SACRED REICH guitarist and founding member Jason Rainey has exited the band for "health reasons" and has been replaced by Joey Radziwill.
The veteran Arizona thrashers are putting the finishing touches on their highly anticipated new studio album — the band's first in 23 years — titled "Awakening". Due this summer, the disc is being produced by Arthur Rizk, who has previously worked with CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, POWER TRIP and CODE ORANGE, among others. "Awakening" will mark SACRED REICH's first release since the return of drummer Dave McClain.
SACRED REICH said in a statement: "Joey and his dad Tim [drums] helped us record the demos for the new songs. So when we needed a new guitar player, Joey was the obvious choice and was able to jump right in and crush his parts on the new record. He is 22 years old and grew up listening to SACRED REICH (his parents raised him up right).
"We welcome Joey, his immense guitar skills, and youthful energy to the band!"
SACRED REICH vocalist/bassist Phil Rind told BLABBERMOUTH.NET that he and his bandmates "had hoped that Jason would be up to recording and the touring to follow, but it didn't work out." He added: "Joey stepped right in and did a killer job on the guitar tracks."
According to Rind, SACRED REICH will begin mixing the new album this week. "We went for a very organic sound," he said. "Dave did not want to use any triggers or sound replacement. We spent a lot of time on the room mics to get a big natural drum sound. Modern recording technology is great for a lot of things but we don't want to rely on it."
Rind went on to say that the "whole recording experience" for "Awakening" has been "incredible." He said: "The Platinum Underground is a fabulous studio. Great gear and vibe. Producer Arthur Rizk has brought new ideas to the songs and a positive energy. Engineer John Aquilino has amazing technical know-how and is the best dude. The songs sound great. The process has been so fun and positive. Everything has been smooth and easy. We can't wait for everyone to hear it."
SACRED REICH recently announced tour dates across Europe and the U.S. The "Awakening" European tour will cover all of Europe and begins in November 2019. Additionally, SACRED REICH has announced a string of dates in North America alongside IRON REAGAN, LEEWAY and ENFORCED for May and European visits for festivals in July and August.
McClain was a member of SACRED REICH from 1991 to 1995. He played on the "A Question" EP (1991) and the "Independent" (1993) and "Heal" (1996) albums before leaving to join MACHINE HEAD.
Rind said that Dave's return to the band was "the best-case scenario that we could have hoped for. Dave is the best!" he added. "A great drummer and a great person and we are beyond excited to welcome him back to the band."
Dave stated: "I'm so excited about rejoining my brothers in SACRED REICH. To have the opportunity to make and play music with one of my favorite metal bands was always something I hoped could happen. I can't wait for everyone to hear the new album that we're recording and to come see us out on the road in 2019-2020."
McClain left MACHINE HEAD in November after completing the band's "Freaks & Zeroes Tour".
Formed in 1986, SACRED REICH is part of the second wave of thrash, along with TESTAMENT, DEATH ANGEL, DESTRUCTION and DARK ANGEL. Over the years, SACRED REICH has produced a catalog of politically charged aggressive songs that have stood the test of time.
SACRED REICH's last studio album, "Heal", came out in 1996. The band broke up in 2000 and remained inactive until 2006 when they received offers to play European festivals.
Since coming out of retirement more than a decade ago, SACRED REICH has almost exclusively played the European festival circuit every summer. But that changed in 2017 as SACRED REICH celebrated the 30th anniversary of its classic album "Ignorance". To commemorate this milestone, the band brought its "30 Years Of Ignorance" tour around the world.