Review Summary: An extremely heavy debut, from a relatively unknown band.
The year was 1987, and thrash metal was in full swing. The Big Four of thrash had already put out their biggest records, and the scene was becoming overcrowded with smaller bands. One of those bands were Sacred Reich. Hailing from Phoenix Arizona, the band formed in 1985 and was a four piece band. The band played a very heavy Slayer-esque form of thrash metal. Their debut, "Ignorance" was released in 1987, and even featured former Slayer sound engineer, Bill Metoyer, who would produce the album. The music is politically driven and very fast.
Ignorance's front album cover is rather eye-catching, showing a hostage with a blindfold, a presumably hijacked airliner crashing, and the American flag sprawled in the background, so just by the album cover one can assume that this album is rather politically poignant. The album starts off with "Death Squad", which contains a really nice riff in the beginning. The riff repeats for a little while, and is joined later by the rest of the instruments, turning even heavier. Then the song really picks up with a full out assault on your ears. The music is played so fast and heavy, one can not help but head-bang. Only four minutes into the album, i knew that this album was gonna be excellent.
The vocalist, Phil Rind, has a delivery that fits the music perfectly. He doesn't exactly sing, but rather yells through most of the lyrics. Its not so over-the-tops like many of his thrash counter-parts. Phil's vocals actually sound good. Phil also turns out to be the bass player for the band, and does a solid enough job. The bass is pretty audible in "No Believers". The bass sounds cool enough throughout most of the album, but like many heavy metal records, there is not a whole lot of emphasis on that particular instrument. Phil Rind is also the main songwriter for this album.
The guitarists comprise of Wiley Arnett, and Jason Rainey. The guitars are very riff driven throughout most of the album, with Arnett and Rainey trading riffs back and forth. The riffs are of course, are very heavy and fast. The solos are very nice, especially in the two minute epic instrumental "Layed To Rest". That song in particular shows excellent musicianship from both guitarists. There is never a dull moment from these guys throughout the album.
Drummer Greg Hall is easily the most talented member of this band. The drums are probably my favorite thing about this album. Hes fast, brutal, and has many tricks up his sleeve along the way. He doesn't just simply keep the tempo. He gives this album the energy it needs.
Overall this album is an excellent debut. It showed what these guys were capable of and much more. Many veteran bands can only dream of releasing a debut such as this. Do yourself a favor and give this album a listen. It is perfect for anyone who likes there metal a little on the the extreme side.
Phil Rind - vocals, bass
Wiley Arnett - guitar
Jason Rainey - guitar
Greg Hall - drums
Produced by Bill Metoyer, Sacred Reich
Metal Blade Records