One of the best parts about the underground metal scene, especially in the 80′s was the social consciousness of so many bands. While mainstream hair bands were singing love ballads and songs about drinking and screwing there was a metal scene that was pretty pissed off about the Reagan administration, our horrific foreign policy at the time and the growing AIDS epidemic to name a few (oh, and the occasional songs about drinking and screwing too of course). One of the bands in the thrash scene that carried the flag of social injustice was Arizona’s Sacred Reich.
Sacred Reich released their debut full length album, Ignorance, in 1987 on Metal Blade Records. Unfortunately a lot of the topics they covered in 1987 still exist today. I mean, just look at the album cover and its somewhat frightening foreshadowing of horrible things to come. Sacred Reich had a lot to say and they were pretty pissed off lyrically speaking. It shows in their choice of style as they played sort of a hybrid thrash/speed metal mix. They had the occasional melodic moment (i.e. the “Layed To Rest” instrumental) but for the most part this album is pure on speed/thrash power riffing with drums that come up just shy of full on blast beats at certain points.
So a couple interesting tidbits about this band. A) They were the first thrash band signed to Metal Blade to be offered distribution through Capitol Records and B) they really liked pot. How do I know this last detail? Because when I saw them play a show at a tiny club in 1995 or 1996 all Phil Rind did in between songs was ask if anyone had pot and/or wanted to smoke after the show. True story. Got kind of annoying after awhile.
But love of the sweet leaf aside, this band new how to rock out the proper way. Check out this super rare clip I discovered of the band playing the title track on some cable access show! Killer!