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Review: Sacred Reich - Awakening
Sacred Reich

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 31:30
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: March 20, 2021
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)

I've been going through some older Sacred Reich albums as Metal Blade Records recently reissued a few remastered versions and I realized I had this 2019 album that slipped through the cracks (one of many, unfortunately...)

Well, I actually like this more than their older stuff. While I'm usually more of an old-school guy, I find that Sacred Reich got better with age, incorporating some more modern aspects on this album while keeping a foot firmly planted in old-school thrash. What I like most here is at complete opposites: They really speed it up on a lot of songs, total speed/thrash territory that really gets the blood pumping, but then you have this song, "Death Valley", which is much more slow-paced and even kind of bluesy, that's more akin to straightforward heavy metal than it is to thrash. It has a bit of a '70s heavy rock/early heavy metal vibe and it's pretty heavy and might just be my favourite here. I've seen people trash this one and say it sounds out of place, but I beg to differ. Despite its vibe being quite different from the rest of the album, I find that the songs just fits on the album for some weird reason. I usually don't like outliers like this one much but, on Awakening, I think Sacred Reich somehow made it work.

While Awakening doesn't break any new ground in a very crowded genre, I think this turned out to be one of Sacred Reich's best albums. To get an old-school guy like me prefer something more "modern" over the old stuff, you've got to be doing something right. While old Sacred Reich sounded like just another thrash band, here I think they got something good going for them. Hopefully, these guys have more of this stuff baking in the oven.

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