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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Review: Sanktuary - Winters Doom


Sanktuary is a powermetal band from the yukon (northern Canada). They have been playing together for about 6 years now and every album they have got better. This shows in the new album set to release on January 22. Sanktuary gets a lot of their inspiration from the yukon with songs as Tundrastruck. The thing I like a lot about this band is that they don't take themselves too serious. They write about whatever they want to write about.

This album consists of 7 songs. Some songs have a political message like 'Maximum Authority' which is about USA the police state and 'open your eyes (to the lies)' which is about modern day propaganda.

Other songs are less serious like 'Wild is the wind' which is about the Yukon and 'Winter's doom' which is also about the yukon or perhaps 'Corpse Blockade' is more your thing which is about a necromancer defending his lair by building a giant wall out of corpses... Yeah, that's pretty brutal.

Now to the actual musical quality of Winter's Doom. I like it and I like it a lot! They start strong with 'Space Race' which is about a race, in space. It's energetic, quick and easy to listen to. It's not very ground breaking and the vocals sound a little bit nasal and annoying but it's a good song! It seems like they've taken inspiration from Testament and maybe even Megadeth for this album which works really well in this genre of course.

The energetic, bang your head against the stage type of music keeps us rolling right through the whole album and the vocals are better on the other songs (either that or I got used to it).

The second song start with a small guitar solo and this song about the yukon makes you want to ride dog sleds as fast as you can with this song as the theme song for your epic adventure. Still not groundbreaking which is something the guys from Sanktuary could work on but hey, the song is catchy as hell and the mid song solo is sweet!

Track number 3 on this album is titled 'Vermin Lord'. It starts slower and more daunting and feels a bit more dark. The build-up makes it feel like you are watching the beginning of a good action movie and then starts the big epic fight! With even more energy than before Sanktuary storms the field of the Vermin Lord and the drummer just slaughters everybody for the rest of the song (in the good way). Even though this song is about something so ridiculous (a rat army taking over the world, I guess?) The pumping bass and hammering drums carry this song to great heights.

Then comes Winter's doom which basically brings more of the same to the album. It's the second song about the yukon, it's energetic and has amazing riffs and just feels like great thrash metal.

With 'open your eyes (to the lies)' the first song with political loaded lyrics comes in like a brick to your face. The vocals sound more angry, The song seems more borrowed from Megadeth then anything else Sanktuary produced on this album and this is one of the worst songs on Winter's Doom. It's still not a bad song though, but definitely not great.

Then comes 'Corpse Blockade' which starts really aggressive again, the riffs sound more organic and I can hear the bass guitar again! This feels like a great song to mosh on and the vocals are less Dave Mustaine'ish then in the last song. I like it and personally feel like this is one of the more creative Sanktuary songs.

We have come to the last song on this album. 'Maximum Authority'. And boy do they go out with a bang! Sanktuary delivers and finishes of a great build up of songs with the greatest and best song they've yet produced. I personally think for this song they focused less on their inspirations and more Sanktuary and it paid off! The fast rhythmic drum and basslines combined with the aggressive vocals of Alan Binger give this album the cherry on top of a heavy thrash album.

So now for a short recap of Sanktuary's Winter's Doom.

The album is great. It has me pumped and I would really like to see Sanktuary live now and party with them till the end of night. The heavy thrash with influences of other classic bands make this album a gem and I personally hope Sanktuary keeps doing what they do and grow with each album they make because if they do, they are going to be HUGE.

Written by Koen Oude Kempers

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