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Label - Epic
Year Of Release - 1990
1. Future Tense
2. Taste Revenge
3. Long Since Dark
5. Eden Lies Obscured
6. Mirror Black
7. Seasons Of Destruction
8. One More Murder
Sanctuary were a superb American heavy metal band and this, their second and sadly last album is a great if untimely epitaph to the band.
Album opener "Future Tense" is probably the best song that Sanctuary ever wrote. Warrel Dane's passionate vocals and the tight music that supports him just lift this song into a whole new level. The music has drifted more into the thrash metal field and Sanctuary have moved away just a little bit from the straight no frills heavy metal of "Refuge Denied." The music is more complex and the band seems to have grown in the two years between their debut and "Into The Mirror Black." Once again the band deserves props for consistency in their music, as there isn't a single song here that is bad. The big anthemic choruses of "Refuge Denied" are still here with "Taste Revenge" and the superb "Long Since Dark" being the prominent songs in this regard. The ballad "Epitaph" is another great song and brings to mind "The Hurting Words" by Nevermore in feel.
The rest of the album too is of a high quality with "Seasons Of Destruction", "Mirror Black" and "One More Murder" all standing out. "Mirror Black" is another great song with Dane's opening bellow bringing to mind Quorthon's vocals on Bathory's "Twilight Of The Gods." It is on this song more than any other than you can here Dane's progression as a vocalist with his voice sounding a lot like what he does today with Nevermore. Warrel Dane's vocals remain the high point for me with respect to the band although the level of musicianship displayed on this album is of the highest skill. It was on "Into The Mirror Black" that I think the comparison of Dane and Geoff Tate first started.
Sanctuary delivered a killer blow with "Into The Mirror Black." Perhaps not as entertaining as "Refuge Denied" thanks to a much darker feel, but in terms of song writing and lyrics, "Into The Mirror Black" is far superior to the debut.
Still, I put on Refuge Denied way more often than I do this album and its just so much more fun that I have give to "Into The Mirror Black" a half point less.
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