Bassist Art Green in 2010
|Also known as||LS|
|Origin||Pulaski County, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.|
|Genres||Christian metal, groove metal, death metal, metalcore (mid), thrash metal (early), hardcore (early), Grindcore|
|Years active||1989–2005, 2008–present|
|Labels||R.E.X., Solid State|
|Associated acts||Eso-Charis, Soul Embraced, Fear is the Driving Force, Kill System|
|Website||Living Sacrifice on Facebook|
|Past members||Darren Johnson
Living Sacrifice is a Christian death metal band that formed in September 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. The band has released eight studio albums, out of which the first three were recorded under R.E.X. Records with their original vocalist Darren Johnson as a more thrash metal and death metal oriented band. The band evolved into a groove metal/metalcore style beginning with Reborn (1997) under Solid State Records with the original guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh on vocals. In 2003, the group split up, due to other projects and later their label, Solid State, released their best-of album, In Memoriam (2005). In 2008, Living Sacrifice reformed and released a two-song digital only single called Death Machine. They then began working on The Infinite Order which was released on January 26, 2010. Lance Garvin and Bruce Fitzhugh are the two remaining original members.
Living Sacrifice was one of the first Christian death metal bands along with Sacrament and Mortification. The band, whose name is derived from Romans 12:1, formed in 1989 by Darren "D.J." Johnson (bass/vocals), Bruce Fitzhugh (guitar) and Lance Garvin (drums). Later Jason Truby joined in on guitar. They recorded a demo, Not Yielding to Ungodly, which got into the hands of Kurt Bachman and Joey Daub from Believer, who signed them to R.E.X. Records.
In 1991, Living Sacrifice's self-titled debut was released on R.E.X. Records. The album received much comparison to thrash metal groups of the time, especially Slayer. In 1992, Living Sacrifice released their second album, Nonexistent. In this album, Living Sacrifice switched from thrash metal to down-tuned death metal, and D.J. started experimenting with a death growl in his vocal approach. The members have said that they were disappointed with the experience of making this album and that the producer was to blame.
In 1994, the band released a third album, Inhabit, which is considered by some to be the heaviest of all Living Sacrifice albums. On Inhabit, D.J. returned to a more thrash-oriented vocal approach, deeper and lower in tone than his vocals on the band's debut. After this recording R.E.X. went bankrupt, and Living Sacrifice signed onto Solid State Records seeking to widen their audience.
After this, D.J. left the band to follow non-musical ministry, and Bruce took over vocals. Jason's brother, Chris, also joined on bass. With this new lineup, Living Sacrifice recorded Reborn, their Solid State debut, in 1997. The band started to play a mix of groove metal and metalcore. Reborn is considered the most influential of all Living Sacrifice records and earned them a larger non-Christian fanbase. After this record, Chris and Jason left the band and Jay Stacy filled in on bass, but was later replaced by Arthur Green, formerly of Eso-Charis. Cory Brandan played guitar for a tour through Norway and Sweden but was then replaced by Rocky Gray (who would go on to play drums in Evanescence and We Are the Fallen and guitar in Soul Embraced.)
At the end of 1999, Matthew Putman joined Living Sacrifice as a percussionist. In 2000, Living Sacrifice recorded their fifth full-length album, The Hammering Process, with a more rhythmical sound—more oriented towards groove metal. Bruce also sang in one Evanescence song, "Lies". In 2001, A Tribute to Living Sacrifice was released. The album contains covers of many Living Sacrifice songs by other metal bands and former members, and a Living Sacrifice song from a split album called Metamorphosis, released in 1993. In 2002, Living Sacrifice entered the studio again, resulting in the album Conceived in Fire.
In June 2003, Living Sacrifice cancelled the rest of one of their tours and announced that Living Sacrifice was disbanding. Each of the band members had other duties that had to be committed to (Such as Lance Garvin and Rocky Gray's Soul Embraced) and felt it was time to move on. According to several interviews, it was only supposed to be Bruce Fitzhugh's final tour, and after he left, Cory Brandan Putman was supposed to take over Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, and Bryan Gray, formerly of The Blamed was to take over Lead Guitar.
In March 2005, In Memoriam was released by Solid State Records. It is a "best of" album, containing three "newly written and recorded songs by Lance Garvin, Rocky Gray and Bruce Fitzhugh", two songs from each Living Sacrifice album, plus "Enthroned", a 1998 cover of a song originally released on 1992's Nonexistent. The three new songs are "In Christ", "Killers", and "The Power of God". In 2007, Bruce Fitzhugh was featured on the song "Sixteen", on Demon Hunter's fourth album Storm the Gates of Hell.
