With the popularity of bands from the Christian metalcore scene, it has become very rare to see fans going back to where this genre of music all started. Before Demon Hunter, Becoming The Archetype, Haste The Day, and definately before ZAO, there was none other than Living Sacrifice. The Reborn album would become their first attempt to depart from the thrash/death metal style they were known for and into the metalcore genre as well as their first album with Solid State Records. The album came out in 1997, but I will mainly be covering the 2004 re-release for this review.
In 1995, after Darren "D.J." Johnson left the band, lead guitar player Bruce Fitzhugh took over duties as the lead vocalist of the band while Jason Truby's brother, Chris, became the bass player. Upon listening to the first track, you immediately know this will be a wild ride as this is a much heavier album than their previous Inhabit. "Reborn Empowered" starts off with a few simple drum beats from Lance Garvin and eventually builds up into a very fast, almost progressive metal song. Bruce's screams and growls deliver a top-notch performance with bold lyrics such as, "Reborn empowered, all strongholds broken, old ways have died, given new life, boldness engulfs my every word, strength empowered by God, Jesus, the strength in Christ's name."
Other highlights from the album would have to be "Truth Solution," "Awakening," and Living Sacrifice's most well-known song that they continue to perform to this day, "Reject." Lyrically, "Reject" tells the listener that we need to pay no heed to the lies and deception of this world and anything that stands against the Lord, "Half truths, deceit, forced in, not God, reject all lies, reject all of the lies." The album closes with the song "Liar," a complete slap in the face to Satan and how he will never measure up to Jesus Christ and His love and mercy, "Worthless, want to be God, loser imitation, fallen from grace, deceitful lying beast your bound, lord of maggots, we rebuke you."
The only complaint I have regarding this release is that tracks like "Truth Solution," "Threatened," and "Awakening" seem to run just a little too long. Most of the songs are 3 to 5 minutes long, and at times I felt like the songs needed to just wrap it up. All in all, this will definitely be labeled as Living Sacrifice's best album both musically and lyrically. This is straight-edge hardcore heavy metal all done in the name of Jesus Christ. Reborn is a Christian metal masterpiece recommended for fans of Demon Hunter and Becoming The Archetype.- Review date: 11/6/08, written by Fred Keel of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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