In late 1997, I was given a tape. On this tape was a sound I had never before heard. It was dark. It was aggressive. It spoke about things in my life in a way I had never heard before. It was a cassette tape of Living Sacrifice’s “Reborn.” It not only introduced me to Christian Metal, it introduced me to Metal as a whole. I had finally found a form of music that conveyed to me the might and power of God, and it made me proud to be a Christian, and opened up my mind to a form of expression I had longed for long before I even knew it existed.
The tape opens with a long drone, tribal drums beating in the background, until it all builds up to a short silence, which is then filled with a drum fill that is seemingly unhuman. It was the first time I learned of Lance Garvin, and only the beginning of a deep respect and awe of him. The song begins with a musical might of a legion of angels, while the vocalist, Bruce Fitzhugh, screamed with an intense passion lyrics that were simple, but God-breathed.
All strongholds broken
Old ways have died,
Given new life
Boldness engulfs my every word,
Strength empowered by God
I had spent many years in churches, and never once heard a battle cry like that. There’s no tremble in the words spoken, no wavering in the stance. Backed by a blast of guitars and drums, those were are screamed into the depths of hell and back. Living Sacrifice had shown me that something the prefix of “Christian” didn’t have to mean “second rate rip-off.”
Living Sacrifice will always have a big place in my heart. Not only has their music always moved and inspired me, but their members have been inspirations to me. Lance Garvin is an incredible drummer, with speed, accuracy and power. And the band’s frontman, Bruce Fitzhugh, has long been a model for the life I wanted. He fronted an amazing Christian metal band, when not with LS, he produced other awesome Christian metal acts, and he’s a family man (so much so it led to the band’s breakup in 2003.)
Now that I’ve explained all that, you can understand that I have become very excited at their announcement to do a reunion tour and record a new album. They’re playing in Atlanta on June 27th.
I was very excited.
Tonight Teresa, practically through tears, explained that we’ll be on a plane that night going to Florida for her cousin’s wedding. They play in Florida on the 28th, but it’s an hour away, and it’s during the wedding. She then drove the knife deeper when she pointed out that on the 28th, in Florida, I could bring along my best friend/former metal bandmate Rob to the show with me…if I could go. Which I can’t. Life is very frustrating. I continually feel like I want simple things, and they keep getting stripped away from me. It’s never anything horrible, but having one little thing after the other fall through on you gets really overwhelming after a while. It sucks.