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Review of the Album "Awakening" by Sacred Reich

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Lineup for the album Awakening is as follows:

  • Phil Rind: bass guitars and vocals
  • Wiley Arnett: lead guitars
  • Dave McClain: drums
  • Joey Radziwill: rhythm guitars Note: born in 1996 Joey is the youngest current member of Sacred Reich

The Return of Sacred Reich

Awakening is the 2019 studio album by Sacred Reich and this is a very refreshing return for these Arizona thrash metal veterans. Many of us felt that Sacred Reich would never come back again as a band but here they are after a six year breakup and a long time with no new material released. That is until 2019 and I’m just checking this album out now as I write this. Sacred Reich has awoken from its long slumber both literally and figuratively as the bass lines of Phil Rind are still audible if you listen closely enough. This review is also being dedicated to the late great bassist Cliff Burton (1962-1986) as I know that he would have really loved the music of Sacred Reich had he lived to see this day. The future is here now and Sacred Reich is back and boy did they make a triumphant return!

"Manifest Reality"

Awakening is the Band's Best Album Since Independent

Listening to Awakening for the very first time, one can only wonder in amazement as if to say “whoa!” This is the way to come back but it is a real shame that it took over two decades for Arizona’s best thrash metal band to release a new album even though they were broken up for six years and then reformed as a touring band in 2006. Their thrash metal origins are still alive and well especially with the modern and razor sharp riff filled song “Manifest Reality.” After one listen through Awakening, it is reasonable to conclude that this is Sacred Reich’s best album since 1993’s Independent which is a bold statement. The songwriting on Awakening is both modern and crisp as listeners are treated to modern thrash metal that works from start to finish.

Final Thoughts About Awakening

Note: as we update this review, the one song that some listeners may keep on listening to is the mentioned “Manifest Reality” which is not only one of the best Sacred Reich songs in terms of its riffing and structure, the message in that song is really useful for everyday living. We have to be the change that we want to see in our lives and the world. The song lyrically is about how to use the Law of Attraction to manifest what we want in our lives. It may seem obvious but we have to be the ones to change what we think and feel. As the song says, you are perfect just as you are. “Death Valley” sounds a little like the song “Crawling” way back in the day but the song also has a definite blues feel to it so it is one of those that will not overwhelm your senses. Awakening is an album that is more than just an album by Sacred Reich. It is an album with just eight songs but eight songs that are proper not just in the way that they have been written but they have messages that encourage people to live better lives and in 2021, we need others to speak up about what is just and proper and Sacred Reich has done just that. Awakening is not just about a spiritual awakening but this album represents an awakening for Sacred Reich in a big way as they are hopefully back to recording and performing more often in the future as conditions permit them to do so. The song “Divide & Conquer” is a song that lyrically can describe what is going on politically in the United States as one side is pitted against the other and the focus is on things that really don’t matter as much. So for those of you that are wondering if Awakening is better as an album compared to Independent, it is very tough to say that at this point because both of these albums are great and it is very tough to pick one over the other.

"Awakening" Official Music Video

Awakening Compared to Independent

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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