"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Sanctuary

Formed: 1985
From: Seattle, WA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Sanctuary Interviews and Features

Below are our features and interviews with Sanctuary.

Interview

Sanctuary Forecasts "The Year The Sun Died"

Sanctuary punctuated the 1980s with an exclamation point with "Refuge Denied" (1987) and "Into the Mirror Black" (1989). Their initial effort was a chillingly dark record that towed the line between power metal and thrash. Warrel Dane's falsetto voice rivaled metal gods King Diamond, Rob Halford and Geoff Tate. Also, Dave Mustaine produced the album and played a solo on their cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," further marking this as a metal classic.

Dane injured his voice during the making of the album, which forced him to sing in a lower register than the previous recording. Although the sophomore recording didn't retain such incredibly high vocals, Dane sang with a greater sense of anger and developed his deep narrations. On the whole, the album showed more progressive traits with heavier grooves and prominent bass lines via Jim Sheppard. The album also showed a fuller production.

This album would also mark the band's swan song. Rumors formed that the band quit due to pressure from their label to become a grunge band, which guitarist Lenny Rutledge refutes. Dane, Sheppard and the newly acquired Jeff Loomis would go on to form Nevermore, which showed the three shed its 80s metal armor for 90s metal groove and progressive virtuosity.

Seventeen years after disbanding, Sanctuary reformed. A couple years after their reformation, Nevermore split. After a few years of shaking off the rust in front of crowds, mostly during one-off shows such as the metal cruises 70,000 Tons of Metal and Barge to Hell, once again the band landed itself in a studio and created its first recording in twenty-five years, "The Year The Sun Died." I spoke to the main man behind the music (Dane wrote the lyrics), Lenny Rutledge to get a sense of how they made this comeback. We had a bunch of catching up to do in the following interview including hearing about the band's split, return and getting Dave Mustaine on board to produce "Refuge Denied." More...

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