4/20/2017 - Review by: David Loveless
Long lost demo's from late 80's Thrash titans!
Sanctuary burst onto the Metal scene with 1987's Refuge Denied. The Dave Mustaine produced thrash masterpiece was like no other. Instead of relying on fast drumming, speedy riffs and inaudible vocals, they instead delivered a melodic, mid-paced thrash album with killer vocals by the great Warrel Dane. Displaying a high-register in the likes of King Diamond, Rob Halford and Geoff Tate, Dane's vocals were more intense and sounded thicker, even while screaming in falsetto. They released Into The Mirror Black in 1990 and then called it quits. Dane, guitarist Jeff Loomis, and bassist Jim Sheppard went on to form Nevermore and released 7 stellar albums before finally calling it quits in 2011. That wasn't the end though, as Sanctuary reformed and released The Year The Sun Died in 2014. The boys were back and better than ever. Although Dane doesn't display his high register that often on TYTSD, his voice is still a powerhouse and he delivers with ease. That brings us to 2017, and the release of Inception, an album containing lost demos prior to Refuge Denied, as well as a few previously unreleased tracks.
Refuge Denied had a very polished, almost futuristic sounding production, very similar to Peace Sells, and So Far, So Good, So What by Megadeth. Afterall, Mustaine himself produced Refuge Denied and even supplied a guitar solo on White Rabbit and some backing vocals. However, for Inception, the sound is really stripped down and finds the band in raw form. Even without the slick production, these songs sound fantastic and in some instances, better than they sounded on Refuge Denied. In spots, hearing the guitar melodies and vocals in a different light adds a dynamic to the songs that makes them even more unique than the original releases. Even though these songs are around 30 years old, they are still heavy as hell and sound better than ever.
If you're a fan of early Sanctuary or even 80's metal in general, I highly recommend picking up Inception. These songs will not disappoint you, as they are full of energy and are just plain fun to listen to! I'm happy that Sanctuary released Inception as something to tide us over until the release of their next full length, Dead Again.
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