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Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died – 8.15/10

– An album that I never thought would be released. You want to talk about big gaps between studio albums? 1993 to 2008 for Cynic. 1996 to 2013 for Carcass. How about Sanctuary’s first studio release since 1989?! Making an impact with two classic albums before 2 members moved on to form Nevermore (one of my all time favorite bands), Sanctuary is able to return with the exact same lineup that played on Into the Mirror Black! So how does Sanctuary sound now? To be honest, this does not sound like those old Sanctuary albums. This sounds more like Nevermore without the insane Jeff Loomis solos. It even has moments of sounding like Warrel Dane’s solo album. So as you probably guessed, this makes me very happy. The production is clean, the tones are heavy and clear, Warrel’s vocals are as iconic as ever, and the song writing is very strong. In fact, the lyrics do not have those cringe worthy moments that the last Nevermore album had (which made people upset that they broke up on such a low note after a monster of an album such as This Godless Endeavor). The lyrics and the vocal delivery is done in a very believable and honest way. Warrel is not doing those falsettos that he used to do as frequently anymore. They make slight appearances on this album, mostly in the background. But his voice sounds excellent. My complaint about this album is that for some reason, it is not as memorable as past albums that Warrel and Jim have been a part of. It’s taken many listens for me to remember the songs on the album when I listen to them. But it is full of very strong hooks, melodies, and musicianship. I look forward to seeing more from the newly re-energized band, and I really hope that I will be able to see them live for the first time.