Pulaski County, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Extreme metal, thrash metal, death metal, groove metal, metalcore, grindcore, hardcore punk
1989-2003, 2005, 2008-present
Eso-Charis, Soul Embraced, Kill System, Solus Deus, Zao, P.O.D., Norma Jean, The Handshake Murders, Society's Finest, Mindrage, The Crucified, The Blamed, Deliverance, The Showdown, Embodyment, The Famine, Celldweller, Brainchild
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Living Sacrifice is a death metal/groove metal band from Little Rock, Arkansas that began in 1989. The band was signed to R.E.X. Records in 1990, releasing three albums - Living Sacrifice (1991), Nonexistent (1992), and Inhabit (1994) - through the label. They would sign to Solid State Records and release several albums through the label. Vocalist/Rhythm Guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh and Drummer Lance Garvin are the last remaining original members.
Origins and R.E.X. Records (1989-1994)
Living Sacrifice began in 1989, and shortly thereafter became known as one of the first Christian death metal bands, alongside Mortification and Sacrament. The band was formed by Darren "D.J." Johnson (Bass/Vocals) and Lance Garvin (Drums), recruiting Bruce Fitzhugh and Jason Truby on Guitars shortly thereafter. The band recorded a demo in 1989, titled Not Yielding to Ungodly. The demo got into the hands of Joey Daub and Kurt Bachman of Believer, who were working as A&R for R.E.X. Records, which got them signed to the label.
In 1991, the band released their debut, Living Sacrifice, via the label. The album was primarily reviewed and compared to the secular thrash artist Slayer, calling them "clones". However, the next year, the band departed from the thrash metal style, recording their sophomore album - Nonexistent - which was under a death metal style. The band was unhappy with how the album was recorded, blaming the engineers.
After Nonexistent was released, the band released a split album with their label mates Brainchild and Celldweller in 1993, titled Metamorphosis, with a few songs being remixed.
In 1994, the band released their third album and final release via R.E.X. Records titled Inhabit. Several consider the album to be the heaviest album of Living Sacrifice, with D.J. switching his vocal style back to a thrash metal-esque vocals, however with death metal instrumentation. To support the album, the band embarked on a tour with Malevolent Creation, where they were persecuted and received death threats by the people at their shows, with the band members of MC protecting them. After returning from tour, they discovered their label, R.E.X. had gone broke. The band managed to buy all three of their albums back from the label, with whom they had a semi-poor experience. The band would apprehensively sign with Solid State Records, being wary as to their previous experiences with labels.
Lineup changes, Reborn and Solid State Records (1995-1999)
In 1995, DJ left the band, no longer feeling called to music, where he would become a architect. After his departure, Fitzhugh and Truby would both try out for vocals, with Fitzhugh getting the position. Truby and the band would hire his older brother, Chris Truby for bass. With the new lineup, the band would record their Solid State debut, Reborn, which is widely considered to be the best of the band's discography, and release it in 1997. The band would switch to perform a style of groove metal and metalcore.
After the album was released, the Truby brothers would depart. For a brief time Jay Stacey filled in on bass, shortly thereafter being replaced by Arthur Green. Cory Brandan Putman would perform guitars in the band for a few tours in 1998, until Rocky Gray replaced him. In 1998, at Cornerstone (July 4th Weekend), Matthew Putman and Chad Wilburn would come play a song on stage with the band that was on the Reborn album, which would lead to Matt joining the band later on that year.
Two more albums and disbanding (2000-2005)
In 2000, the band would record their fifth album, The Hammering Process with this new lineup. The album exhibited a strong groovecore style. The next year, a tribute album, A Tribute to Living Sacrifice would be released, with Living Sacrifice even appearing with an obscure track of theirs. In 2002, the band returned to the studio and recorded Conceived in Fire. In 2003, the band cancelled all tours and announced that they disbanded.
Because of the members other engagements, such as Garvin and Gray's band Soul Embraced, and Gray joining Evanescence, they felt that it was time to move on. However, Fitzhugh was not expecting this, as it was to be his final tour. He was supposed to leave the band, with Cory Putman returning to take over vocals and guitars and Bryan Gray to take over lead guitars, as Rocky had departed already to play drums with Evanescence.
In 2005, the band released In Memoriam, which featured three new tracks with Fitzhugh, Garvin and Gray reuniting to write and record them. The tracks were "In Christ", "Killers" and "The Power of God".
