Sacred Reich, Contradiction – Scala, London

Sacred Reich

feat. Contradiction

Scala, London
29th July 2007

All live pics and review by HannTu

Arizona thrashers Sacred Reich, while never hitting the heights of their Bay Area counterparts, enjoyed a strong following after their extremely well received EP SURF NICARAGUA in 1988. The band released a few more albums after that which, to be honest, never reached the standard of the first two studio albums and EP (and this is reflected in their set list). They then released a live album in 1997 but disbanded in late 1999/early 2000. However, last year they announced a couple of summer dates, including the mighty Wacken Open Air festival. Before the German lager and bratwurst, they stopped by London for some ale and pies, and also took time out to kick some ass Reich-style at the Scala.


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There was only one opening band on the cards (I later found out that my mate’s band Matron had been given the other opening slot but were unable to make the gig), German thrashers Contradiction. They played a blistering high energy set, with some tight and aggressive guitarwork between the two guitarists. They actually sounded a little like the band they were opening for, which is no bad thing. Their live performance was played with passion, a predilection for fun (who says the Germans have no sense of humour?) and yet an appreciation of the honour of performing before Sacred Reich and < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />London. Their bassist will remain in my memory for a long time, his wanderings off the stage and into the crowd where he headbanged and posed for pictures, while playing the songs, on no less than two occasions further highlighted the down-to-earth nature of the band. While on the way back from one of his sojourns into the crowd, someone stuck a Welsh flag into his hand, where it remained for the rest of the gig – stuck into the headstock of his bass, clutched in his hand while he played or finally laid reverently aside.



This was no callow young band making their big stage debut, Contradiction have been around the block quite a few times. According to their website, they have opened for Iced Earth and Tankard, which ain’t bad. If you like old school thrash with good fast riffs with heavy interludes and angry vocals, check out Contradiction. If you have a chance to see them live, go for it – you won’t regret seeing the Clash of the Teutons. *




* A truly bad pun for which I apologise.


Sacred Reich




I don’t intend to spend much time talking about the performance, because frankly, the pictures tell everything. Good honest rocking out, with true conviction and honest passion bursting forth from the speakers, the audience below was sprinkled by the sweat from the front trio of Wiley Arnett, Phil Rind and Jason Rainey. I had spoken with Wiley earlier that morning, and he told me that the degree of comfort between the band members would show onstage, and it did. Through the smiling sweating face of the rotund Phil Rind, through the rock star strut and swagger of Wiley, through the laid back understatedness of Jason, and through the whirling windmill of Greg Hall’s sticks, London saw the Sacred Reich of 15 years ago, when they were releasing good solid thrash metal along with the best of the genre. Angry young men with things to say and a disillusioned audience to listen, a cocked-up arrogant administration (some things never change) and yet a billow of hope from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. 15 years on, older, wiser, not as angry, but still a force to be reckoned with, Sacred Reich showed us how to rock.




The songs were culled almost exclusively from the 1987 IGNORANCE album, the aforementioned 1988 SURF NICARAGUA EP, and the 1990 THE AMERICAN WAY album, with only the song “Independent” from the 1993 album INDEPENDENT making an appearance. Classics like “The American Way” and “Crimes Against Humanity” were dusted off and revisited, the lighters were lit for the introspective “Who’s To Blame”, the covers off SURF NICARAGUA “War Pigs” and “One Nation”, and perennial favourites “Deathsquad”and  “Surf Nicaragua” gave even the dimmest of Reich fans something to sing along to. To be honest, and judging from the reaction of the crowd, there weren’t many of those around that night.





In his interview, Wiley stated that this was just a summer fling. They would return to Arizona after having played Wacken and their other dates, and go back to pottering around the garden, replacing the roof tile, and feeding the cat. After seeing them at the Scala, and catching the end of their set at Wacken, it is a solemn plea that I personally extend to them to forget the garden, forget the loose tile and most especially forget the damn cat, and come back on the road for a last and a last and a last and a last hurrah.






1. The American Way

2. Administrative Decisions

3. Violent Solutions

4. Love…Hate

5. Ignorance

6. Crimes Against Humanity

7. Who’s To Blame

8. State of Emergency

9. One Nation (Soulfly cover)

10. Independent

11. War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)

12. Deathsquad

13. Surf Nicaragua




Thanks to Andy Turner at Metal Blade/Ferret Music for the photo pass.


Band’s websites:


Sacred Reich –

Contradiction –