On February 4, 2008, a newly created official MySpace page was updated to announce the reformation of the band. They also announced their support of Demon Hunter in the "Stronger Than Hell" tour from May 26 through July 5, 2008. On June 10, 2008, Living Sacrifice released a two-song online only sampler called Death Machine which can be purchased at their Myspace page, Amazonmp3, and iTunes. On the same day at the Dallas, Texas date of the "Stronger Than Hell" tour, Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh announced that the band was working on a new CD which they hoped to release in 2009. The album release was delayed by Solid State and eventually came out on January 26, 2010. A music video for their lead single off The Infinite Order, "Rules of Engagement", was aired December 22.
The band's seventh studio album, The Infinite Order, was released January 26, 2010 via Solid State Records. The album features the voices of David Bunton from The Showdown, Joe Musten from Advent and Beloved, and guitarist Jason Truby. The album was mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap, Hell guitarist. Track three references the phrase "God is dead" by Friedrich Nietzsche. Released in November, the deluxe edition contained three additional tracks, two live songs and a new track.
In 2013, after three years of touring, Living Sacrifice recorded their eighth album, Ghost Thief, released November 12, 2013 on Solid State Records. The first song named "The Reaping" was premiered on October 17, 2013 on the Solid State YouTube page. The album features the guest voices of Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter on "Screwtape", and Dave Peters from Throwdown on "Despair". The title song, "Ghost Thief", premiered November 6, 2013 on Revolver magazine website. Living Sacrifice is featured on the Killing Floor 2 Soundtrack.
Influence and legacy
|Bruce Fitzhugh||rhythm guitar, lead vocals||1989-2003, 2005, 2008–present|
|Rocky Gray||lead guitar, backing vocals||1999–2003, 2005, 2008–present||Evanescence, Soul Embraced, We Are the Fallen, Solus Deus, Machina, Shredded Corpse, Kill System|
|Arthur Green||Bass, backing vocals||1999–2003, 2008–present||Eso-Charis, Elliot|
|Lance Garvin||drums, auxiliary percussion||1989–2003, 2005, 2008–present||Soul Embraced, Zao, Throwdown, Kill System|
|Matt Putman||auxiliary percussion, backing vocals||1998 (live) 1999–2003||Eso-Charis, Elliot, Lovedrug, Unwed Sailor, Fear is the Driving Force, Bear Colony, Snailhuntr, Ester Drang, The Last Royals|
|Darren "DJ" Johnson||lead vocals, bass||1989–1995, 2014 (Live)|
|Jason Truby||lead guitar, backing vocals||1989–1998||P.O.D.|
|Cory Brandan Putman||lead guitar, backing vocals||1998, 2003||Eso-Charis, Elliot, Norma Jean, Uses Fire, The Handshake Murders, Fear is the Driving Force, The Radio Sky|
|Chad Wilburn||auxiliary percussion||1998||Mindrage, Society's Finest|
|2000||The Hammering Process|
|2002||Conceived in Fire|
|2010||The Infinite Order|
- Metamorphosis (Split EP w/ Circle of Dust, 1993)
- Subtle Alliance (2002, Solid State Records)
- Death Machine (2008, Independent)
- Not Yielding to Ungodly (1989)
- In Memoriam (Best of/Compilation, 2005)
- In Finite Live (DVD, 2011)
- "Overkill Exposure" (Rough Mix) (A single track only given out through the 2009 Fuel Magazine Sampler)
- "Something More" (A single re-recorded track from Reborn put on the Killing Floor 2 Soundtrack)
- Sciarretto, Amy (February 2000). "A Joyful Noise? Christian Metalcore". CMJ New Music Monthly (78): 70. ISSN 1074-6978.
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- Putman, Cory Brandan (August 23, 2015). "Cory Putman of Norma Jean". Trav Turner. As The Story Grows. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
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- Fitzhugh, Bruce (March 17, 2015). "Ghost Thief of Your Heart". Mark Salomon. Never Was. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Living Sacrifice, 'Rules of Engagement' - Video Premiere". Noisecreep. December 22, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Living Sacrifice, 'Ghost Thief'". ThePRP. October 9, 2013.
- Van Pelt, Doug (November 3, 2009). "Living Sacrifices new release looms on horizon". HM Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
- "Interview with Mike Murphy of Haste the Day". HM Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
- Houston, Rob. "Saving Grace". HM Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
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- "Living Sacrifice Reveals 'In Finite Love' DVD Details"
- "Living Sacrifice". 7ball (14). September–October 1997.