I haven't been a Living Sacrifice fan for very long. Just last summer I bought the band's 2002 release Conceived in Fire. I liked CiF so much that I decided to get Living Sacrifice's earlier CD's as well. What I got was an interesting surprise entirely different from what I expected.
Believe me when I say that Living Sacrifice has changed over the years. Nonexistent was originally LS's second album in 1992, but I was lucky enough to gain access to the 1999 re-release. So for those of you expecting to hear what you heard on the band's later releases like Reborn, The Hammering Process, or Conceived in Fire, I'm sorry but that Living Sacrifice was 'nonexistent' back in the early '90s.
The guitars on Nonexistent are not nearly as pounding or as heavy as the metal we're used to today. The drums, however, are extremely pummeling on this album, but the biggest, most noticeable difference would have to be the vocals. They are slurred and shouted in such a way that they are almost undecipherable. It sounds kind of like a person gagging and trying to speak at the same time. The instrumental opening, "Emerge," doesn't hint at the vocals, so don't be deceived by it's peacefulness. It's kind of creepy when you first hear DJ start to sing, if you can call it that. It seems like the vocals are an opening scream that is quite common on metal records. But when they continue, it's apparent that the lead singer is saying words. Usually, all that you catch on the first time you listen to Nonexistent are the song titles gutturally rasped during a few of the tracks.
It's at times like this when you question a band's religion. But with a quick look at the lyrics, it's obvious that Living Sacrifice's message has never been better. It's words such as "The splendor of Christ's holiness, abound in, filled in righteousness..." and "O Lord, a resting place, arise, O Lord to be forever glorified..." from "Enthroned," the second track on Nonexistent, that make this CD great.
Living Sacrifice has no soft songs on this album, but some of the songs have smoother, acoustic sections, like "Void Expression," "Atonement," and the title track. It's kind of a tense softness, yet somehow soothing. As for the hardcore music on this album, certain melodies are often repeated sometimes to the point that you can't tell when one song ends and another begins.
All in all, Nonexistent is worth your time. The music is good and so is the message. Sure, the vocals can get irritating, but it's comfortable to know that even though sometimes you don't know what is being said, God does and He is being praised.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 2/12/06, written by Barney Hughes for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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