Living Sacrifice - The Infinite Order

Album cover
Metal
Solid State Records
Living Sacrifice
The Infinite Order
Living Sacrifice - The Infinite Order Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 3 (1 vote)

What can be said about Little Rock native, heavy metal old timers, Living Sacrifice? Well, since their inception in the late 1980’s they have garnered recognition for being among the original disciples of the Christian metal scene, released six (now seven) well acclaimed full lengths, undergone a progressing evolution from thrash to death to groove to metalcore, developed a faithful following (both musical and religious), and undoubtedly influenced all sects of the metal “faith”. Similar to their lord and savior, after the band’s brief departure in '05, Living Sacrifice have resurrected themselves for the release of another album, their new testament, The Infinite Order. As followed as their old testament was, their latest release does not provide the metallic salvation I was expecting.

However, The Infinite Order still satisfies, especially its more traditional, metal-head fan base. This release is able to maintain a refreshing, orthodox twist on contemporary metalcore. Its music is loaded with heavy distortion, thunderous breakdowns, shredding leads, machinegun-like double bass, and deep growls proclaiming the existence of god and interrogating nonbelievers. Their tempo is fast-paced and aggressive, their musicianship precise, their instrumentation qualified and cultured, and their sound ironically unforgiving and punishing (in respect to their beliefs).

The Infinite Order
begins with "Apostasy"; a calm but rising acoustic intro which quickly picks up into the familiar galloping chugs and ominous leads heard throughout the album. It isn’t until about track four when the album really gets going though. "Nietzsche's Madness" takes off instantly with drummer, Lance Garvin, sprinting out of the gates with double bass pedals at marathon speed, matched up perfectly with the sporadic timings of the guitars. This song also showcases some of Garvin’s unique percussions skills as he employs a slew of sounds and beats mixed precisely within the song’s end breakdown. "Organized Lie" gives us a taste of lead guitarist, Rocky Gray’s, shredding skills as he rips through a textbook metal solo.

As enjoyable as some of the songs are, my biggest gripe with the album is its lack of variation. With eleven tracks, many of them sound similar and exchangeable. Chances are, if you dislike one song, you’ll dislike them all, and vice versa. But consistency is not necessarily a bad thing; each of the songs are impressive and achieve what they are presumably out to do (chug and growl with brutality, and satisfy the older generation metal-er). I feel the greatest turn off for younger listeners will be the vocals. Where contemporary vocal work is becoming more defined by a wide range of screams with bits of clean singing, The Infinite Order is spoken purely in mid to low range growls and shouts, delivered from a big man/older man voice. The lyrics are nothing to write home about either.

All in all and even so, this album is by no means a failure. Long time Living Sacrifice fans will surely be pleased with the band’s second coming. The aggression and technique that made them a movement in the beginning is as present as ever. However, due to today’s constantly evolving and perhaps youthful scene, I don’t think this release will earn these classic metal-ers many new followers. Despite their talent and impact, perhaps these disciples of Christian metal have passed their reign and its time we start preparing for a final farewell.

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

Living Sacrifice formed in the fall of 1989 by Darren "D.J." Johnson (bass/ vocals), Lance Garvin (drums), Bruce Fitzhugh (guitar) and Jason Truby (guitar).

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