Friday, January 1, 2016


Winter's Doom
release: 22 January 2016
Here in Washington state some people might have a hostile reaction to this thrash band and its name, but in their defense, this Canadian Sanktuary formed in 2007, a long, long time after 1992, when the old Seattle Sanctuary disbanded, and years before Nevermore imploded, leading to the Seattle Sanctuary reunion. These Canadian thrashers spell their name with the letter k, which might have seemed like a weird decision years ago, but it's looking like a good choice now, right?! According to Metal Archives, this band has an EP from 2008, an EP from 2010, a split from 2011, an album from 2013 and now this new album for 2016, of course.
Headbangers into thrash and traditional heavy metal are probably the main audience for the new album, which sports a clear production. There are several reasons that the album deserves to be heard. The band’s experience has kicked into high gear at this point: the band plays at a headbanging pace, but their experience has evidently taught them that speed is not the most important thing; the song is. They play at a thrash pace (perhaps at a late 80s Bay Area big thrash pace; not super fast, but still uptempo, for sure), but you can detect the classic heavy metal songwriting influences shining through. Judas Priest, Motorhead, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thin LIzzy/Iron Maiden melodies, so on and so forth. The band understands that most metal audiences will want to hear a band again if their ears hear something to remember.
There are lots of other reasons to give Sanktuary some of your time and see if their music connects with you. Here are some other reasons. The drummer has thought about what makes good drumming in a song: find little things to spice up a song and give the song a distinctive vibe; the drumming avoids the typical auto pilot thrash mode of drumming. Another reason: the band has many good riffs made for headbanging, but they go further: they add melodies over the main rhythms because they know that it is not enough just to have a “good” riff (it’s not enough to play fast or heavy, either; only a mediocre mind thinks that play-on riffs are enough for a song). More reasons: the soloing; the bass guitar, which is audible, actually (not so common in metal). The vocals are somewhere between street thrash screaming and traditional singing. It’s not melodic per se, but it’s definitely not that irritating punk yelling that sounds so annoying. At times these vocals sound high pitched like early Bay Area thrash vocals, but at other times, they sound more controlled and more tuneful, within the context of the songs.
At any rate, if you would like to find out more about the band, here’s the official press information:
Power thrash champions SANKTUARY hail from the harsh and blisteringly cold of the deep far North of Canada's Yukon Territory situating themselves in the city of Whitehorse (pretty far north, like the Siberia of Canada eh!). They have been trekking across the country for the past 6 years to bring their fierce and dynamic high speed riffs, catchy hooks, and belted out lyrics to the metal crowds.
A collective vision that began in high school with a group of like-minded teens fed up with the constraints of mainstream music who wanted to emulate the lifestyles of their favourite bands. Their straight-forward, no-bullshit attitudes shape their signature brand of heavy metal, which has lead them to release the full length, 2013's 'Something Fierce', which reached #19 on the national college radio loud charts, 2011's 'Tundrastruck' split with Nova Scotia’s Black Moor and Montreal's Metallian plus two EPs 2010's 'Black Magic' and 2009's self-titled.
Members of the band write harmoniously, basing each song off of a key riff from either Alan Binger (vocals and guitar), Glen Emond (guitar), or Cole Hume (bass), and then Anders Grasholm (drums) works his magic on the rhythm of each tune.
2016 see the band's return with their sophomore album 'Winter's Doom' set for release on January 22nd, 2016. The album features seven killer high speed, breakneck thrash metal tracks inspired by the Yukon's far North they call home along with other issues such as politics, technology, etc..
"In the title track and album cover we portray ourselves as heavy metal warriors thriving in a habitat where most would perish instantaneously. That's our homeland, the Yukon," comments the band.

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