It is an American thrash metal band formed in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1985 by vocalist Dan Kelly, bassist Phil Rind, drummer Greg Hall and guitarists Jeff Martinek and Jason Rainey, who also does some of the band’s comic illustrations. Marked by the sarcasm that begins in the name (Holy Kingdom, in Portuguese), the band brings lyrics that talk about controversial topics and political awareness, always with a dose of irony.
Due to Dan’s illness, in 1985, Phil Rind replaces the singer and the band records its first demo, called Draining You Of Life, with the songs “Draining You Of Life”, “Rest In Peace”, “Sacred Reich” and “No Believers”.
The following year, Sacred Reich takes part in the compilation “Metal Massacre VIII”. Wiley Arnnet replaces Jeff on guitar and in 1987 Brian Slagel, CEO of Metalblade Records (Alice Cooper, Cannibal Corpse, D.R.I., Fates Warning, Armored Saint, Slayer, Destruction) signs with the band to produce the debut album.
In the same year, Ignorance is released, the first album, very raw, which had a hardcore tone without losing the thrash metal roots and lyrics that talked about racism, war, domination and political alienation. This album was produced by Bill Metoyer who has worked with bands like Armored Saint, Corrosion of Conformity, D.R.I., Fates Warning, Flotsam & Jetsam, Slayer, Touniquet and W.A.S.P.
It’s even refreshing to get away from the self-absorbed lyrics of other bands and artists, and hear someone talking about things that really matter. The music found on the second album, “The American Way”, is much more aggressive and intense. Sacred Reich has always distanced themselves from most thrash bands by adding politically charged messages to their songs, and this album is no exception. From countries taking shots at their own failings, with songs about Apartheid in South Africa, the band definitely had a message and wanted to be heard. While the music may seem less “heavy”, inoffensive compared to the thrash metal of the previous album, the band decided that a change in sound was necessary, in concern for its release only in 1990, a time when thrash metal had been losing ground to grunge. Thus, the band used heavy metal more broadly, toning down their sound considerably.
Despite this, the band still managed to do well, with fast, striking and energetic riffs. Some tracks are excellent examples of what makes Sacred Reich so great, yet others make little impression. The albums also seem to drag at some points, especially with the opener “Love…Hate”. For keeping Bill Metoyer, the recording has been well mixed, as each instrument can be heard clearly. However, the positives outweigh the negatives largely in aspects for musical composition, and attitude.
In 1995. former drummer Dave McClain joined Machine Head. Guitarist Wiley Arnett went on to form The Human Condition, with Prophet vocalist St. Madness, in July 2000.
In 2007, the band reunited to play several shows in Europe, including Wacken Open Air.[lacks sources] However, according to an interview with bassist-vocalist, Phil Rind, there are no plans to record a new album.
On March 17, 2020 the band’s former guitarist, Jason Rainey, passed away from a heart attack. He had left the band in 2019.