Patrick : In the late eighties Sanctuary released the albums 'Refuge Denied' (1987) and ‘Into The Mirror Black’ (1989); they were widely acclaimed and nothing seemed to be in the way of a successful career. But alas ... with the declining attention to metal in the nineties the band fell apart. Three of the members formed Nevermore and Sanctuary was history ... until 2010, when singer Warrell Dane announced that Sanctuary had reformed. New music kept us waiting: the band was in no hurry and they took their time. In October 2014, 25 years after the release of their latest album, the successor is ready. Will 'The Year The Sun Died’ live up to my high expectations or will it turn out to be a huge deception?
That ‘The Year The Sun Died’ holds similarities with the earlier work of the band (duh!) and especially the work of Nevermore or Dane's solo album 'Praises to The War Machine ' will surprise no one. The album is melodic with great attention to compelling, somewhat subdued tracks, in which there is a lot of consideration for the vocals. But it's just as easy intriguing and powerful (‘Exitium (Anthem Of The Living)’, ‘Question Existence Fading’). At times sharp riffs, eye and ear for detail and dynamics, variety and sometimes enchanting, timeless melodies make that the album knows to captivate for the full length. With his vocals Dane adds a fascinating, emotional (‘One Final Day (Sworn To Believe), ‘I Am Low’) and catchy layer to the tracks. With his typical charismatic voice, he contributes largely to the sound on the album.
No 'quick cashing and only relying on past achievements’, but coming up with an album which is way above mediocrity and anno 2014 sounds more than relevant. As where many reunited bands never again deliver the level of previous releases, with their new 'The Year The Sun Died’ Sanctuary lives up to all expectations.