I remember checking out this bands 2014 album The Year the Sun Died as it was touted as yet another major metal comeback album. It wasn’t. Or at least to me it wasn’t. So I sort of wrote the band off, even knowing that the first album is (was) considered a mild classic of American 80′s speed/power/thrash. Well it’s been sitting in my “to get to” pile for awhile so today is the day for Sanctuary’s Refuge Denied.
One of the main things discussed about this album is that it was “produced” by Dave Mustaine. It was even promoted that way on it’s original release. The other thing that seems to come up is the poor production quality of the album. Whether that’s Mustaine’s fault or not is anybody’s guess. I think I have a remastered version because to my ears it sounds pretty solid. Not amazing but nothing to get worked up over, like so many reviews do.
And yeah, this is fucking awesome speed/thrash metal with some 80′s power metal flavoring. The riffs are amazing. The songs are catchy and heavy. The singer has a high pitched, warbling voice that is a bit unique but fits the music perfectly. I’d say that yes, this might be a mild classic of the era. Even the bizarre cover of “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane seems at home here, albeit maybe relegated to the kids table. It’s worth putting in your ears if any of this tickles your fancy. It does mine.