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In Memoriam

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Mar
In Memoriam
Sounds like … the hard rock rumblings of fellow Solid State label mates like Zao, Norma Jean, Extol, Demon Hunter, and UnderOath. At a glance … after more than a decade together, Living Sacrifice hangs up its heavy hat with this all-inclusive career retrospective.Track Listing In Christ The Power of God Killers Symbiotic Send Your Regrets Bloodwork Local Vengeance Killing Reborn Empowered Reject Enthroned '98 Breathing Murder In the Shadow Distorted Haven of Blasphemy Obstruction Anorexia Spiritual

Long before many hardcore Christian bands even existed, Living Sacrifice was achieving widespread impact on the underground. The group first made waves in 1991 when its self-titled debut (on the now defunct REX Records). They were among the first bands signed to the hardcore label Solid State in 1996. Along the way, they toured throughout the Christian and mainstream markets, using their gut-wrenching intensity to spread the gospel to an unlikely audience, and maintaining a good reputation until they decided to call it quits two years ago.

This retrospective collection took a little longer than expected to compile. But it's well worth the wait for diehards, adding three new songs with 13 Living Sacrifice favorites. In Memoriam is sequenced in reverse chronological order, starting with how the group ended, and then moving toward its early indie stages. Highlights include the kick-off screams of "In Christ" and more recent expressions of faith like "Power of God" and "Send Your Regrets." All are liberally glazed with cacophonic guitars, pummeling percussion, and incredibly riotous vocals.

Longtime supporters will have additional memories stirred up in early career cuts like "In the Shadow," "Distorted," and "Haven of Blasphemy." However, these lack the fine-tuning and refined playing of the latter era, and haven't stood up as well over time. Even so, In Memoriam is a proper single-disc summary of Living Sacrifice's career span—good enough for the fans and the uninitiated.

© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.