Well, it's been almost 3 years and the new Living Sacrifice is finally here! I've grown to love this band that changes styles on every album. Actually, this is not so drastic a change as the past albums. "The Hammering Process" is a lot different from "Reborn", but also very similar. I sometimes think it's heavier than "Reborn", but then I listen to an old song like "Liar" and I think twice. I think "THP" just has more of a raw/live feel to it. The production on this album is very good. Every instrument and the vocals are all crystal clear. The CD booklet layout was done by Don Clark of Training for Utopia (RIP). It shows many similarities to the most recent albums from TFU and Embodyment. (Same dog, same tricks). Nevertheless, it looks cool, with great band photos. One HUGE bad point about this album is the fact that it is only 39 minutes in length! Golly, 3 years and they can only come up with 39 minutes! That's like only 13 minutes a year! Granted, it's a good 39 minutes, but they could've worked in a few other songs or some extra long jam sessions or something. Anyways, that aside, I love this album! I've heard complaints..."they've sold out", "they're mall-metal". Who really cares in my opinion. This is an excellent album that should garner lots of praise. The record starts off with "Flatline". This is a terrific song. Very heavy and with a great guitar solo. The guitar solos are a big plus in my book. Newcomer, Rocky, adds some great dynamics to many of the songs on this disc. "Not My Own" is another great song. Screams of "Born Again...LIFE! Born Again...PEACE! Born Again...LOVE!" sound really good. Bruce's vocals on this album are very good. Slightly different than on "Reborn", but still with that screaming/growling style. "Altered Life", "Hand of the Dead", and "Perfect" bring in some clean singing which I think fits in great. It adds emotion to the songs. "Conditional" is probably the fastest and most aggressive song on the album. It comes up last on the album and serves as a great closer. My favorite song on this disc has to be "Burn the End". If you love songs that make you hit the repeat button, then this song is right up your alley. In HM's reader's poll and in The Dead E-Zine's reader's poll, I voted this song as "Song of the Year for 2000". It's a very heavy song with some sweet acoustic guitar picking in the middle of the song. The ending has a big build up before exploding at the close. The lyrics are great on this song too (as with all the songs). "If I need this image to be me. Then were is my God able to shine through?" It closes with screams of "Compromise will breed corruption, compromise will breed corruption!!" Awesome song! Overall, I absolutely love this album. Living Sacrifice has continued to put forth a very strong effort on each any every album. Despite all the lineup changes, they haven't missed a beat. The style has changed over the years, but they continue to be one of the best at whatever style they choose.
*Upon a second glance* - Over a year later, I still like this album a little, but I find myself rarely ever listening to it. It kinda gets old after many listens. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's the style they've chosen to pursue, as I'm not really big into metalcore like I used to be when I first reviewed this disc. So, my rating has been updated to reflect my current feelings. (Review by Matt)