Reunion and new material (2008-present)
On February 4, 2008, the band officially reunited - creating a Myspace page for the band; with the lineup of Bruce Fitzhugh, Lance Garvin, Rocky Gray and Arthur Green. They then announced the "Stronger Than Hell Tour" with Demon Hunter and Focused and several others. The band released Death Machine EP on June 10, 2008 independently. During the Stronger Than Hell Tour, Fitzhugh announced they were working on a new CD; The Infinite Order, which was to be released in 2009. However, the release was delayed, eventually coming out in 2010, followed by a music video for "Rules of Engagement".
The new album featured several guest musicians, including David Bunton of The Showdown, Joe Musten of Advent and Beloved, and former guitarist Jason Truby. In 2013, after three years of touring, Living Sacrifice recorded their eighth album, Ghost Thief and released it via Solid State the same year. The album featured Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter, Dave Peters of Throwdown, Nick Hipa of As I Lay Dying and several members of Destroy Destroy Destroy. The band was featured on the Killing Floor 2 Soundtrack, as was Fitzhugh, alongside Jeremiah Scott. The band, in 2017, would perform on the ShipRocked Cruise alongside bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Sevendust and Lacey Sturm.
According to DJ, a friend of the band is working on a documentary about the band. In 2017, the band released a track, "New Day", which was featured on the compilation, We Bear The Scars. The song was supposed to be apart of the album, The Hammering Process, but the band and their producer, Barry Poynter, lost the track during the final mixing process. The compilation was a benefit for Timothy Henderson, the former drummer of Warlord, who has fibromyalgia. The band announced the 30-year documentary, which was set to release on March 28, 2020, with a performance by Living Sacrifice and The Blamed.
Influence and Influences
The band has influenced several bands over the years, including As I Lay Dying, Throwdown, Demon Hunter, Underøath, Haste the Day, Saving Grace, 7 Horns 7 Eyes and many more.
The band's influences were primarily older thrash and death metal bands, including Slayer, Sepultura, Malevolent Creation, Metallica, Megadeth, Carcass and Cannibal Corpse.
|Instruments||Years Active||Other projects|
|Bruce Fitzhugh||Vocals, Rhythm Guitars||1989-2003, 2005, 2008-present||Megabruce|
|Rocky Gray||Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals||1999-2003, 2005, 2008-present||The Burning, Project 86, Kill System, Chalice, Believer, Austrian Death Machine, Machina, Sickshine, We Are The Fallen, Evanescence, Shredded Corpse, Seminal Death, PainGod, Mourningside, Even Devils Die, Bleeding Through, The Killer and the Star, Fatal Thirteen, Cryptic Memoirs, Solus Deus, 3 for Sorrow|
|Arthur Green||Bass, Backing Vocals||1999-2003, 2008-present||Elliot, Eso-Charis, Soul Embraced|
|Lance Garvin||Drums||1989-2003, 2005, 2008-present||Soul Embraced, Zao, Kill System, Heroes Among Thieves, Throwdown|
|Instruments||Years Active||Other projects|
|Darren "DJ Sacrifice" Johnson||Vocals, Bass||1989-1995, 2014, 2018|
|Jason Truby||Lead Guitars||1989-1998||P.O.D., Solo artist, Phil Keaggy, Ashley Cleveland, Kenny Cleveland|
|Cory Brandan Putman||Lead Guitars||1998-1999, 2003||Elliot, Eso-Charis, Norma Jean, The Handshake Murders, Uses Fire, Fear is the Drive Force, The Radio Sky|
|Matthew Putman||Percussion||1998-2003||Elliot, Eso-Charis, Deathbed Atheist, Unwed Sailor, Lovedrug, Snailhuntr, Bear Colony, Chase Pagan, David Thomas Owen, The Last Royals, Family History, Glass Wands, Paper Anthem, Randall Shreve|
|Instruments||Years Active||Other projects|
|Chad Wilburn||Percussion||1998||Mindrage, Society's Finest|
|Josh Childers||Lead Guitars||2010||The Showdown|
|Mark Garza||Drums, Auxiliary Percussion||2010, 2020-present||Supplication, Embodyment, The Famine, Lhoist, Constant Seas|
|Jim Chaffin||Drums||2011||KGB, The Crucified, Deliverance, Once Dead, The Blamed, The Satire, Fasedown, Lifesavers Underground, Left Out, Michael Phillips, Three Kings, Wretched Graverobber, Mortal, Sarge Loda, Final Threat|
|Brian Shorter||Lead Guitars||2017||The Showdown, Destroy Destroy Destroy|
- Living Sacrifice (1991)
- Nonexistent (1992)
- Inhabit (1994)
- Reborn (1997)
- The Hammering Process (2000)
- Conceived in Fire (2002)
- The Infinite Order (2010)
- Ghost Thief (2013)
