Review Summary: Probably the most underrated album. Ever.
American Way is a strange addition to the Sacred Reich library. Opinion on this band is completely split down the middle: you either love it because they thrash crazier than mosh pits on speed and acid, and for its lyrical topics attacking politics, or you hate them because many consider them just "another brick in the wall" when it comes to thrash. Unfortunately, if you agree with the latter, you are really an idiot. Sure, the riffs aren't that
original, but the release of American Way completely exploded. Fans holed up in sold out arena shows, not to mention being one of the most successful Reich albums. It otherwise earned them an unforgettable spot in thrash.
But despite the fact that it is just a straightforward thrash album, perhaps that is the best thing for this epic. Despite the fact that the riffs are faster than a Bugetti Veyron at top speed down a freeway, this is one thrash album that you have never heard in thrash. Despite the fact that the drums blast louder than planets exploding, this is something never again performed in thrash. Despite the fact that the vocalist sounds like James Hetfield's Russian-Irish half-brother shrieking like a banshee, this is incredibly original.
This album creates some serious atmosphere, one that some thrash albums nowadays can not create (Acid Drinkers anybody?). This continues to attack politics, capital, and their inability to help nations. You could not ask for anything more different: American Way is an album that definitely soars beyond expectations, no matter how high or low. In a way, we should be glad this album did not make it big - if anybody listened to this album with goal-setting expectations, this is not something most would enjoy. This is a fist pumpin', heart thumpin' CD, and a damn good one.
The slight criticism aside, the biggest being the funk track "34 Flavors", this album is surprisingly considered a progressive metal LP, so if you had listened to Ignorance, expect a totally new sound. And yet, it still sticks to the formula, so you could
call it progressive thrash, but that's just ludicrous. The lead vocals have improved from Surf Nicaurgua and Ignorance, going from shrieking like my drunk uncle when he's drowning himself on gin, to sounding like a viking on tar, cigarettes, and speed. So, yeah, it sounds better.
What you'll think of Sacred Reich's third masterpiece depends on how much you enjoyed their previous works. There is something called the infamous third album, one that many bands have. This is far from a bad third release, and even though they are now considered an excuse for a band (I think Heal divided fans more than Diamond Head did with What's In Your Head), these guys still show that they can rock hard. Happy 4th of July, America. This is the American Way, and it will rock your clothes off.