Sanctuary - Refuge Denied
CBS / Epic Records
Power Metal
9 songs (39:49)
Release year: 1987
Reviewed by Brent
Archive review

Well, if you are a Nevermore fan, then surely you must know of these guys. In my opinion, they were one of the most underrated power metal bands from the 80's. When I first heard of Nevermore, I was interested to see where the members had come from before they all joined forces. After talking to the friend who introduced me to them, he told me I should check out this band called Sanctuary. After searching and searching, I came up empty handed and finally put them in the back of my mind for a while. Then 2 years ago, I attended Progpower 4, where for the first time, I saw this album for sale. I bought it, and it has been a favorite since. Think of it as a Nevermore album with more falsetto vocals, and less "thrash" and "chunky" guitars in the mix. Not unlike say... Queensryche mixed with a little Accept. It is just really ballsy power metal. With this album, they were able to get a little exposure, because they got Dave Mustaine to help them produce it, and you know with a big name like that associated with the album, it was bound to be promoted a little heavier.

The first song, "Battle Angels", is a great opener to the album, and really sets the stage of what the listener would hear for the next 40 minutes. "Termination Force" is next, it fits well with the album, but doesn't stand out too much, based on the rest of the album, this one is average. "Die For My Sins" is the main song on the album that gives me that Accept vibe with the opening guitar riff. Really good song, one of my favorites from the album. The next song, "Soldiers of Steel", is another pretty average song compared to the rest. Opening up with a really mellow, but enjoyable guitar intro is the next song, and also the namesake of the band. Dave Mustaine not only produced this album, but he also did a small guitar solo in the beginning of the next song, "White Rabbit", which brings the already freakish story of Alice in Wonderland to life again. "Ascension To Destiny" is next, and is a pretty decent song. Next up is, "The Third War", and it is a really fast fist pumper, nice chorus too. Closing out the album, "Veil of Disguise", you would think, based on its intro, that it would be a mellow song. That is definitly not the case when Dane's high pitched screams fill your ear, the song turns to quite the contrary.

This is one of those bands, that after finding this album, I was kicking myself trying to figure out why I didn't have it sooner. This one is definitly a treasure from the late 80's, and more often than not, is overlooked in polls and such of some of the top albums from the era. While this album is pretty damn good, you will see that they only got better...

Killing Songs :
Battle Angels, Die For My Sins, White Rabbit, Veil of Disguise
Brent quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Sanctuary that we have reviewed:
Sanctuary - Inception reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Sanctuary - The Year The Sun Died reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
Sanctuary - Into the Mirror Black reviewed by Brent and quoted 89 / 100
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