Living Sacrifice is legendary. The Christian metal band's influence runs deep throughout the scene. Former and current members of Living Sacrifice went on to play in bands such as Evanescence, P.O.D. and Norma Jean. Living Sacrifice broke up in 2002 but returned to the metal community with a vengeance in 2008.
The Infinite Order, the band's new album, was produced by Jeremiah Scott (Destroy Destroy Destroy) and mixed by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Machine Head, As I Lay Dying) and announces the return of Living Sacrifice with might and majesty. Powerful, forthright, thrashy and skillfully executed as ever, the album serves as an unapologetic reminder as to exactly why so many of today's heavy music leaders hold Living Sacrifice and their legacy in such high-esteem.
"Living Sacrifice has been a huge influence on me, musically and spiritually," states Demon Hunter frontman and Grammy nominated graphic designer Ryan Clark. "From very early in my youth, when I first started taking an interest in heavy music, Living Sacrifice stood out as a band that displayed a greater level of skill, songwriting ability and professionalism. They are one of those bands that you can count on to continually release amazing material."
"Living Sacrifice was one of the first Christian heavy bands to be respected outside of the Christian scene," adds Underoath guitarist Tim McTague. "They definitely helped pave the way for our band's crossover."
Living Sacrifice formed in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1989. Bruce Fitzhugh and Lance Garvin were teenagers when they got together with their friend DJ Johnson and later Jason Truby (who later went on to join P.O.D.) determined to create a metal band as musically uncompromising as the secular groups of the day with a positive lyrical message. This was practically unheard of at the time and to many quite controversial, blowing open doors and crossing preconceived boundaries with a mix of thrash and death metal across their first three albums: their 1991 self-titled debut, the following year's Nonexistent and 1994's Inhabit, a classic trio of primal heaviness all released by the now defunct R.E.X. Records.
With Bruce taking over from DJ, who left to pursue non-musical ministry, on lead vocals, Living Sacrifice as most of their fans know them came into being with the appropriately titled Reborn. Released in 1997, the album is a landmark for the genre and spawned countless imitators both within the Christian scene and outside. With boundaries further blurred, Living Sacrifice found even more acceptance by mainstream metal press and respect from fellow bands without compromising their artistic or spiritual vision whatsoever.
Rocky Gray and Arthur Green came onboard for 2000's The Hammering Process, an even more mathematical affair that saw the further development of the band's signature choppy, percussive riff-fueled style, all with Fitzhugh's instantly recognizable voice, Garvin's incredible and much-talked about drumming Gray's adept "spider-fingers" shredding atop. Bleeding Through's Brandan Schieppati hails the album as one of his biggest influences.
"You would be hard pressed to find bands who started during the time Living Sacrifice did that are still around making albums at all, let alone timeless and relevant metal," says Throwdown frontman Dave Peters. "Their musicianship is unreal, but I've always been blown away by the band's songwriting ability. They never fail to make their songs tell a story but without following any kind of predictable formula or spinning off into tangents. And they are a riff factory!"
Conceived in Fire drove that point home further in 2002. Living Sacrifice's first pairing with Andy Sneap as mixer resulted in another incredible slab of molten metal that turned a corner for the entire scene. Unfortunately, personal and musical commitments elsewhere (Gray's drumming gig with Evanescence, for example) saw the dissolution of the group. However, after reconvening to record three new songs for a "best of" collection In Memoriam released in 2005, it was clear that the spirit of Living Sacrifice could not rest and the band was, once again, literally and figuratively "reborn."
A six-week US tour heralded the band's return alongside the self-released, digital-only Death Machine EP. Anticipation for a brand new album has built to a fever pitch with fans. The Infinite Order was recorded in Little Rock and Nashville with the band's friend and producer Jeremiah Scott at the helm and Andy Sneap once again handling mixing duties in the UK.
The album continues to push the envelope further, incorporating new dynamics an thrashier / more aggressive elements into a formula sure to appeal to fans of Conceived in Fire and The Hammering Process in particular.
As I Lay Dying frontman / songwriter Tim Lambesis sums it up best: "You can hear Living Sacrifice's legacy in the entire generation of bands who've come after them. And those bands still haven't caught up."