Sacred Reich
Awakening


3.4
great

Review

by Willie STAFF
August 24th, 2019 | 42 replies


Release Date: 08/23/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sacred Reich leap from 1993 to 2019 with a complete disregard for anything that has happened in music in between. Thank god for that.

I wasn’t exactly excited when I heard about Sacred Reich releasing a new album, but I was definitely interested – “Don’t Do It, Donnie” almost killed that interest. “Don’t Do It, Donnie” was a terrible song to release after twenty-three years of silence. It was basically a sloppy punk track with an annoyingly repetitive chorus. Fortunately, that one-off track has very little in common with Sacred Reich’s first album of new material since 1996. Awakening is basically an amalgamation of Sacred Reich’s first three albums combined with a slight punk influence; with nary a single nod to the musical climate of the past two decades.

Awakening’s title track kicks things off with a near-equal blend of The American Way riffs and Independent songwriting. Overall, it’s a pretty good indication of what to expect since a large majority of the songs pull evenly from The American Way and Independent. This blend results in what is probably one of my favorite songs from Sacred Reich’s discography, “Salvation.” “Salvation” would probably feel most at home on Sacred Reich’s breakout third release, Independent, because of its mid-tempo delivery and huge catchy chorus, but it is augmented by one of Awakening’s heaviest riffs on the verses. It’s definitely one of two songs I keep finding myself coming back to – the other being “Killing Machine” which is definitely the most punk-influenced on Awakening without sounding anything like the terrible “Don’t Do It, Donnie.”

Awakening isn’t all mid-tempo metal tracks, though. The band did include a few songs for fans all about Sacred Reich’s no-frills thrash debut. “Divide and Conquer” is the first song to jump into the up-tempo thrash vibe, but even it drops the pace for a more contemporary chorus. “Manifest Reality” and “Revolution” are where the band’s true thrash roots are displayed, and they should satisfy that Ignorance-style craving even if Awakening could have used a few more in that style. The one song on Awakening that doesn’t really feel like a nostalgic throwback is “Death Valley.” Like its name kind of implies, “Death Valley” sounds like the sort of desert rock made famous by bands such as Kyuss, but given the Sacred Reich touch. It’s definitely not my favorite track, but it’s a nice switch about two-thirds of the way through the album.

Interviews with vocalist Phil Rind made it clear the band were just happy to be back together, and it shows. Whether they’re belting out thrash homages or more restrained mid-tempo songs, the feel of the album is absolutely upbeat and almost even positive. Each song feels like the band are just having fun, and that feeling is definitely imparted to the listener. Despite the lack of any real surprises, Awakening easily stands with anything else Sacred Reich has ever done, and shouldn’t disappoint any longtime fans that are still out there. For those that were too young to experience Sacred Reich back when they were originally active, just be prepared for some early nineties metal with a few songs that move back to a time when no-frills thrash ruled the metal landscape.




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user ratings (34)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
August 24th 2019


17717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I haven't reviewed anything in over a year... just trying to kick the dust off a little bit.

Digging: Ray Alder - What The Water Wants

Casavir
August 24th 2019


3695 Comments


I need to go through this band's discog again.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2019


8432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

Album stream:

http://sacredreichofficial.bandcamp.com/album/awakening



Accurate rating, will read and comment tomorrow.

Digging: Apparatus - Yonder Yawns the Universe

Willie
Moderator
August 24th 2019


17717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I'm not their biggest fan, so I was actually pleasantly surprised that I liked this as much as I did.

teamster
August 24th 2019


4339 Comments


Willie! Good to see you brother. I heard a track off this on Apple Music Metal radio station - it was pretty good. Will check. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - A Throne of Ash

Dimorphic
August 25th 2019


990 Comments


New Sacred Reich album is not as good as the new Sacred Son album.

Digging: Sacred Son - Arthurian Catacombs

TheNotrap
August 25th 2019


11802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good to see you back. I didn't like the first single, but I'm interested in listening to the album. Surf Nicaragua is a classic.

Digging: Vitriol (USA) - To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2019


24886 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice return, Willie



Used to really dig their first two albums during my thrash phase so might have to revisit them and give this a go!

Digging: Somos - Prison On A Hill

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2019


8432 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

Spot on summary.



Album sounds like what Independent should have been, while it bodes well with Heal.

ChaoticVortex
August 25th 2019


824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Willie, it's good to have you back. As for the album, loved the singles and the rest of the tracks are very solid as well. It combines the fierce energy of their first two albums with the mid-paced grooves of Independent (with much better execution). I also loved the production and mixing which is so close to that old-school 80's, 90's sound that it makes you wonder how come that this lesser known thrash band can pull it off, while other and bigger names can't.

ChaoticVortex
August 25th 2019


824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also maybe it's just me, but a lot of this album really had a later-year Anthrax vibe to it.

MO
August 25th 2019


22711 Comments


oh shit big willie nice

Willie
Moderator
August 25th 2019


17717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

--Good to see you back. I didn't like the first single, but I'm interested in listening to the album. Surf Nicaragua is a classic.--

--Used to really dig their first two albums during my thrash phase so might have to revisit them and give this a go!--

My favorite Sacred Reich album is Independent followed by American Way, so this album really clicked with me. The Surf Nicaragua/Ignorace vibe isn't as prominent here as those two albums, but I still think there's enough here for people that gravitate more towards the debut and that EP.



--Album sounds like what Independent should have been--

It definitely brings the balls that Independent kind of dropped. It was that time, though. Metallica had the black album, Testament had The Ritual, Megadeth had Countdown, Flotsam and Jetsam did Cuatro.... it was just that time...



--Also maybe it's just me, but a lot of this albums really had a later-year Anthrax vibe to it.--

I didn't hear it. Which albums are you thinking of.

ChaoticVortex
August 25th 2019


824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bush-year Anthrax albums. It was the first thing that came to my mind hearing mid-paced staccato riffing of Awakening.

RunOfTheMill
August 25th 2019


4034 Comments


Album cover is proper old-school, looks fun

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2019


17717 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

--Bush-year Anthrax albums--



Oh. I can see that a little bit. To me, it just sounds like ballsy Independent-era Sacred Reich. That album has a lot of that mid-paced staccato riffing, too.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 26th 2019


10189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Holy Shit, it's a Willie on the front page. Welcome back to sput-life I guess? : ]

dwightfryed
August 26th 2019


86 Comments


The album should be called "We apologize for Heal"

Digging: Fleetwood Mac - Mr. Wonderful

south_of_heaven 11
August 26th 2019


5529 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty fun album. Been through it multiple times now. Really like the 8-track length, especially since there is pretty good variety here.



Big surprise after "Don't Do It Donnie".

botb
August 26th 2019


13226 Comments


Band is so solid



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