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4 good songs, 2 average and the rest sucks - 50%

morbert, November 17th, 2009

Some people complained Sacred Reich had lost a lot of speed on the American Way album. No matter how much a statement like that might be true, it still was a thrash metal album, built around palm muted riffing but focussing much more on vocal lines and catchiness. I’ve always had a soft spot for the American Way. It remains one of those rare thrash metal albums with an overdose of midpaced songs that actually does work. The majority of the songs simply was that good! On Independent however we hear a band losing their grip. Not only qualitatively but also stylewise.

Thrash was pretty much dead around 1992, true, and the bands who didn’t call it quits went on playing watered down groove metal or whatever. Sacred Reich unfortunately were one of those and definitely not the best ones. Phil Rind was a great vocalist, charismatic and a great lyricist, but he alone was not enough to save the album. It’s pretentious groove which ruins the album and an almost total lack of aggression and energy on the non-fast material.

We have 4 good songs here, the title track "Independent", "Open Book", "Pressure" and "Do it". But somehow these songs sound different from the assault we had on Ignorance. Why’s that? These fast songs aren’t really thrash, they’re crossover. Good at that, but not thrash like the band played earlier.

And then there were a few songs with just good ideas but never reaching their full potential. Rhythmically the song "Product" was a great tune and "I Never Said Goodbye" had a good format and dynamics. The rest? The rest of the album consisted of groovy midtempo based music which made the album get boring after a while with "Just Like That" and "Crawling" being two of the worst and tedious songs in Sacred Reich history.

Now those 4 good energetic songs and those other two with nice ideas are reason enough for me to hold on to this album but I can imagine the average thrash metal collector not paying interest in this album. However I must say you’d be missing out on the titletrack which easily is one of the best Sacred Reich songs, ever.