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Sanctuary – Inception Review

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive US Metal

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2017



Dream of the Incubus
Die For My Sins
Soldiers of Steel
Death Rider / Third War
White Rabbit (JEFFERSON AIRPLANE cover)
Ascension to Destiny
Battle Angels
I Am Insane
Veil of Disguise


A new album from power metal dinosaur Sanctuary? Yes and no. “Inception” shows Sanctuary’s musical endeavor in the very beginning of the band. This album is “Refuge Denied”‘s prequel, capturing songs that are partly on the band’s debut and partly unreleased.

It was Sanctuary guitarist Lenny Rutledge that found some tapes in his barn. An unlettered box captured the treasure, very early masters from the Seattle-based metal legend. No doubt that this stuff needed to see the light of day but there was a need to dust the tapes, means giving these songs a proper sound. It was Chris Harris who did the magic by restoring, remastering and remixing these excellent metal anthems. Harris did a great job in getting the maximum out of the tapes that were mainly recorded in the first half of 1986.

Some of the tunes have been part of the debut. “Soldiers of Steel” and “Veil of Disguise” are well-known tracks from this moment in time and they are coming in a remastered version from the mentioned tapes and not from the debut version. These songs are great, but there is more to discover. The real pearls on “Inception” are the tunes that were hidden in the barn for many years, taking the step out of the shadow here and now. The dust around these pearls had settled and unveiled tracks like “Dream of the Incubus” and “I am Insane”. These are awesome numbers that actually would have deserved a spot on the debut’s tracklist too. However, this didn’t happen but that’s why they are even more a treat for your ears nowadays.

And how could it be different for a release with US-metal songs from the mid 80’s then coming in a packaging that includes some artwork of Ed Repka, an American artist who visually enriched CDs of bands like Death and Megadeth?

Normally my enthusiasm with this kind of records isn’t sky-high since a lot of them feel like a quick financial win rather than an essential document in rock. “Inception” is different. Either it’s my nostalgic way of looking on this album or whatever. This record is the carrier for great songs from a period when power metal was getting closer to its first peak. I like this album and I can recommend it. It’s far more than new wine in old wineskins. It’s a journey back in time, connecting past and present.


Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann

Rating:  8/10

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