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Had the band released this album in ’92-’93 instead of Independent, they might have held on to a few more fans. They might have, but who can be sure. This album sounded a lot more like Sacred Reich anyway and the more aggressive material had more in common with thrash than the crossover ideas on Independent.
‘Blue Suit Brown Shirt’, ‘Break Through’, ‘Don't’, ‘See Through my Eyes’, ‘I Don't Care’ and the marvellous ‘The Power of the written Word’ are the songs which would please any old school Sacred Reich fan such as myself. Especially ‘Blue Suit Brown Shirt’ and ‘The Power of the written Word’ contain more aggression by themselves than their previous album in total. Unfortunately none of these good songs reaches the brilliance of, let’s say, Death Squad or Surf Nicaragua but they do come damn close to the average quality of their earliest releases.
‘Who do You want to Be’ is a sweet Danny Elfman song which the band performs in a danceable way and this song comes remarkably close to the crossover tune ‘Pressure’ from the Independent album. But lo and behold there were a few of those annoying groove tunes here. ‘Heal’, ‘Low’ and ‘Ask Ed’ fill the rest of the album and I wish they’d just released an EP with the earlier mentioned 6 tunes.
Only partially returning to their roots and secondly releasing the album without their famous band logo, makes me remember this piece as just an average footnote in their history. Quite depressing to watch this band vanish slowly over the years. Curse you, damn nineties!
Sacred Reich did only one great album, “Ignorance”. The following albums showed a different kind of metal that I cannot define as thrash metal, but more as a form of half-thrash with groove. So, to me total crap. I've always read quite good comments (if not exceptional) about this “Heal” and I decided to listen to it. Well, if the groove period has passed a bit, here we can find some good elements that anyway cannot be compared to the awesome first album.
Here we can find more hardcore influences in their sound with some viruses from the groove past. The songs, fortunately are not so long, so the band can concentrate the energy in a short length. The things I dislike here are the vocals: in Pantera/recent Metallica style, without the angry and powerful thrash tone. The tempo since the beginning track “Blue Suit, Brown Shirt” is groove oriented.
The guitars sound is not too bombastic and quite thrash anyway but the way they play the instruments contributes in creating an half thrash pounding sound. The tempo on the title track is stoner while “Break Through” or “Don’t” are more energetic but is difficult to call this thrash. Again, the stoner rock tempo is well stuck in “Ask Ed” with quite good solos. I believe that the final “The Power Of The Written World” is the more o thrash metal oriented song here with good tempo and riffage.
Anyway, if you like true thrash, avoid this one. It’s not bad but done by Sacred Reich it’s difficult to enjoy…again: only one masterpiece in their discography.
Of all the more notorious thrash bands from the late 80's and early 90's, Sacred Reich were certainly not one of the better acts. However, while keeping an open mind and allowing a band the opportunity to always redeem themselves, this album manages to do just that. With the release of Heal, Sacred Reich have finally managed to release a consistent thrash metal album that is just as well produced as the actual musical arrangements. Overall this album is not "amazing", but is certainly great! By point of fact, just about every song on this album is worthy to be heard, and the performances of the band members themselves is far better than what is found on all of their previous recordings. I think one of the most beneficial turning points for this band is when they managed to aquire drummer Dave McLain into their ranks, who went on to play with Machine Head after Kris Kontos left. Dave's drumming on this album is rather impressive, especially in the double bass department where his expertise of both speed and intricacy is very well represented.
This album also seems to be a little more aggressive in the lyrical department, as its a much more "in your face" type of record. Check out the tracks Blue Suit, Brown Shirt, Don't, I Don't Care, and The Power of The Written Word. Phil's lyrics definately lean towards a rebelious realm and the message is lound and clear...Fuck You!
This album is actually very heavy, both in terms of actual songs as well as the production, there seems to be alot of bottom end, and that's definately a good thing.
The only major downfall is that although the riffs are pretty decent, the leads for the most part aren't anything special, and often the structures of the solos sound rather recycled after awhile.
Overall a decent Thrash metal album with some very memorable tunes, Highlights are; Blue Suit, Brown Shirt, Heal, Low, and The Power of The Written Word.
Sacred Reich were never brilliant. Some people may try to fool you into thinking that they were some sort of a revolution, but this is hardly the truth. Sacred Reich always did play a somewhat appealing mix of meaty almost-thrash metal that could often entertain me if I was in the right mood. The release "Heal" is no different than the previous albums.
No songs really stand out here, it's the typical "half-mosh" beat done with finesse, skill and fun with some of the typical lyrics that the band hash out on every record. Thankfully, the band haven't changed enough on this release to make me care more or less than I did before. The songs may just make you bang your head...which is the point of metal anyhoo right?
Don't buy this if you are looking for the best metal ever released. This is hardly such...but it's a fun listen if you find it in the used/delete bin with an extra $5 to spare. I don't know how Sacred Reich ever got to be called "legendary" in some circles, but they were a GOOD band in their time.
Pick it up if you find it cheap.
Sacred Reich is one of those bands that deserved more attention but were just always in the background compared to other thrash bands of the time. I heard of them when I saw a video on LOUD and then I learned that Dave McClain from machine head played drums for them at one point. So I tracked down their cds and I'm glad I did, though they aren't exactly mindblowing or anything new & creative.
Heal is their last studio album and its better than their last cd, Independent. It opens with one of the fasted paced songs on the cd and the lyrical content deals with racism. Then is slows down in the next song, but picks up again by track 3. This is one of the faults of the cd, as it doesn't stay consistent. Then there is song 6, Jason's Idea, which is just 39 seconds of wasted space, with the band apparently smoking up, leading into the next song.
This cd is decent and has its good fast songs, like the opening track or the closing track and some good tracks in the middle, but only a few songs are actually thrash. If you've just gotten into SR, listen to this first, as its a mostly a different sound than their earlier stuff.