Sanctuary, Sacral Rage // Gagarin 205, Athens, Greece // 21.03.2015
The year was 1988 and Sanctuary’s first release was a fact. 26 whole years passed since then, the Nevermore disbandment is a reality, and Sanctuary return with a dignified new album called “The year the sun died”. Unfortunately I had missed their previous visit in Greece in 2011 so I was quite enthusiastic on what I was about to see.
At 21:15 SACRAL RAGE the opening act enter the stage and for the next 40 minutes we listened to their speed heavy metal, a genre in my opinion which is quite outdated. Nevertheless the band had excellent sound and combined with their energy, rectitude and professionalism, managed to caught the crowd’s attention. Impressive rhythm section and an overall tight playing consisted of their performance. However there was lack of melody lines, lots of similar guitar riffs and most of all the constantly high pitched vocals made their performance wearing for me and soon they lost my interest.
The time was 22:15 and SANCTUARY enter the stage. Opening track was “Arise and Purify” followed by the “Let The Serpent Follow Me” both of them from their new album. Unfortunately the sound in the beginning was terrible and sadly those two songs gone wasted. Gradually the sound was fixed but again never reached a top level.
Back to the set list, it was time for the older stuff. “Seasons Of Destruction”, “Die For My Sins”, “The Mirror Black” and suddenly the crowd awakens. Warrel Dane as always was quite sociable with the audience. His vocals kept intact although sometimes he seemed to struggle in high pitched notes. His performance was astonishing and fully expressive which consisted in transferring the band’s energy and vibe to the audience.
Then we had 4 more songs from the new album where the title track “The year the sun died” made a good impression. At the end we had “Future Tense” and “Taste Revenge” where I believe the band reached its peak performance and the crowd seemed to having a blast. It is so obvious that the “Into the mirror black” is by far their best album and each time they play a song from there the vibe grows increasingly powerful. To be honest I was expecting more songs from this album.
In conclusion it was a very good show, with many intense moments. Inevitably there been made comparisons with the Nevermore era, which is kind of unfair for the band, but it’s true. Sanctuary need to work hard in order to reach similar high standards of musical creativity.
Photos: Andreas Denwar
Report: Thodoris Tsiolakis
Arise And Purify
Let The Serpent Follow Me
Seasons Of Destruction
Die For My Sins
White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane cover)
The Mirror Black
Exitium (Anthem Of The Leaving)
The Year The Sun Died
Question Existence Fading
Soldiers Of Steel