Feb 032010

We’ve been fucking around with cruise ship jokes the last few days, but it’s time to get back to what this site is really about – the music we live by. And we’re getting back to it in a serious way.

This is an album review, but it will be followed by a meditation on the lyrical content (or lack thereof) of extreme metal and the connection (or lack thereof) between the lyrical content and the music. And what prompted that meditation is the album we’re reviewing — the new full-length release from Living Sacrifice. So, today, the album, and tomorrow, the meditation.

THE ALBUM: Last week we traveled to distant lands and wrote about some ear-catching performers from Greece (Gux Drax), Costa Rica (Sight of Emptiness), Italy (Vomit the Soul), France (Eryn Non Dae, DOPPLeR, Zubrowska), and Sweden (Valkyrja). But today we’re back in America — really back — discussing the best release yet by a powerfully influential band from Arkansas.

Living Sacrifice originally came into being in 1988, broke up in 2002, and reunited in 2008 with a six-week US tour (“Stronger Than Hell”) headlined by Seattle metalcore band Demon Hunter. That’s when I became a Living Sacrifice convert. I caught the “Stronger Than Hell” tour when it passed through Seattle, and in my opinion, LS stole the show. Not even a close call.

Of course, I had to go get oriented with their whole catalogue, and that only made me a more devoted fan. So I’ve been waiting impatiently for The Infinite Order. And it’s finally here — the band’s seventh release, and the first full-length of all-new music since 2002’s Conceived in Fire.

Years of working can produce staleness or lazy repetition of comfortable formulas. But this album is powerful and vibrantly alive. In the case of Living Sacrifice, the fire within has not gone out and the years of experience reveal themselves in superior song-writing and impeccable musicianship.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream  . . .) Continue reading »