Ever since I got into thrash, my favorite "underdog" band if you will, has been Sacred Reich. Although they haven't shared quite the amount of success with bands such as Metallica and Slayer, they put out really high-quality and overlooked records in the mid/late 80s and early 90s. The fact that they're very politically conscious while still a "fun" band ("Surf Nicaragua" is the perfect example) makes them very much worth listening to.

Metal Blade, who has released a good amount of their catalog, has released this Live At Wacken footage as a CD/DVD Combo. There are 12 songs on here, all of which you'll be familiar with if you're a fan of the band. The majority of the songs are from The American Way, with a few from Ignorance, Surf Nicaragua, and of course "Independent" from Independent. This show was a special occiasion, since the original members re-united. So this was probably the first time all these guys had played these songs together in around 20 years.

Just by hearing the audio in the CD, you can tell they're playing to a huge crowd and enjoying every minute of it. The vocals sound just as good as on the records, the guitars and bass have great tone, and overall it's very professionally recorded for a live album. There are a few slip-ups here and there, but for the most part the band sounds tight and still isn't afraid to get up there in tempo and let it rip solo-wise.

It's hard to really critique this album or even give it a score, because whatever number I put on this thing doesn't matter. I'm just happy that the band reunited, and they're active again (who knows, maybe we'll see some new material from them). At the end of the day, that's all that matters. If no new release is in the works, that's cool too, they brought some really great material and hopefully this release could expose them to younger guys. Personally, I wasn't born yet when any of the stuff they played here came out, but the great thing is that the band cares enough and enjoys the songs enough to do it for the fans, which is awesome. Like vocalist Phil Rind says after "Love...Hate" - "We're old. I can speak for myself, I'm fat, I don't give a shit man. You know what? Thanks to you guys, we're here. So thank you."

After giving this a couple spins, I really hope to catch a live show of theirs and I highly reccomend this to any thrash fan that hasn't discovered this band yet.