- Metamorphosis (1993; Split with Celldweller and Brainchild)
- Subtle Alliance (2002)
- Death Machine (2008)
- Not Yielding to Ungodly (1989)
- Demo (1995)
- In Memoriam (2005)
- "Overkill Exposure" (Rough Mix)
- "Something More" (Re-recorded)
- "New Day" (Lost Track)
- "...To Nothing" (1992)
- "Reject" (1997)
- "Rules of Engagement" (2010)
- "Overkill Exposure" (2010)
- Argh!!! - The Official R.E.X. Sampler (1991)
- Can You Dig It? III (1994)
- R.E.X. 95 [Sampler] 3 (1995)
- Songs From The Penalty Box (1997)
- 4th Anniversary Box Set (1997)
- Gas Collection 3 (1997)
- I Hear Ya: Summer '97 (1997)
- Chord Magazine CD Sampler #12 (1998)
- Songs From The Penalty Box Vol. #2 (1998)
- Jack of All Trades Master of None (1998)
- God-Core Chronicles Volume I (1998)
- God-Core Chronicles Volume II (1998)
- This Is Solid State Vol. One (1999)
- Cheapskates (Harder Side) (2000)
- Rock Sound Volume 48 (2000)
- Safety First (2001)
- This Is Solid State Volume: Two (2001)
- A Tribute to Living Sacrifice (2001)
- Point Break, Volume 3 (2002)
- Psychosonic! Volume 40 (2002)
- This Is Solid State Volume 4 (2003)
- 10th Anniversary Box Set (2003)
- The Classics Hard (2004)
- Killing Floor 2 Soundtrack (2016)
- We Bear The Scars (2017)
- Turner, Travis (August 27, 2017). "DJ Sacrifice". As The Story Grows. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Fitzhugh, Bruce (September 20, 2015). "Bruce Fitzhugh of Living Sacrifice". As The Story Grows. Interviewed with Travis Turner and Stephen Sarro. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Brainchild / Living Sacrifice / Celldweller - Metamorphosis". Discogs. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Living Sacrifice 'Reborn' Special". As The Story Grows. Interview with Travis Turner. June 3, 2017. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Macintosh, Dan (July-August 1997). "Living Sacrifice." HM Magazine (66). Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Metalocalypse Showdown: Dethlok vs. Living Sacrifice". IGN. September 12, 2006. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Living Sacrifice 'Reborn' 2004 Re-release Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. January 27, 2004. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Putman, Matthew (February 1, 2015). "BVC015: Matthew Putman of Living Sacrifice, Eso-Charis, Lovedrug, and every other band ever." As The Story Grows. Interview with Jesse Jeremiah and Travis Turner. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Living Sacrifice breaks-up". Lambgoat. May 14, 2003. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Allen, David (May 12, 2003). "Archived Copy". HxC.com. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Putman, Cory Brandan (August 23, 2015). "Cory Brandan of Norma Jean". As The Story Grows. Interview with Travis Turner. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Fitzhugh, Bruce (March 3, 2015). "Gently Crushing You". Never Was Podcast. Interview with Mark Salomon. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Fitzhugh, Bruce (March 17, 2015). "Ghost Thief of Your Heart". Never Was Podcast. Interview with Mark Salomon. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- "Living Sacrifice, Rules of Engagement - Video". Noisecreep. December 22, 2009. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Ramanand, Liz (January 25, 2017). "ShipRocked 2017: Day 2 - Stitched Up Heart, The Stowaways, Breaking Benjamin + more". Loudwire. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Jones, Brandon (October 5, 2017). "We Bear The Scars Benefit Compilation (Featuring a Collection of Old and New Bands Alike)" Indie Vision Music. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Henderson, Timothy (April 19, 2015). "Timothy Henderson of Warlord". As The Story Grows. Retrieved on March 25, 2018.
- Jones, Brandon (March 2, 2020). "30 Years of Sacrifice: The Documentary of Living Sacrifice)". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved on March 2, 2020.
- Wookubus (February 26, 2020). "Trailer Released For New Living Sacrifice Documentary '30 Years of Sacrifice...'". Theprp. Retrieved on March 2, 2020.
- Pelt, Doug Van (November 3, 2009). Living Sacrifices new release looms on horizon. HM Magazine. Retrieved on March 26, 2018.
- Interview with Mike Murphy of Haste the Day. HM Magazine. Retrieved on March 26, 2018
- Houston, Rob. Saving Grace. HM Magazine. Retrieved on March 26, 2018.
- About.Facebook. Retrieved on March 28, 2018