May 15, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: The American Way.
1990 again, the pinnacle year for intelligent thrashmetal ...and nothing reeks more intelligent thrashmetal than Arizona's own SACRED REICH !
The new breed of thrashmetal was in-vogue, talented bands like XENTRIX, PRONG, FLOATSAM & JETSAM and local buddies SACRED REICH were changing the sound and feel of traditional thrash. And with the digital-technology at their door-step, these young bands never sounded more clean and clinically precise.
The onslaught started with 1987's Ignorance LP, then grew with 1988's Surf Nicaragua EP which included the famous title-track featuring THE SURFARIS's iconic "Wipe Out" mid-part drum-segment. This release also displayed the epic "One Nation", a song that forever puts to rest, some ambiguities concerning the band and their moniker being related to any fascist-ideology. Now fully matured, let them show us the way ...the American way !
Alive, stage-dive, into the pit, get bruised ...that's one fact you'll learn to "Love... Hate". This intense circle-moshpit opens-up the celebration with a punch and leaves us with the colossal title-track. Simplicity and heaviness at it's best. "The American Way" grinds at 149bpm. If AC/DC were a thrash band, this would've been one of their songs. Highlighting the cold selfish truth about the American-dream ...after all is said and done, one question still remain: "How did we come to be so fucked ?"
The eco-friendly "Crimes Against Humanity" and oppression-hostile "State Of Emergency" exposes the heart of the problem. Acid rains, nuclear waste, dictatorial regimes and Apartheid aren't typical thrashmetal subjects, but SACRED REICH aren't a typical thrashmetal band. If you don't follow the 6 O'clock news, that's fine don't ...but please do yourself a favor and read the included lyric-sheet:
Not a political band, yet some global political topics are being displayed on "The Way It Is". A fine fast thrash-tune in a Reaganomic-ridden decade of mass inflated consumption. The serious "Who's To Blame" covers the 80s trend of heavymetal-bands being scrutinized under the distinctive conservative eye. Law-suits and media-lynching against JUDAS PRIEST and Ozzy Osbourne where heavily debated, while never focusing on the real initial problem: chaotic family home.
And now, time for some fun with the ultimate hybrid. Mix some folked guitars with a funk bass-line, reggae-drums and funny themed lyrics, open wide and taste: "31 Flavors". This one could have fitted right between MORDRED and LIVING COLOUR ...and it even features an accompanying horn-section. Total left-field, coming from a thrash band, no other band from this scene has ever put out an experimental track like this one, no band. On this unique cut, SACRED REICH are the FAITH NO MORE of thrashmetal.
Lyrics-wise, if it needs to be discussed, main-lyricist vocalist Phil Rind will cover it. Racism, economy, religion, politics and war ...total punk attitude, just another day at the office for these metal-men. The now less ignorant surfers were at their creative peak and so did this exciting new hip thrash-movement. The American Way CD forever now remain one of the top album from the 1989-90 thrashmetal food-chain, where sounds and styles were head-butting and trail-blazing through deadly decibels.
Following the success of The American Way record and touring-cycle, SACRED REICH finally got their big-break, a major-label deal with Hollywood Records, a Disney-owned company. Although still independent in their mindset, 1993's Independent CD didn't prove worthy enough for a long-term deal. Once again, we could blame the Seattle-success for the label's sudden lack of interest.
Will the future make America great again ? ...great for what ?
RIP Jason Rainey (1967-2020)
The American Way - video
The American Way - full CD
Interview in 1990
Live in Detroit in 1991
The American Way covered by KATAKLYSM
Bus Invaders in 2019
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