The band were never the biggest Thrash band out there, but their solid crossover style is influential to many of the new millennium’s Thrash Bands. The band have a punky hardcore influenced feel on some tracks in a similar fashion to many of the East Coast Thrash bands, with whom they share more musical similarities than with the German, Canadian or Bay Area Thrash artists.
Independent saw the band play with more slow and mid tempo elements than on previous releases, incorporating some groove metal influences as happened with much of the 1990s output by Thrash Metal bands. It is a little underrated as an album, as fans were quick to abandon ship at the first sight of slow guitars but is actually quite a good album when given a fair chance. If you are willing to keep an open mind there is a lot to enjoy on this record.
Highlights on Independent include the beyond catchy Title Track which is an absolute classic and highlight of any concert, as well as ‘Supremacy,’ ‘Free,’ and the almost eight minute long ‘I Never Said Goodbye.’
This was their first full length Drummer Dave McClain, who would of course go on to join Machine Head and puts down a characteristically strong performance on this album, with his unusual and distinctive style of fills and approach to the double kicks.
The production from Dave Jerden (famous for Alice In Chain’s The Dirt and Anthrax’s Sound Of White Noise) is solid with a good mix and general sound. The lyrics too are strong, and of course are socially aware and politically motivated as usual from Sacred Reich. Overall all the individual aspects of the album are good, the only real thing holding it off of a classic album status is the indefinable x factor that makes some albums amazing but can’t be quantified or often, even replicated.
In summary, Independent is a good album and Sacred Reich fans should find a lot to enjoy on it should the be willing to keep an open mind.