Two years ago, Christian metal fans everywhere were thrilled to hear the news: metal forefathers
Living Sacrifice were getting back together. Even more exciting, they were working on a brand new album,
their first full-length release since Conceived In Fire from 2002. Initially set to be released last
November, the album was pushed back to January. Now, the time has come. The Infinite Order has finally arrived,
and it was definitely worth the wait.
As if to dispel all doubts about their relevance in today's metal scene, Living Sacrifice kicks off the album with
"Overkill Exposure," two minutes and forty-nine seconds of fast riffing, driving double bass, and Bruce Fitzhugh's
signature barked growls. "Rules of Engagement" doesn't let off in the slightest, with a chorus guitar line that is both
meaty and catchy. With the stage perfectly set by these two openers, the album pummels its way through nine more tracks
of classic Living Sacrifice mayhem. Fans of The Hammering Process will be delighted to hear the additional
percussion featured throughout the album. On the third track, "Nietzche's Madness," this percussion (provided by Advent
frontman Joe Musten) takes on a creepy note and then unleashes itself in a dissonant, pounding breakdown that begs to be
played live. At the same time, lead guitarist Rocky Gray takes his solos in an even more bizarre direction than on
previous albums, sometimes more resembling the sound of somebody screaming than a guitar melody. In addition, similar to
the classic album Reborn, each musical aspect on The Infinite Order, from Fitzhugh's barks to the
machine gun guitars, is tuned to create a percussive effect, creating a delightful focus on rhythm. Yet, as the album
closes, the band slows down the momentum and finds its orchestral side with two harsh but beautiful tracks,
"God Is My Home" and "Apostasy." In every instance, the songwriting is tight and energetic.
There are no surprises here lyrically. Bruce Fitzhugh is certainly no poet, and his choppy, often non-rhyming lines
are just as harsh and in-your-face as the music accompanying them. In "Nietzche's Madness," Fitzhugh shouts out against
moral relativity, "Liberation of no law/Exhilaration of no God/Justified in the mind/Leads to horrors of every kind."
Even so, Living Sacrifice is also a band that appreciates and acknowledges the grace of God. In standout track
"Love Forgives," they ask "Who can make dark the purpose of Yahweh? Who can take away the hand of compassion?"
In "God Is My Home," Fitzhugh declares that "God has taken me in, healed my wounds, loved me in my sin . . . This world
has been lost long ago. God is my home."
The Infinite Order is as big as the hype that has surrounded it. Living Sacrifice clearly pulled all the
stops in writing and recording this album, including bringing in a myriad of guest talent, from David Bunton of The
Showdown, to former Living Sacrifice and P.O.D. Guitarist Jason Truby. In the end, The Infinite Order is the
perfect comeback for one of the most respected bands in Christian metal. After eight years of silence, Living Sacrifice
is back with a bang, and everybody else is already playing catch-up.
- Review date: 1/24/10, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Metal fans rejoice! Your beloved Living Sacrifice is back after eight
years with a new album. And they're doing their comeback the right way: with a killer album that proves they
haven't lost their touch and that reminds you why you were sad when they broke up. The beginning of
"Overkill Exposure" quickly builds up into a full-on assault of tech-metal beauty and only stops for two
seconds at the end when "Rules of Engagement" starts up with that same speed and skill. Though speed is mostly
the name of the game on The Infinite Order, Bruce Fitzhugh and gang take it a bit slower from time to
time as well - namely the closing tracks. "God Is My Home" resembles a Demon Hunter-style rock song, and
"Apostasy" starts off with almost a two-minute rock opera, but then picks the tempo back up again.
Living Sacrifice is widely considered four of the best technical musicians in the business, and
The Infinite Order is proof. You can't even tell that they were broken up for so long, as the
musicianship and chemistry is still there. On top of that, LS adds the voices of The Showdown, Advent and
Ecomium to several of the songs to make an album that no metal fan should pass up.
- 1/19/10, Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com