Sanctuary - The Year The Sun Died
Century Media
Technical/Progressive Thrash Metal
12 songs (54:00)
Release year: 0
Century Media
Reviewed by Joel
Album of the month

Refuge Denied and Into The Mirror Black, were two of the best late 80s/early 90s(1990), Thrash metal cds, that some people may not have heard of, when they came out. I was just a few years away from being a teenager, when they were released. I discovered Sanctuary when I read a review about Nevermore's debut disc, and a tagline read, "Out of the ashes of Sanctuary, comes Nevermore." So my interest was piqued, and I discovered two cassettes(Remember those things?) at my local used music store of the time that introduced me to the band. While Nevermore has been buried, I was excited to see the direction where Sanctuary would go. The only question I had was with, The Year The Sun Died, what would Sanctuary bring us?

Arise and Purify starts things off, and as you can hear, it definitely is Sanctuary, year 2014. Solid musicianship, great vocals from Warrel Dane, and a solid dose of heaviness and melody. With Let The Serpent Follow Me, the band changes tempos throughout the song, while verses are faster, and the chorus is dark and melodic. Exitium(Anthem Of The Living) is a dark and melodic song. This song definitely shows the already well-known emotive and powerful vocals of Dane and the guitar playing of Lenny Rutledge and Brad Hull. Question Existence Fading has that classic guitar riffing, you know the kind that you can't stop headbanging too, while I Am Low, harkens back to the days of Into The Mirror Black's Epitaph. It definitely is not Epitaph Pt.2(2014), but it definitely brings back good memories of that song. The longest song, coming in at just over five minutes and forty five seconds is the melodic thrasher, Frozen. Like the songs, before it, technical and progressive, yet never without its thrashier moments. In true melodic fashion, the chorus is huge, again Dane really stands out.

Acoustic guitars open One Final Day(Sworn To Believe), followed by those emotional vocals from Dane. The song uses several dynamics, between the acoustic guitars, and when the rest of the band kicks in. The acoustic lead guitar solo, is definitely a highlight of the song. For a ballad/slower song, this is definitely one of the best I have heard in awhile. The World Is Wired's intro builds before the song becomes a solid mid-paced song, with an awesome main guitar riff, while The Dying Age has my favorite intro and some great guitar solos as well. Ad Vitam Aeternam(Latin for "To Eternal Life") is a short guitar instrumental song that does its job of a breaking of the pace of the disc, and leading us into the title track itself. At just over five and a half minutes, The Year The Sun Died is a dark and melodic song. Solid guitar riffs, great vocals, and it definitely sounds like I am repeating myself! The disc ends with Waiting For The Sun, and Jim Sheppard's bass melody starts it off. This would have been a great song to start off the disc as well. Big, melodic and dynamic and I really enjoyed this song.

For those that worried the band could not capture their previous glory, no need to worry. This is definitely one of the best releases I have heard all year, and one of the bigger releases I had been waiting for. I can now only look forward to a full US tour, in which the band comes close to my hometown. The Year The Sun Died, is intelligent Thrash Metal that is every bit melodic, technical and progressive, and a lot of fun to listen too!

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Sanctuary that we have reviewed:
Sanctuary - Inception reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Sanctuary - Into the Mirror Black reviewed by Brent and quoted 89 / 100
Sanctuary - Refuge Denied reviewed by Brent and quoted 78 / 100
1 readers voted
Your quote was: 80.
Change your vote

There are 18 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:34 pm
View and Post comments