In a genre of music that is not for just the common music fan, Living Sacrifice has managed to keep themselves fresh and relevant for some 20 plus years now. Their music is fast-paced, hard-edged and incredibly hard to understand.
The Marquee hosted a quintet of hardcore bands last Wednesday. It was a small crowd on a chilly night, but the faithful came out to headbang and mosh. This was a show that was billed as a Christian concert, but had other bands that did not fit in with the message.
Now, I will just start out by telling you that I am not a hardcore metal fan. I can’t get passed the growl, I guess I like to hear the lyrics. Sorry mom, all those times I said “I just like the music” may have been a small stretch. I do however, appreciate some good musicianship. There was plenty of that and it shined with the LS portion of the show.
You could hear great guitar work at times and incredible thundering bass, but at times (for me anyway) it seemed to get muddy up with death growl vocals.
The Great Commission, a band out of southern California gave a very strong offering and got the crowd hyped. Very intriguing part of this band was the use of a female guitarist and backing vocalist with the death growl approach. I have never seen that before and it made for some interesting entertainment. They also were the only band of the evening to give a small blurb about their mission to spread the Gospel and have a ready testimony for those who ask about the hope you may have.
Honestly, had I been into this brand of metal, I may have paid more attention to the other bands and had some highlights to give, but alas, I find it challenging to really focus when I can’t understand what the artist is doing. One tidbit that I did find amusing was that the lead singer for Shai Hulud had a pretty cool tattoo of The Office’s Dwight Shrute on his leg. Kind of drives home the geeks with attitude premise that I think most of this music encompasses.
Back to Living Sacrifice, a band that has definitely paid its dues and lays it all out for their fans. Continually humble and gracious.
They scorched through tune after tune, with little fan interaction. Choosing instead to let the music do the talking. Lance Garvin, drums, is a madman on the kit. I found myself constantly drawn to what he was doing. Arthur Green, bass, plays it loud and mean and keeps your insides churning by the low tones. Rocky Gray, guitar, does some amazing guitar work. Bruce Fitzhugh, lead vocals, guitar is the center of attention though with heavy riffs and commanding stage presence.
They were the stand out band of the night and could have easily played longer. If you are a hardcore fan, maybe not even a Christian metal fan, you need to see Living Sacrifice. You will not be disappointed.
About the writer:
Ernie Osborn is a California transplant that has been around the music business much of his life. He has been in bands and currently plays guitar and sings when called upon to do so. He also writes articles in the Tulsa Speaks section enititled, “Whatever Happened To…” check it out.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle