We all know that metal reunions are tricky business. How many times do old band recreate their old glories and give to us something that recall the first time we have hear their old glorious albums? Not that often, you would agree. In this day and age where every possible band has reunited for quick buck it became even enough to have a comeback that does not piss all over glorious legacies from bygone eras. Enter Arizona thrashers Sacred Reich and their 5th full length aptly titled Awakening, the troop which didn’t do studio album for 23 years, and that 1996’s album entitled Heal was clear victim of meandering trends that hit thrash metal scene in that period. It is fair to say that expectations were reasonably not that high for their return, but Phil Rind and Wiley Arnett, who solidified the lineup with Dave McClain and young guitarist Joey Radziwill, did the very smart move: they were only touring for decades where they honed back their weapons and when the time was right the album was done. Now, no one needed another lackluster Sacred Reich record and it seems to me that the guys were very aware of that, so they did what appeals to their fan base the most. So Awakening could be seen as natural successor to their famous album American Way, which means this is thrash metal alright but in the same time also informed of good groove without sacrificing the overall vibe of the record. Songs like Manifest Reality and title track will show you immediately what I mean with those statements, and this time Sacred Reich are not here to fuck around but to thrash the fans the way the love. One more proof of my words is the fact that the album lasts for mere 30 minutes, so the band obviously did not want to overstay its welcome but to distill the best they had in their arsenal for this occasion. That playing time will instantly remind the fans of their cult debut Ignorance, also the retro cover art and good old school sounding production work all round up this thrash package so no mistakes on that part. But even though the album drags just a bit more than it should in the second half, luckily for them the overall level of energy compensate that very well. I see Awakening as totally fine come back album where Sacred Reich have returned to the scene in proper way and in style we all wished them to be, maybe the album in itself is not top tier like they used to do but let the band hone their craft along the way. Famous name is not corrupted with Awakening, that is what matters the most anyway.
- Metal Blade Records CD
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