Sacred Reich // Night Demon // Sinocence // Live Review // Limelight 2 // Belfast
Tonight is yet another old school affair, Sacred Reich born out or Phoenix, Arizona in the mid 80’s unbelievably returned with a new album this year ‘Awakening’ a mere thirteen years after reforming in 2006. Their return followed a similar thirteen-year hiatus from the industry after an exhaustive 10 years on the road and recording. Old school this may be, but as we all know there is a huge resurgence of bands hitting the road being that little bit of magic back into more modest venues to a highly appreciative audience.
Tonight Sacred Reich have it tow Night Demon from Ventura, California and Sinocence, Belfast’s own premiere Rock/Metal act to warm up the crowd in advance of the old guard.
Sinocence take the stage around 6:30 on this chilly Sunday evening, immediately banging out ‘Long Way Down’ to get the blood pumping! With new drummer behind the skins, he was bringing a new level of savagery to their performance tonight. The guys weren’t just here to make up the numbers but rightly fully took their place on the billing with a powerful performance filled with gnarly riffage and angst-ridden vocals. The line up has changed here and there over the last few year’s but this could be their strongest to date with a tight and high impact performance, Sinocence for all their years of experience don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.
8:30 sharp Night Demon takes the stage, kicking off with their self titled song at a blistering pace they announce their arrival with a bang! With an animalistic approach, they ravage their way across their forty-five-minute set, blistering guitar work, equally vivacious vocals spat out like machine-gun fire Night Demon ripped Belfast a new asshole!
This trio from Ventura CA knows how to rock! Old school it’s like hot tub time Macintosh spat my ass out back into the heyday of the ’80s once again, it’s been a week for it, with Last in Line on Friday and thrust back into it once again here tonight , it’s hard not to be enveloped by the majesty Night Demon are throwing out tonight. Brutal accuracy, these guys have the moves, angst and attitude to cave the walls in on top of us! There’s always a swagger from the American bands, a far more grandiose experience and Night Demon have it in abundance, if you have the opportunity to catch them on this tour their worth the ticket price alone! And to be sure to be sure, they threw in a little Thin Lizzy to warm the cockles and the muscles of the Irish crowd! These classy birds know how to win over an audience!
The lights drop and Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ comes over the PA as Sacred Reich make their way through the bustling crowd to the stage area. I can see the guys goofing around, bonding before hitting the stage. As Phil Rind said earlier to me today during our interview, “ we’re just here to have fun and give the best versions of ourselves out there every night we play”. He ain’t kidding, Sacred Reich unleashes unholy hell on the limelight II from the off. Speed metal at its finest they start as they mean to go on. “No Truth, No Justice, The American Way” as the set continues and the roars if the Irish crowd raises a smile on the face of Phil Rind.
“Fuck Yeah” as Phil takes the mic to thank the Irish crowd for coming out on a Sunday night, he reminisces about their last visit to Belfast in 1990 and how things have changed and how Cool that it has, as they break into ‘Manifest Reality’. A brutal machine Sacred Reich start and stop on a dime as they pummel the Belfast crowd with monstrous riffage.
Phil is a very personable guy, taking the time to talk and interact with the crowd between songs, expressing their gratitude at still being able to tour and make new music in 2019 and beyond. Their love for what they do comes across on stage, the blend of youth and experience up there throwing out gnarly riffs like candy to the kids. The crowd are absolutely loving every thrash of the guitars and the roar after each song is like music to the ears to the lads on stage.
What follows is a barrage on the senses which spans their five studio albums from 1987 right up to 2019’s latest offering Awakening, seamlessly intertwining new and old together as the Belfast crowd bays for more. It may have been a gig nineteen years in the making but as everyone who was here tonight will agree, it was well worth the wait.
A humble experience, it’s a rare thing to see a band to appreciative to their audience, you get the usual BS from a lot of bands but you can genuinely tell that Sacred Reich is grasping their second shot at doing what they love and in return are feeling the love wherever they go. I had the pleasure of chatting with frontman Phil Rind before their gig, catch the interview soon.
Review // Mark McGrogan
Photography // Wayne Donaldson