The American Way
Metal Blade Records
Released May 15, 1990
In 1990, Sacred Reich unleashed a thrash classic, utilizing some progression, but staying the course with that take-no-prisoners approach to their song writing. All the songs were lyrical firecrackers, and musically; the band wanted to expand their horizons without straying from their roots. What resulted was a multi-layered platform of thrash, combined with groovy riffs, catchy choruses and politically charged lyrics. For my money’s worth, the change in sound meant a more balanced and focused approach, despite the thrash die-hards complaining about the change in direction; keeping closed minded to this new horizon.
Phil Rind pitched it hard; utilizing his beefy vocals to the fullest extent and striving for something more than just the all-out thrash approach heard on Ignorance (their previous release). In fact the band would even go on to include “31 Flavours” appearing as the final track on the album; going off the deep end with a funky number that felt out of character for the boys. The quality of the track might be questionable to most metal heads at the time, but it did prove to what great lengths the band would go for progression.
Ultimately, the album received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike and it’s a real shame, given how strong some of the individual numbers are on this release. A least the video for “The American Way” was used in the movie Encino Man, so that was one positive out of this. One thing is certain about this release; it just proved how close-minded most metal heads of the 80’s were when it came to getting a little progression with your thrash metal.
I’m giving this album a 9 out of 10 and I consider this a seminal piece of thrash metal for the time. Favorite tracks are: “Love…Hate”, “The American Way”, “Crimes Against Humanity” and “State of Emergency”.