Living Sacrifice / The JamesDeanTrio / Kao Kyen
The New Earth, Kansas City, MO
December 6, 2002
MegilothReview by: Megiloth

Shortly upon arrival, I hear from the stage, “Yo, I wanna see everyone throw it down ya’ll”, so I did. I threw down my $2 for all you can drink watered down coffee. I was really hoping to miss the first two bands, but as luck would have it, I got to hear the last couple songs from local band, Kao Kyen. Hey, didn’t I have some of that last week? Oh, my bad, that was Kung Pao Chicken…extra spicy!! Too bad this band wasn’t extra spicy, or at least spicy. It was typical hardcore. Lot’s of “throw it down ya’ll” riffs, jumping up and down with the guitar, and the vocalist shouting into the microphone while facing the drummer. Actually, most of the band was turned around facing the drummer. I never really got into this stuff, so it’s really unfair in me bashing it. Ten years ago, I may have liked this style, but I have been spoiled by the sounds of D.R.I., The Crucified, and Minor Threat, so it takes a lot in this arena to impress me.

Up next was another local Kansas City band, The JamesDeanTrio…with six members. One vocalist, one bass player, one drummer, and THREE guitar players. Bands like Dream Theater, Judas Priest, or Iron Maiden would sound good with three guitar players; however, this is just pointless. Everybody is playing something different, but unlike Primus who can get away with that and make it sound good, this is a high school garage band gone worse than bad. Some parts of the song were just spastic blurs, some bits were jazzy, some bits had a hint of rhythm, and some bits were enough to make you want to jab pencils in your ears. Oh, that Eddie Van Halen guitar lick was really essential to the song. The closest thing I can compare this band to is A.C. about 10 years ago. Back in 1989, some friends and I got together in a basement and beat away on different instruments. We called the project, Two Funky Swine, and did it as a joke. These guys, I’m assuming are serious about their craft. I don’t think the crowd knew what to do, except stare blankly at the band. Oh yeah, besides laughing at these kids between songs, someone cracked a joke, “Hey, is that Jack Black on the drums?” From a distance, it did look like Jack Black. Later on after the show, I heard the guitar player was 14 years old. Who cares?  Give him a couple years to get over puberty, THEN let him do background shouts. This was a pointless set.

Finally, the band I came to see, Living Sacrifice went on. They opened with “Imminent War”, and from there, proceeded to play a few songs off their new CD, “Conceived in Fire”, a few songs from “The Hammering Process”, and the title track from their “Reborn” release. Basically, they played material from their last three CD’s. Not a single song from their debut release. Nothing from “Nonexistent” or “Inhabit”. Okay, I’m puzzled. I was expecting to hear “Enthroned”, “Haven of Blasphemy”, “Breathing Murder”, “Violence” or any number of killer tunes from their early days that have become set regulars. Even the couple of songs on their new CD have some “old school” speed metal songs….did they play them? Nope. I suppose my big complaint is this recent trend of so-called nu-metal seems to have severely crippled their ability to shred. Gone are the blast beats and technical drums. Gone are the blazing lead trade-offs between guitarists. Gone is the speed and intensity. In are tribal beats, repetitive guitar hooks, and a hardcore feel. Hey guys, you’re not Soulfly or Slipknot. Try teaching the new kids in the band how to play. Bruce and Lance are highly capable of playing great music…it’s the addition of these new guys that worry me. The guitars were barely audible, and the background vocals were turned down. I’ve seen Living Sacrifice four times, and they’ve all been excellent shows, but I was rather unimpressed at this outing. Maybe Living Sacrifice should change their name to Dead Sacrifice.

Band Links Venue
Living Sacrifice
The JamesDeanTrio
Kao Kyen
The New Earth


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