power Metal with some guitar lines reminding of Iron Maiden while vocals are reflecting some Armored Saint.

After such a little detour the rumbling ‘Manifest Reality’ brings back merciless Thrash Metal that doesn’t take any prisoners. ‘Killing Machine’ starts the bottom part of the batting list and it’s another four homeruns waiting.

The longest song on the album is entitled ‘Death Valley’ and it shows a slightly new aspect. Although being about ‘death’ the track reflects the blistering Death Valley heat with vocals being more rooted in Rock than Metal. The track is a smooth rocker that comes as a surprise but shows its beauty after a while. To not forget Sacred Reich being a Thrash Metal band it’s ‘Revolution’ that brings back aggressiveness before ‘Something to Believe’ acts as the walk-off hit.

‘Awaking’ is the highly anticipated new album of Phil Rind & Co. and it’s 100% Sacred Reich. There are some surprises included on this eight track release being the extra spice. Thrash Metal rules on this disc and tracks like ‘Death Valley’ ensure an entertaining variety, making ‘Awakening’ to an excellent wake-up call. Well done guys.


(9/10)

Tracklist:

  1. Awakening
  2. Divide & Conquer
  3. Salvation
  4. Manifest Reality
  5. Killing Machine
  6. Death Valley
  7. Revolution
  8. Something to Believe

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: August 23rd, 2019

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