Album Review :
Living Sacrifice - The Infinite Order

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Artist: Living Sacrifice

Album: The Infinite Order

Label: Solid State Records

Release Date: 2010

Review By: Steve

Tracklisting:

  1. Overkill Exposure
  2. Rules of Engagement
  3. Nietzsche’s Madness
  4. Unfit To Live
  5. The Training
  6. Organized Lie
  7. The Reckoning
  8. Love Forgives
  9. They Were One
  10. God Is My Home
  11. Apostasy

Ok, so Living Sacrifice hangs it up in 2002 then gives a few new songs on their greatest hits album In Memoriam.  Then in 2008 they pick up their instruments and give us a tasty little appetizer in the two-song Death Machine EP.  Then they make us wait a year and a half for their new full length album, not to mention that they had to change the release date and push it back three months at the last moment!  That stuff made me want to melt all their merchandise I own and disown them once and for all.  I mean how can one of the godfathers of Christian metal just trick and tease their fans like that?  I wanted to write this all in CAPS.  (For any of you who don’t know, apparently writing in all CAPS is the same as screaming.  I was once scolded at work for doing this in an email by mistake!  So you’ve been warned) Ok, so I blew that way out of proportion.  The only thing that was hard to swallow was the push back of the release date.  That truly hurt, but I am a big boy and can forgive them because hands down this album is A BEAST!!! (That I wanted to scream!)

Leave it to Living Sacrifice to disband for seven to eight years and then put something out this awesome.  Only one band could do that, and they are called LIVING SACRIFICE!  While I am honored to have a chance to review my favorite band, I will try my best not to make this sound like a 15-year-old girl crying her eyes out at a Backstreet Boys concert, but I can’t promise that it won’t.  I actually just committed a huge metal sin by mentioning Living Sacrifice and the Backstreet Boys in the same review.  I promise that’s as far as it goes.

So let me get on with the blaw blaw stuff that every fan already knows.  Living Sacrifice is a four-piece metal band out of Arkansas.   They are a much different band now than when they first started recording in the late 80s and early 90s.  Living Sacrifice has endured many member changes and the hardest change of all, lead vocalist.  In 1997, founding member Bruce Fitzhugh took over on vocals and, in my opinion, made Living Sacrifice even better.  Their current lineup has been together since The Hammering Process, minus their second percussionist, Matt Puttman.

Now I’ll get to the good stuff.  The Infinite Order is the seventh release by Living Sacrifice, and it doesn’t miss a beat from Conceived in Fire or any of their other previous releases.  I have heard people say they are not “thrash” anymore.  I have to say that this album has plenty of “thrash” in it.  At the same time, they have not done what a lot of bands do and completely sellout their sound to try to get more fans.  The most common change metalcore bands are doing now is going with some clean vocals mixed in with the hard and intense screams.  Living Sacrifice seems to take the approach—we don’t need to change to get fans because our music and style is great enough to get fans to change their style and listen to us.  Bruce’s vocals on The Infinite Order are as good as ever.  He has some of the best metal pipes in the business.  In addition, Arthur, Lance, and Rocky are also as good as they have ever been, if not better!  One of the things that made me love Living Sacrifice so much is that they create their own sound with the fast and fierce drum and bass lines of Lance and Arthur, with Rocky distorting a guitar like none other.  Mix all that with Bruce’s unique pipes and guitar, and you got a recipe for success in today’s metal scene.  So that was a long winded round about way of saying that if you liked all of Living Sacrifices old stuff, you are going to love The Infinite Order because they have not tried to redefine their sound.  In addition, what separates Living Sacrifice from the rest of the genre is their ability to make each track sound different.  Today’s metal/metalcore genre is oversaturated with albums where every song tends to sound the same and is indistinguishable from any of the other tracks.  This is never been true with Living Sacrifice.

Lyrically, Bruce doesn’t miss a beat in The Infinite Order.  The lyrics of these tracks rival the depth and spirituality of any previous Living Sacrifice release.  One of the deepest tracks that I actually had to read up on was “Nietzsche’s Madness.”  This song is incredibly full of meaning, and punches holes all through Nietzsche and his theories.  For all our Advent fans Joe Musten fills in with some guest vocals.  Take a look at the lyrics: “Moral laws do not apply, the mind is capable to justify / The madman has come, the madness attacks my mind / Cannot comprehend a purpose in randomness / Where is God, have you killed him / Self-aware observation  / Thousands of years / Finite greatness / Finite cruelty / Which is the standard of man – without God, meaningless / Which is the standard of man – no rationale for what exists / The madman has come, the madness attacks my mind / Cannot comprehend a purpose in randomness / Where is God, have you killed him / Liberation of no law exhilaration of no gods / Justified in the mind, leads to horrors of every kind / What if there was a gun to your head would it not matter? / What if there was a gun to your head no meaning in your death / The madman has come, the madness attacks my mind / Cannot comprehend a purpose in randomness / Where is God, have you killed him.” The other songs on the album touch on various issues from what seems like war in “Rules of Engagement,” denying God in “Organized Lie,” to the fact that the world can tear us down but they can’t destroy our spirit in “The Training.”

As with all their other albums, it is nearly impossible to pick a favorite song off The Infinite Order because each one is unique and great.  Therefore, I will mention only one song because it is completely different from anything they have ever done in the past.  It is the last song on the album, “Apostasy.” This song is reminiscent to the tracks on the Metallica S&M album where Metallica played with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.  The song is approximately 6:45 long, and has a great intro with some violins playing in the background. They build in speed and intensity for about 1:45 and then, right at the crescendo, Living Sacrifice dives right into Bruce’s vocals.  “Apostasy” is truly an epic track.

Overall: This is definitely a must buy for any Living Sacrifice fan or any metal fan at all, for that matter.  Living Sacrifice comes out of a 7-8 year hiatus and pulls no punches.  Instead of changing their sound they say, “This is who we are, so buy our stuff or get out of the way!”  I feel sorry for any metal band that is releasing an album in 2010 because the bar has been set extremely high.  All I got to say is that all other metal bands releasing albums in 2010 had better bring their “A” game!

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