Sacred Reich (w/ Vio-lence, Excel, Sworn Enemy, Yidhra) at Club Red (Mesa, AZ) on June 1, 2019

I’ve seen Sacred Reich many times in several different places, but there is nothing like seeing them in their hometown of in Phoenix, Arizona (although watching them while sitting in a hot tub on a cruise ship is pretty awesome). They ended their latest tour promoting their upcoming album, Awakening, at home at Club Red in Mesa. They haven’t released a new album in 23 years, so this is kind of a big deal. Vocalist Phil Rind even joked that the new guitarist Joey Radziwill wasn’t even born yet when their last album, Heal, was released. The new album is due out this summer.

Speaking of big deals, legendary California thrash band, Vio-lence recently reunited and joined forces with Sacred Reich to make this an epic tour. It makes sense, since both Vio-lence guitarist Phil Dremmel and Sacred Reich drummer, Dave McClain, recently parted ways with Machine Head. After watching them play, I understand why they were such an influential band in the thrash scene. Vocalist Sean Killian is recovering from a recent battle with cirrhosis and had a liver transplant last year, but you would never know it from the energy he puts forth on stage.

Here’s a video for Sacred Reich’s “American Way” off their 1990 album of the same name:

Continuing with this trip down memory lane, California thrash band, Excel was third in the line-up. They seemed to be experiencing technical difficulties early in their set, but still held it together. Vocalist Dan Clements was suffering from some sort of foot injury and had a boot on, but that didn’t stop him from frenetically moving around.

Second in the line-up was New York Hardcore band, Sworn Enemy. Yet another band that has withstood the test of time. They delivered a powerful performance and brought an East Coast element to a tour consisting of mostly West Coast bands. They’re promoting their latest album, Game Changer, which came out in April on M-Theory Audio.

Opening the show was California Doom quartet, Yidhra. Vocalist/guitarist Ted Venemann also plays the theremin and manages to unpretentiously blend it in with their music. It adds to the overall doomy, otherworldly vibe. They’re a great band to see live.

Sacred Reich’s popular album Ignorance, dropped on October 13th, 1987, via Metal Blade Records: