Patrick Stott | Rolleston, Canterbury, New Zealand | 08/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The cover of the `Surf Nicaragua' EP features a gas masked surfer carrying a bomb surfing on a coffin, a comment on the clandestine US operation which saw mines deployed in the seas off the central American state of Nicaragua. Now, most Thrash fans in 1988 would hardly have known where Nicaragua was, let alone cared about the United States' political and military interference in the country. Sacred Reich's vocalist/bassist and politically aware lyricist Phil Rhind managed to get them singing about it, even if they didn't know what had happened, by creating a catchy little song which skirted the realm of novelty, but was anchored firmly in Thrash.
The band's debut album `Ignorance' suffered the usual first album fate of Thrash bands the world over in that it was well intentioned, but not entirely executed smoothly. At times, the songs were too samey, and the band seemed intent on playing as fast as they could, losing structure and impact because of it. This EP escaped that fate.
The whole EP was created around the title track. "Surf Nicaragua" takes off with an instant blast of Thrash energy, and it looks like the race is on again. However, the chorus slows for a breakdown passage, and most of the song is played at a chugging mid tempo. Perhaps the greatest appeal of the song is the world famous riff of surf anthem "Wipeout", followed by a surfing drum break, which appear unexpectedly. By pulling back on the tempo, Jason Rainey's crushing rhythm guitar sound is allowed to shine through. Add Wiley Arnett's twisting solos and you have all the makings of a Metal classic.
Second track "One Nation" also breaks the speed freak mould with a steady, almost grooving rhythm, punctuated by Rhind's drill sergeant vocal delivery. The third track is a masterful cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs", played straight and heavy. Even several decades after the song was written, the lyrics to the song are still shockingly relevant. It is still the best anti-war song in all Metaldom, and outside the Sabbath original, you'll be hard pressed to find a better version of it. "Draining You Of Life" rounds out the EP, and the Nuclear Assault style Thrash-out further demonstrates the band's new found talent for rationing the speedy sections to structure a song and increase their impact.
Sacred Reich were one of the wave of second generation Thrash bands to come out of the US. These bands, like Flotsam and Jetsam, Forbidden and Death Angel, took their cues from Thrash's originators, like Metallica, Slayer and Venom. Heavily influenced by Metallica, Sacred Reich set themselves apart from the pack by incorporating a strong political influence into their music, never better demonstrated than on this EP. Sacred Reich lost a lot of traditional Thrash fans on the release of their second full album `The American Way' in 1990, by incorporating a number of new influences. The political edge to the lyrics was still there though, as was a newfound social conscience.
And a quick note to Machine Head fans: Dave McClain didn't play on this EP. The drummer was still Greg Hall, Sacred Reich's original, and best, drummer."
One of the best metal CD's of all time.
Nathaniel Beall | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 01/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...Sacred Reich came out with this CD - not really a full length release, but it didn't matter. It had melody, anger, solos, and attitude. Not one metalhead of the time would listen to it and say a negative word.If you had long hair and know how to make a 'devil sign' with both hands while sticking your tongue out, then this CD should be in your collection. And if not, well, go buy some George Michael."
Out of print claasic
Patrick Stott | 04/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"cd contains 4 studio and two live songs and this ep is only 26 minutes but worth every penny, and especially for the title track and a killer cover of war pigs by ozzy and the boys"
This CD thumps. Forget that jiffy metal and check it.
Nathaniel Beall | 12/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this when it first came out in 88 and I still listen to it. Great guitar licks, cool lyrics. Your gunna freakin love this CD."