Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died

After 24 years with no releases, Sanctuary has made their triumphant return to the metal world, but was the wait worth it? Disbanding in 1992, members of the band went on to form Nevermore, and they were great! I saw them live in 2007 or 2006, and I was blown away. Now that Nevermore is on hiatus, it only makes sense for Sanctuary to step back into the light. Previously playing raw, high pitched power/thrash metal, Sanctuary has shifted slightly into the more recent groove/power metal trend, and I can only give praise for that. Warrel Dane sounds better than ever, very similar to his more recent releases with Nevermore and his solo project. Sanctuary shifts back to that much more power driven sound from their past, with less emphasis on the progressive style Nevermore was known for. Past Sanctuary albums have that raw power metal sound, with vocals that actually annoyed the piss out of me. Thankfully, that has changed with this new album being much more refined, polished, and better on the ears. The Year The Sun Died is their third album, and I really do enjoy it. 11 songs are on the release and they all hold their own well. The album art is pretty cool, with a burnt out sun looking down upon earth, tattered in ruins. Arise and Purify, the single for the album, is a heavy hitter right off the bat. The song contains groovy chugs and excellent guitar solos that get your head rocking. Warrel Dane continues to impress here with his vocal style which is very melodious, higher pitched at times than normal, and sounding somewhat electronically processed. This heavy style continues on with Let The Serpents Follow Me, but the band also shows its softer side with tracks like One Final Day (Sworn To Beleive) and I Am Low. The acoustic guitar in these songs is great and really adds some emotion. Overall, fans of Nevermore or Dane’s solo album will find much to like here. The release is not nearly as progressive as Nevermore’s albums, but an excellent comeback nonetheless. In my opinion, this is loads better than any previous Sanctuary album and should be checked out. The wait was worth it.

Genre: Power Metal, Groove Metal
Label: Century Media Records
Location: Seattle, Washington; United States
Release: October 6th, 2014


1. Arise And Purify
2. Let The Serpent Follow Me
3. Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)
4. Question Existence Fading
5. I Am Low
6. Frozen
7. One Final Day (Sworn To Believe)
8. The World Is Wired
9. The Dying Age
10. Ad Vitam Aeternam
11. The Year The Sun Died

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