Sacred Reich

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 always brings lyrics talking about controversial topics and political awareness with a dose of irony.

Due to Dan’s illness, in 1985, Phil Rind replaced the singer, and the band recorded 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 participated in the “Metal Massacre VIII” compilation. Wiley Arnnet replaced 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) signed with the band to produce the debut album.

In the same year, Ignorance was released. The first album, very raw, 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, Tourniquet 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 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 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” and inoffensive compared to the thrash metal of the previous album, the band decided that a change in sound was necessary, concerning its release only in 1990, when thrash metal had been losing ground to grunge. Thus, the band used heavy metal more broadly, toning 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”. The recording has been well mixed for keeping Bill Metoyer, as each instrument can be heard clearly. However, the positives largely outweigh the negatives regarding musical composition and attitude.

In 1995. Former drummer Dave McClain joined Machine Head. Guitarist Wiley Arnett formed The Human Condition with Prophet vocalist St. Madness in July 2000.

In 2007, the band reunited to play several European shows, including Wacken Open Air. 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.

Ignorance (1987)
The American Way (1990)
Independent (1993)
Heal (1996)
Awakening (2019)

Draining You of Life (demo) (1986)
Surf Nicaragua (1988)
A Question (1991)

Live albums
Alive at the Dynamo (1989)
Still Ignorant (1997)