In a musical landscape where labels like Neurot and Hydra Head seem to sign one instrumental metal act a month, only to watch them quickly fizzle out, it says something that a band like Stinking Lizaveta has been part of the game since 1994. Even a cursory listen to the trio will indicate how their longevity has been possible. Like Mastodon, they don't restrict themselves to one of metal's many sub-genres. Instead, Sacrifice and Bliss touches on everything from psych-metal swirls and Primus playfulness to post-rock tension and brutal drudgery. The group is up on its metal history too, referencing stalwarts as diverse as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Living Colour (tell me that riff in "Zeitgeist the Movie" doesn't remind you of "Cult of Personality.") Even instrumental detractors who can't deal with five-minute solos or 10-minute opuses won't find much to complain about here. Most songs clock in under four minutes and pack enough variation to keep the ADD at bay.
— Matt Whelihan
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