Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died.

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On 1 October 2014
Last modified:1 October 2014


Legendary Seattle based metallers return with 11 tracks of quality metal.

SanctuaryForming in Seattle way back in 1985, Sanctuary were poised for big things. Their 1987 debut album Refuge Denied was produced by Dave Mustaine from Megadeth who also helped them get signed  with CBS/Epic Records and took them out on tour but 3 years after their second album Into The Mirror Black was released, Sanctuary split in 1992 with 3 of the band going on to form Nevermore. Good news came in 2010 when Sanctuary reunited with their original line up to play festivals  except for guitarist Sean Blossi and announced earlier this year they were entering the studio to record a brand new Sanctuary album which brings us up to date with The Year The Sun Died released via Century Media Records in Europe on Oct.6th 2014 and Oct.14th in North America.

It is good to hear that Sanctuary have still got their fire since their inception. Their grandiose power metal still hits as hard as it did almost 30 years ago. A point proven by album opener ‘Arise And Purify’, it’s intense headbanging inducing main riff backed by a concrete hard rhythm section and metronomic drumming show their statement immediately with a mournful vocal delivery by original singer Warrel Dane sounding like a mixture of Layne Staley and Rob Halford. Fiery guitar leads weave in and out of the main riff to make it a strong opener. Other highlights include following number ‘Let The Serpent Follow Me’. It’s bluster of lead guitar herald the beginning of a drum driven, riff laden thumper.

‘Exitium (Anthem Of The Living) has a laid back vocal over grinding riff soundscapes whereas it’s followed by the marching power metal grooves of  ‘Question Existence Fading’ featuring catchy but heavy riffs. ‘I Am Low’ is a heavy power ballad coming over like classic Queensryche but with more muscle. ‘One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)’, apart from it’s sparse power chords is a spine tingling acoustic number. ‘The World Is Wired’ is a more melodic Megadeth with a piercing guitar solo but highlight for me is the title track which closes the album. Epic is does not even come close to describing the Earth moving riffs and pleading vocals befitting the onset of armageddon. Four members of the original line up still exist in the current line up and are giving the young guns some serious competition!

The album has a number of formats, a CD, a limited edition CD media book edition + patch, a gatefold LP + CD and a Digi album. The media book format includes a cover of the Doors song ‘Waiting For The Sun’.


Sanctuary band line up :-

Warrel Dane – Vocals.

Lenny Rutledge – Guitars.

Brad Hull – Guitars.

Dave Budbill – Drums.

Jim Sheppard – Bass guitar.


Album track listing :-

Arise And Purify.

Let The Serpent Follow Me.

Exitium (Anthem Of The Living).

Question Existence Fading.

I Am Low.


One Final Day (Sworn To Believe).

The World Is Wired.

The Dying Age.

Ad Vitam Aeternam.

The Year The Sun Died.

Waiting For The Sun (Doors cover, bonus track).






Legendary Seattle based metallers return with 11 tracks of quality metal.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!