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Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died

Label: Century Media
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 9/ 10

As much as I didn’t want to hear the news Nevermore broke up I guess it was a blessing in disguise because the last two albums were a bit redundant in a couple ways, and we got a fresh sounding new Sanctuary album. So everything does happen for a reason. And there is always hope for Nevermore to get back together?


Regardless, we are here to talk about what happened “The Year The Sun Died”, and as unfortunate as that may be, the sounds of this gaseous planet’s demise could not have sounded much better. Sanctuary has reunited with original members Warrel Dane - Vocals (1985–1992; 2010–present), Lenny Rutledge - Guitars (1985–1992; 2010–present), Jim Sheppard - Bass (1985–1992; 2010–present), drummer Dave Budbill (1985–1992; 2010–present), with latest addition Brad Hull - Guitars (2011–present).

Lead off track ‘Arise And Purify’ is everything you’d want from the band who recorded the debut “Refuge Denied”, creative aggressive riff, melodic complimenting leads, and Warrel spitting wicked nasty words that spell impending doom. ‘Let The Serpent Follow Me’ is also imposing, keeping within the aggression, similar in presentation but its own haunting message and melody. ‘Exitium (Anthem of the Living)’ explores their more progressive tendencies heard on the masterpiece “Into the Mirror Black”, and does have a familiarity to a Nevermore, which is fine, and unavoidable given Warrel’s voice. ‘Question Existence Fading’ riffing and Warrel’s vocal mean business and delivered together evident they have something to say about the sad end of the sun. ‘I Am Low’ (as with ‘One Final Day’) is melancholy in only a way Dane does, unlike similar Nevermore numbers, which it should. On that note, what makes this album strong is the way riffs and leads by Lenny and Brad are written. Having two inputs (as opposed to Jeff handling everything for Nevermore in studio), the end results in artistic expressions that have a common palette of colors but avoids monotony, and it equals a solo trade off and harmonizing in ‘Frozen’ that is unstoppable. ‘The World Is Wired’ works well as a straight forward rocker, followed with the slower ‘Dying Age’, but ‘Ad Vitam Aeternam" (Instrumental) lead in to the title track really completes this painting.

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