Music Reviews

Living Sacrifice

The Hammering Process

Solid State

The Hammering Process, eh? Truly, a none-more-fitting title for this, Living Sacrifice’;s fifth thus far. Strange happenings a-brewing here, as Living Sacrifice return after a four-year hiatus looking shorn and showered, ready n’; willing to do battle with masses previously unaccustomed with preaching the Gospel amidst heavy, hammering sounds. Much like the criminally under-appreciated and sorely missed Believer, Living Sacrifice cut their collective teeth during thrash metal’;s heyday of the late •80s, so calling The Hammering Process a sellout wouldn’;t be too judicious a move, but it’;d certainly be off-point; thus, let’;s call it a savvy makeover. And the makeover the quintet gets here is one strikingly close to the smart(er) nu-metal sounds of Skinlab and earlier Deftones, one that places a premium on tribal pummeling, gargantuan groove, nimble-minded nuance, hypnotic heaviness, torn vocal chords, and the occasional nod to mainstreamable melody, particularly on album standouts “Hand of the Dead” and “Altered Life.” Guess what? It works. Man, does it work  so admirably, in fact, that The Hammering Process wipes the floor with just about every drop-E’;d, baggy-panted bozo band around, past or (especially) present, namely because it’;s imbued with a certain short-haired rage and anguish on par with Botch or the much-missed and misunderstood Coalesce. Undeniably underground, but peering cockeyed above the trenches, aware and wary of what the big(ger) boys are doing. Hammer on, brothers.

Solid State, PO Box 12698, Seattle, WA 98111,

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