Time for a Thursday Thrash Throwdown at the Sanctuary in Detroit as Iron Reagan and Sacred Reich light up the night

The doors haven’t even opened and fans are swarming to get into the Sanctuary in Detroit for this mid-May thrash spectacular. Unlike some shows where you either have a much older long-term fan base, or a younger crowd eager for new music, this crowd is a very mixed bag. You have some fans who clearly were around for Sacred Reich back in the late 80’s and some fresh faces who have latched on to the blitz of Iron Reagan. Either way, we are all one in our love of thrash and hardcore punk.

The Sanctuary is the perfect small club to get up close and personal with the bands. There is no doubt this show will be close to selling out as it is packed for the opening band S.N.A.F.U. This hometown band fits like a glove on this roster. They jump on the stage with both barrels blazing. There is nearly as much action on the stage as in the pit. Hair flying, guitars roaring, and drums pummeling. A century of rage seems to pour out of every song and the crowds feasts on it.

Next up is Enforced from Richmond, VA. The second coming of thrash is alive and well with these guys. They surge with the unbridled intensity of hardcore while very much keeping their metal roots. Crunchy downpicking creates a ton of moshibility and the pit took the bait from the first beat. These guys poured themselves into this performance and the outpouring of support for the crowd was their reward. Definitely get out and support this band as they are doing it right.

New York hardcore pioneers Leeway are back and as boisterous as ever. Vocalist Eddie Sutton cloaked in a Batman onesie charms the crowd with earnest vocals. Audience members lunge and hurl themselves with each pouncing riff and crack of the snare. Leeway share their new single “I’m Your Pusher” which is the band’s first new material since 1996. The pummeling groove of this new tune hit home with the fans. It is great to see that is Leeway still out there and swinging.

The Sanctuary transforms into a churning mass of moshers when Sacred Reich ignites the stage with “American Way”. The love of this band explodes in a circle pit during “Death Squad” and spills into fists in the air for “One Nation”.

Phil Rind is all smiles as he sees the joyful grimaces and hears the shouts of approval from the audience. Phil’s punchy bass teams with the thunderous drums of Dave McClain to give “Free” a visceral edge. Wiley Arnett’s signature solos full of sparkling harmonics make each song glow with brilliance. Sacred Reich will be releasing their first new music since 1996 later in this year. The band gives a taste of the new music playing the new tune called “Awakening”.
Phil introduces new guitarists Joey Radziwill and comments that Joey’s heavy pick attack has found a way to break strings which the manufacturer claimed were unbreakable. As if on cue, while the band is tearing into the their final song “Surf Nicaragua”, Joey breaks a string. We all roar our thanks for this perfect set of thrash from Sacred Reich.

The maelstrom of the mosh pit has turned the Sanctuary into a sweat shop by the time Iron Reagan takes the stage. With a wry grin, Tony Foresta leads us into a frenzy of thrash. Iron Reagan pounded the shit out of the punk side of thrash with “Eat Shit and Live” and “I Won’t Go”. Rob Skotis (bass) and Ryan Parrish (drums) created a cacophony of aggression on “Circle of Violence”. The anthem for all that love it loud and don’t really care if anyone else does. “Fuck The Neighbors” had everyone singing along.

The circle pit spun with abandon throughout the night, but took on greater intensity when Iron Reagan play “Miserable Failure”. Tony shouts out “No tough guy bullshit. People who think banning abortion is cool, fuck off! Everyone else, circle pit. Let’s go!” With that, the fans were careening and colliding on the dance floor. Iron Reagan also paid tribute to Cannibal Corpse with a blistering version of “Skull Full of Maggots”. By the end of the night, Iron Reagan had stormed through a couple dozen songs in a thrash metal fiesta.  

Iron Reagan
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Sacred Reich
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The Sanctuary
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Event Date: 16-MAY-2019

About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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