Living Sacrifice formed in 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas with a lineup of bassist/vocalist D.J., guitarists Bruce Fitzhugh and Jason Truby, and drummer Lance Garvin (all of whom were teenagers at the time.) The band recorded a demo that ended up in the hands of Believer's Kurt Bachman, who inturn hooked them up with R.E.X. Living Sacrifice recorded their self-titled debut for R.E.X.; two others followed with Bruce eventually replacing D.J. before the label went bankrupt. Living Sacrifice then signed with the Solid State, which released their 1997 album "Reborn," and in addition re-issued the group's entire back catalogue.
Living Sacrifice (R.E.X.) 1991
Until "Reborn" this was my favorite Living Sacrifice disc. For a long time this disc was worth some money as it was out of print and rare as heck. In 1999, however, Solid State re-released the disc with the original cover art but with new photos, extra liner notes and notes from the band.
"Progressive Change" a song off Living Sacrifice's first demo tape was released on the R.E.X. "Argh!!!" compilation.
"Inhabit" follows in the footsteps of "Nonexistent." Heavily dowtuned death metal. The vocals are much better on this album than "Nonexistent," which makes this album far superior. The music is still consistently technical and over the top. Solid State re-released this disc with different cover art, however, I prefer the original artwork. My copy is autographed by Bruce and Lance.
Living Sacrifice - Reborn (Solid State) 1997
Living Sacrifice return to their thrash roots, mixing in a whole lot of groove and a tad of hardcore attitude. In other words, metalcore. Put this CD on and BAM, immediate and spontaneous whiplash occurs! This album is one of the best metalcore albums ever released and one of my favorite discs of any band! It's one of those pummeling discs, like Sepultura's "Chaos AD," that I just can't sit still for. It has kept me awake on many long over-night drives! Funny thing about this disc is that I read more bad reviews than good reviews because people can't deal with the Christian lyrics. Too bad for them 'cause the music shreds!
Living Sacrifice - The Hammering Process (Solid State) 2000
1... "Flatline" (3:21)
This disc would probably be labeled neo-metal and could possibly be put in the same school as Machine Head, Messuggah or even Sevendust, with a more aggressive vocalist, but I really just think it's hardcore with some metal influences. On first listen, "The Hammering Process" is not as infectious as "Reborn." Still the rhythms on this disc are unique and the energy level is very high. I think that was the idea. It's all about the energy, and no longer about the songs. I thought that over time that this disc would grow on me. However, several years have passed and my opinion hasn't changed. "The Hammering Process" just doesn't grab me like the band's debut or even "Reborn".
Living Sacrifice - Conceived in Fire (Solid State) 2002
1. "Imminent War"
I decided to hold off buying this disc as I was not impressed with "The Hammering Process". I decided to pick it up after reading several stellar reviews. Several reviews said this was the band's best disc ever. Another review I read said that "Conceived in Fire" was a return to the band's thrash metal roots. This couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, "Concieved in Fire" is very similar in style to the metalcore and hardcore of "The Hammering Process." I don't know, perhaps I was just setting my goals to high after being so impressed with "Reborn", but I find this album to be boring. It's certainly heavy, and the musicianship is quite good as well, but overall the songs all sound the same and the vocals are especially monotonous. As with "The Hammering Process" I decided to give this disc several spins to see if it would grow on me with time, but so far, it just doesn't have the same infectious songwriting that "Reborn" had. Killer cover art.
Living Sacrifice - In Memoriam (Solid State) 2005
1. "In Christ"
A very uneven compilation due to the fact that Living Sacrifice never could make up their mind what style they were. However, as a career retrospective, this is actually a good sampler of the band's best material. The songs are in chronological order from the three new songs to the band's first self-titled album. Living Sacrifice followed the trends in heavy music, starting off life as an incredible thrash band, then morphing into a decent death metal band. After bassist/vocalist DJ exited the band, the remaining members re-emerged with the fantastic metalcore/thrash hyrid "Reborn". The opening track from the album, "Reborn Empowered" is one of the most powerful songs the band had ever written. If only all their material had stayed like this. Unfortunately the band settled on being an average metalcore/mallcore band. A good half of this CD is songs from those albums. Of the new material, opening tack "In Christ" is good metalcore (if there is such an animal). If all the band's stuff was that good, I'd probably like 'em a bit more. The other two tracks sound like they may have been leftovers from "Conceived in Fire". Thankfully "Enthroned '98" was put on this disc so I can now get rid of that crappy Solid State sampler the song originally appeared on. It was the only reason I was holding onto it. Of course my favorite tracks are the two included from the band's fantastic debut. "In Memoriam" marks the end of Living Sacrifice. I was blessed to see them touring for their first album and for "Reborn" which are my two favorite albums by them.