Review: SANCTUARY “Inception”

Review: SANCTUARY “Inception”

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SANCTUARY “Inception”
February 24th, 2017
Century Media Records

Seattle is best known as birth place of grunge, but it has been a home to many punk and metal bands. List of metal bands might not be long (Metal Church, Queensrÿche so as Sanctuary), but all have left indelible mark on metal culture.

During the 32 years long career, Sanctuary changed their style from Heavy/Power to Groove/Progressive Metal.

“Inception” is leading us back in 1986. Album includes remixed and remastered “presumed lost” studio recordings. Lenny Rutledge (guitars) discovered how these recordings were found: “I found the masters in my barn. It has two stories. The second floor is on top of our current recording studio that we call “Metal Camp”. The second floor is very rough and open to the elements. The ground level is where we recorded the bulk of “The Year The Sun Died”. We found the masters in an unknown box that was in the barn just wasting away.”

This story was inspiration to make official album trailer.

After Rutledge found mouldy and wet recordings, he brought it to Christopher Zeuss Harris (engineer, producer,  mixer, musician) who brought it back to life. During two decades long career Zeuss had been working with a number of musicians including: Rob Zombie, Suffocation, Municipal Waste, Kataklysm, Queensrÿche The quility of the Sanctuary demo explains Zeuss himself: “The drums didn’t even have any misc on the cymbals. The guitar tracks were minimal and sounded awful and there were very few vocal tracks. Some of the tracks even had dropouts of blank space.”

Inception includes 9 songs:

  1. Dream of the Incubus
  2. Die for My Sins
  3. Soldiers of Steel
  4. Death Rider / Third War
  5. White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover)
  6. Ascension to Destiny
  7. Battle Angels
  8. I Am Insane
  9. Veil of Disguise

Songs “Dream of the Incubus” and “I Am Insane” took place on band’s demo from 1986. Other songs were re-recorded and released on their first full length album “Refuge Denied” (1988, Epic Records) produced by Dave Mustaine.

Amazing cover art is signed by Ed Repka whose portfolio includes cooperation with Death (“Scream Bloody Gore”, “Leprosy”, “Spiritual Healing”), Massacre (“From Beyond”, “Inhuman Condition”), Megadeth (“Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”, “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying”, “Hangar 18″, “Rust in Peace”, “Rusted Pieces”), Possessed (“Beyond the Gates”), Venom (“Here Lies”) and many more. Repka also signed cover art of debut album “Refuge Denied”. What makes me particularly happy, and I believe Sanctuary fans will be also thrilled, is the fact that very rich booklet includes rare photos and detailed information of band’s history.

Ressurection of old songs took a year, and result is incredible. Compared to original poor production, three decades later we can enjoy in purified, enriched sound. Rutledge’s and Blosi’s galloping riffs and Dane’s vocal which at some points tends to King Diamond singing style will buy you at first listening.

All the songs who took place at debut album might sound familiar to Sanctuary fans, but still, there are some changes. To better…

Highlights:  “Dream of the Incubus”, “Die for My Sins”, “Death Rider / Third War”, “Battle Angels”, “I Am Insane”. Who am I kidding?! This is masterpiece! Must have!

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