Sacred Reich - Surf Nicaragua review


87 users:
Band: Sacred Reich
Album: Surf Nicaragua
Release date: 1988

01. Surf Nicaragua
02. One Nation
03. War Pigs [Black Sabbath cover]
04. Draining You Of Life
05. Ignorance [live]
06. Death Squad [live]

Surf Nicaragua is yet another immortal classic of the late 80's Thrash scene, despite only being an EP release. The pure rush of adrenaline produced by their refined sound is only matched by other immortal releases found in the same period. This is the release responsible for launching Sacred Reich to the main stage of the metal scene at the time, containing varied sounds from their original 'in your face' uncompromising sound from Ignorance to a new, more developed musical edge.

Again, Sacred Reich employs the use of lyrics relating to war and politics in particular, emphasising the importance of such issues greatly. The blend created here between the lyrics and the actual song structures is ingenious, since every line fits perfectly to every bar, especially in the opener, "Surf Nicaragua" and "One Nation".

While Sacred Reich do show a foray of sounds, the way in which they unfold the contents of each song is a tad inconsistent, coming to a halt somewhere in between, with the incredibly slow tempo and lengthy introduction to the cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pig". This can be misleading to the listener, since this isn't the usual path Sacred Reich follow, with regards to their previous effort.

Yet another problem might be evident here in the hasty deliverance by Phil Rind at times, speaking words faster than one might be able to decipher, being somewhat reminiscent of punk bands in the late 70's and early 80's. However, those who are accustomed to such singing, like me, will be able to digest this relatively easily.

The drumming on Surf Nicaragua has definitely changed since their debut, with less pattering from the double bass and greater overall clarity, allowing the listener to hear every hit precisely as it should be. The punk influence is even more transparent, on this release, especially the self-titled track "Surf Nicaragua", giving a more upbeat impression than anything else they present here, definitely evident that the band progressed and matured a little over the months beyond their debut.

The inclusion of live tracks provides the listener with a different version of their previous sound, displaying their accuracy and ability to emulate what would have taken hours in the studio to originally record. Although two changes are noticeable here, in the live version of "Death Squad" where there is an alternate bass line, which is definitely the biggest surprise and the moderate increase in the tempo of the song. Both of these characteristics enhance the listening experience as they would definitely be unexpected, due to the listener's own expectations of the band reflecting exactly how they would usually sound.

If what you need is another injection of high quality Thrash, then it would be advisable to check this release out as soon as possible. Also, if you're a fan of Ignorance, this will most definitely satisfy you, too.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written by Opium | 08.12.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 42 users
08.12.2007 - 23:42
Queen Of Hippies
Account deleted
Ugly picture! But nice review, although, I hmm.. don't like this much.
09.10.2008 - 03:24
I picked this EP up the day it came. Was awesome then and its awesome now. Sacred Reich was a much underrated band. They had a major influence on the thrash scene in the late 80's. The title track and One Nation stand out to me as two of the best songs they ever wrote. A must have classic!!
11.02.2009 - 07:46
To Arms!
Agreed with the review , this album is a classic
Stay Metal !!!
11.02.2009 - 11:58
Darkside Momo
Ugly picture? Seriously, this is one of the best thrash covers ever, dark and funny at the same time.
And I agree, this EP is a must-have, maybe (maybe) Sacred Reich's best release.
My Author's Blog (in French)

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you"

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I am awake"

Hits total: 6747 | This month: 57