My favorite heavy metal band's fifth release isn't their heaviest to date, but it's not dissapointing at all. This isn't exactly metal. I would say it's hardcore with metal influences.
As with most Christian hardcore/metal, it rarely mentions God specifically, but the positive message is blatantly clear. The Hammering Process opens with "Flatline," one of the heavier songs on the album. A very positive message here, with lyrics like "Bound no longer by pathetic offers... I refuse to be consumed by this parasite," this song is about being free from Satan and the world. "Local Vengance Killing," a more of a speed metal song, is about ridding sin from one's life. "Mercy will only complicate; Fill the space inside; Shoot to kill."
"Hand of the Dead" speaks of an unsaved person and how the world will lie to you while you indulge in worldly offers, then dump you, leaving you to die lonely. "I can't feel, walking with unopened eyes; Lies that brought me here fade away; Misplaced this cure, misplaced this heart." The album closes with "Conditional," which has a borderline death metal opening. This song is about the world and its evil. "Precious wasted, killed and tested; To be what they want me to be is not inside me; seething, loathing, free to think your way," and fades out.
These guys must be doing something right, because track nine, "Perfect," won loud rock song of the year for 2000. This album was almost perfect, with one error: The solos. They sacrifice too much of the song's feel and rythm to show off their skills with a guitar (which are quite amazing). If you are going to buy a first Living Sacrifice album, you should probably pick up Reborn, which is more death metal. But The Hammering Process is awesome, and Matthew Putman's tribal drumming adds a deeper feeling to this dense metal album. If you didn't know about this album and are considering buying it, get it.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 8/7/04, written by David Joshua Grossman for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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