- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2001 1 Jan
The band Luti-kriss describes their music as "pure sonic chaos," and that's an apt description for their hardcore metal sound. If you're not a fan of this genre or if you have a weak heart condition, this album isn't for you because it's intensely loud with a lot of screaming instead of singing. If you are a fan, you'll still find it intensely loud with a lot of screaming instead of singing—but that's the point, isn't it?
"Last Breath First," "Petty Larson," and the hidden track offer the only sounds on the album that most resemble a melody. All of the tracks feature screaming/yowling, which the non-initiated might interpret as evil and angry. This is understandable considering the lyric content of their mainstream counterparts. But in the case of heavy metal Christian acts like Luti-kriss, Living Sacrifice, and Zao, the screaming is done out of passion, teen angst, and emotional release rather than anger. I don't pretend to appreciate or identify with this genre, but there are many youth who do. They hear not just loud noise, but raw emotion expressing the need for a Savior.
Unfortunately, like many other Christian acts in the hardcore metal genre, the question is whether or not the message of the Gospel actually gets through the thick layer of guitars, drums, and screaming. Based on the results and lives touched, I'd say it is. There's no doubt the band is grounded in the Christian faith. The band's biography on their website concludes with "As long as this ministry is around, it will forever lift up Jesus Christ. We will never compromise our walk with him." I could decipher enough of the lyrics to "Blacksmith" to understand it's about God shaping us into what he wants us to become, always returning to the chorus: "I am yours."
Considering these guys formed as a garage band in 1997 and are just out of high school, Luti-kriss has come a long way and display a lot of talent. The band is fairly tight with lots of rhythmic change-ups and bombastic guitar and bass effects. They've sharpened their skills enough to impress fans of the genre, not to mention their peers—and scored a gig as the opening act for a tour with Living Sacrifice this year. I can't emphasize enough that this music isn't for everyone, nor is it intended to be. But fans of bands like Project 86, Living Sacrifice, Korn, P.O.D., and other heavy acts will find a lot to "throw themselves" into, spiritually and musically.