Album Review: Sanctuary – Inception

By Jaide Alicia

Hailing from the land where grunge reigned supreme, noteworthy power metal band Sanctuary has unveiled a treasure for metalheads everywhere. ‘Inception’ is a collection of nine “lost” demos dating back to 1986 that have been completely revamped by highly praised producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris. The highest level of commendation goes to Zeuss for restoring and remastering these tracks to the exceptional listening quality we hear them in today. What makes ‘Inception’ such a diamond in the rough is that it provides insight into the band’s roots and allows us to hear the earliest forms of the songs we know and love from their Dave Mustaine produced 1988 debut album ‘Refuge Denied’.

Out of the nine tracks appearing on ‘Inception’, only seven of them come to fruition on the final work ‘Refuge Denied’. After listening to all seven tracks that appear on both ‘Refuge Denied’ and ‘Inception’, there are without question some distinct differences between the two – however, this is part of the unique listening experience that is ‘Inception’. In this case, different doesn’t necessarily mean bad or worse. Hearing both the subtle and the more noticeable differences provides the listener with an opportunity to comprehend the distinctive thought process that goes into creating an album.

Sanctuary circa 1986

More so than being able to hear the original versions of tracks appearing on Sanctuary’s debut, the real hidden treasures on the new album are the two previously unreleased tracks, ‘I am Insane’ and ‘Dream of the Incubus’, which opens the album. These two tracks feature the ear-piercing vocals, searing guitars and loaded percussive section that you’d expect to hear on any Sanctuary album – and will make you wonder why they didn’t make the final cut.

‘Inception’ displays the remarkable talent provided by Sanctuary’s original members Warrell Dane, Lenny Rutledge, Sean Blosl, Jim Sheppard and Dave Budbill while presenting the listener with the unique opportunity to hear the song before the song, if you will.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Century Media
Release Date: February 24th 2017

Track Listing:
1. Dream Of The Incubus (4:26)
2. Die For My Sins (3:41)
3. Soldiers Of Steel (6:39)
4. Death Rider / Third War (4:15)
5. White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover) (2:35)
6. Ascension To Destiny (5:06)
7. Battle Angels (5:19)
8. I Am Insane (4:02)
9. Veil Of Disguise (6:23)

Total Duration: 42:26

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