The Stronger Than Hell Tour

Monday, May 26

Demon Hunter headlines the Stronger Than Hell tour, but it's Living

Sacrifice, back from a six-year hiatus, that rates a prodigal-son

welcome. Hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, Living Sacrifice emerged

in 1989, when the term "Christian metal" was still considered

oxymoronic. Initially, the quartet played reckless thrash, like an

alternate-universe Slayer that treated "Jesus Saves" as a deeply felt

mantra rather than an ironic chorus. (Living Sacrifice has always been

lyrically explicit about their faith.) On their most recent albums,

2000's The Hammering Process and 2002's Conceived in Fire, Living

Sacrifice switched to a slower, choppier attack, with heavy tribal

rhythms, staccato riffs, and gruff, aggressive vocals. The reunited

lineup includes Bruce Fitzhugh (guitarist and founding member, singer

since 1997); guitarist Rocky Gray (member since 1999, served a stint

in Evanescence); original drummer Lance Garvin, and bassist Arthur

Green. Demon Hunter, who headed into the studio for the first time

just as Living Sacrifice started their sabbatical, cites their opener

as a major influence. But while the resemblance is clear during

high-speed blasts such as "Storm the Gates of Hell," the Seattle-based

quintet prefer breakdowns to solos and clear, broadly melodic

rock-radio choruses to guttural roars. With Demon Hunter, Living

Sacrifice, Oh Sleeper, the Famine, the Advent. El Corazon, 109

Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 6 p.m. $18 adv./$20. ANDREW MILLER

Mon., May 26, 6 p.m., 2008

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