REVIEW: SACRED REICH – “Awakening”
The world is a better place with the resurrection of Sacred Reich on their new album called Awakening. Like a land left fallow, Sacred Reich have lain dormant for 23 years after the release of Heal in 1996. Awakening is the realization by the band that they are their best and happiest making music as Sacred Reich. The product of this revival is eight tracks of metallic bliss.
The title track strikes out with punching riff that sets the stage for a classic Wiley Arnett shredding solo. Wiley fills the album with his tasteful and expressive solos which is a hallmark of all Sacred Reich albums. You’ll also find as you listen to Awakening that Phil Rind’s voice sounds spectacular. With characteristic gritty muscularity, Phil projects force. In addition, he expresses great melodic hooks that help each song bore into your brain.
All the tracks on Awakening are strong and vibrant, yet there is one song that is a cut above. That song is “Divide and Conquer”. Not only is this song topically relevant to the bullsh*t I’m living through in my country, but it is also magnetic. Runaway locomotive riffs from Wiley and Joey Radziwill compel you with a sense of urgency. The hook on the chorus is iron and irresistible with Dave McClains rolling toms and snapping snare accenting Phil’s soaring vocals.
Another crusher is “Manifest Reality”. Opening with a menacing riff and tribal beats, it shifts into chainsaw guitars with mosh pit written all over it. The lyrical concept of being your best self is uplifting. These words of wisdom resonate within Awakening. A theme of life as an exploration where you discover yourself. In the end, you have to be ok with that in order to enjoy the ride.
One of the more surprising tunes on Awakening is called “Death Valley”. A very bouncy grooving song about death and reincarnation. The song structure moves away from them in your face thrash attack and toward a bluesy jam. The bridge allows Phil to stretch out his voice in a section of the tune that could have been recorded by the Foo Fighters. This isn’t a bad thing, so don’t freak out. This jam gives you a little respite before launching you into the cross-over punk goodness of “Revolution”.
Awakening by Sacred Reich is tsunami of metal music. They are surfing this mother like Bodhi ripping up some lethal waves in Point Break. With this 30 plus minute sprint, Sacred Reich keep the metal flag flying high. Gorgeous and groovy riffs and pouncing rhythms give you all the headbanging satisfaction you can ask for. The songs on Awakening are so compelling that you’ll find yourself cueing this album up again, and again, and again.