Sacred Reich would open shop in 1985 with Jason Rainey (guitar), Phil Rind (vocals/bass), Greg Hall (drums) and Jeff Martinek (guitar). Just before their signing to Roadrunner', and the release of their debut, Ignorance, Martinek was replaced by Wiley Arnett. The debut made Sacred Reich a serious contender in the Thrash Metal genre. They stood on a platform of lyrics involving the harsh realities of American life in their day, rather then the old Metal standbys of sex, violence and Satan. Their opinions would turn to politics on their Surf Nicaragua (1988), an album against U.S. policies in Central America. The mini-album also featured a cover of Black Sabbath's War Pigs.
The American Way (1990) was their most sophisticated work. Lyrically it didn't even attempt to ease up on their political points of view, most notably with the title track; it even branched off into environmental issues with Crimes Against Humanity (the original intended album title). Shortly after, Hall would be replaced with Dave McLain. They would also change labels, moving to Hollywood Records' in time for Independent (1993), which saw them expand beyond their simple Thrash beginnings. Despite Slayer offering Hall Dave Lombardo's vacant drum seat, and Flotsam And Jetsam attempting to steal Arnett and Rind (who was also offered vocals at Dark Angel), they stayed together and stuck to their "guns".
Heal (1996) also became known as one of their most known works, and their first for Metal Blade' with a live set finally emerging in the form of Still Ignorant in 1997.