In the top 10 of “Once Very Promising Metalbands” Sacred Reich would be right there along with used-to-be-infamous-names like Carcass, Napalm Death and Bathory. They all started out with albums that hit the listener in the face, leaving him dizzy, bashed up and nauseated. But as time went by, and the amount of albums grew, a decline of quality was felt all the way through the bones. The music became more pollished, more develloped, but the intensity, the rawness, and the original sounding voice was gone.
When singer Lee Dorian left Napalm Death and was replaced with vocalist Barney Greenaway, the band should have changed its name, because whatever they were doing, they weren’t doing Napalm Death anymore.
If Carcass had done only their gruewesome first grindcore hit “Reek of putrefaction”, they would have made history. They still made history with that first LP, but the pile of “noisy nothingness” they made later on, covered most of their reputation being the most disgusting band alive.
And who caress to try out the latest Bathory output? This tight, fast and pitchdark black metalband from chilly Skandanavia once brought us candlelight-deleria like “Blood, fire, death” and “Under the sign of the black mark”, but with the opera-like “Hammerheart” the blood and fire seemed to deminnish, and with “Twilight of the Gods” we knew that this little Northern adventure was finished too.
“Ignorance” was Sacred Reich’s debut and it had some great songs on it: “Death squad”, “Victims of demise”, the title track and, surprisingly, a melancholical intrumental track called “Layed to rest”.
The band’s follow up was the E.P. “Surf Nicaragua” with the popular, catchy scream-along title track, the Black Sabbath cover “War pigs” and two live tracks. The quality of this second album suggested that the first one wasn’t a one-day-fly-thing.
Sacred Reich gave a more than solide live concert at the Dynamo Festival in Eindhoven, Holland, which produced a 4-track live album, called “Alive at the Dynamo”. Yet again we can enjoy “Surf Nicaragua”, “Death squad” and the likes. And still the band was in great shape.
With “Independence” however the amount of good songs was rather small compared to the more routine-like tracks. “The American way” and “Heal” provided our stereo’s with music from a band that seemed to suffer from creative jetlag. And the final album, a whole live cd called “Still Ignorant Live” was the definitive downfall.
Not one song sounds convincing, singer Phil Rind doesn’t even seem to try to put up any effort to connect to the crowd. It’s like Alzheimer has crept in, and all we hear are some echo’s of songs that once ruled the stages throughout the world.
Sacred Reich slowely evolved into a dying Reich, and with this last live (but not so lively) CD “Still Ignorant Live”, the band uttered its last breath and finally became a Burried Reich.
That in itself is not what’s so sad, it’s the fact that the band buried itself, is what is so hurting. Being in the top 10 of “Once So Promising Bands”, Sacred Reich should have deserved a little more.