CD Review: Sanktuary - Winter's Doom (2016)

Short Introduction

Power thrashers Sanktuary greet from the harsh and blisteringly cold of the deep far North of Canada's Yukon Territory situating themselves in the city of Whitehorse. They have been trekking across the country for the past 6 years to bring their fierce and dynamic high speed riffs, catchy hooks, and belted out lyrics to the metal crowds.

A collective vision that began in high school with a group of like-minded teens fed up with the constraints of mainstream music who wanted to emulate the lifestyles of their favourite bands. Their straight-forward, no-bullshit attitudes shape their signature brand of heavy metal, which has led them to release the full length, 2013's 'Something Fierce' that reached #19 on the national college radio loud charts, 2011's 'Tundrastruck' split with Nova Scotia’s Black Moor and Montreal's Metallian plus two EPs 2010's 'Black Magic' and 2009's self-titled.

2016 see the band's return with their new album 'Winter's Doom' set for release on January 22nd, 2016.

The cover for "Winter's Doom", (c) Sanktuary, used with kind permission


If you keep holding on to the thrash metal classics of the likes of Metal Church or Exciter then this album is for you. It feels far less calculated and overproduced like a lot of thrash metal albums sound these days. That's what came to my mind when I listened to the record. The cool thing is that it brings back the fun of the old days.

For instance there is this remarkable power drumming on the album. It's what has always pushed and kicked me when I listened to Metal Church and I love it so much. The vocals shout it out short and loud, it comes directly from the heart. Finally the six- and four-strings all give their raw and powerfull sound that will make you bang your head all the time. It's these crushing riffs that blast the way all through the record not waiting for just a single second but always heading on forward, never looking back all just going for the next riff and blast. You'll love to listen to Sanktuary once you do.

If you prefer thrash of the dirty, hard and old times don't miss out this great record. It's a 2016 record but you'll feel as if the good old times never passed you by. Finally a band that doesn't give in to the all-to-modern stuff but instead kicks it out loud, hard and with attitude and much power. You can feel that this is handmade, no electronics or overproduced stuff in here. Just 100 percent pure great old-school thrash all the way!

Album overview

Then there is this going straight forwards attitude on the songs. There's no holding back, the band goes directly all on it. This said it doesn't mean there is no diversity on the album. Actually it's way around. "Winter's Doom" features eight tracks that are different from each other. I'll pick out some highlights right here to give you a little idea of what to expect of the album.

The second track "Wild Is The Wind" exactly stand's for what you would expect of it from the song title. It goes out vicious and wild with a midtempo song structure that is surrounded of hard-hitting riffs and a refrain that won't leave you sitting silently on your chair. It call's out "Let's do it, let's have it people".

L-R: Anders Grasholm - Drums | Cole Hume - Bass | Alan Binger - Vocals, Guitar | Glen Emond - Guitar, (c) Sanktuary, used with kind permission

After this storm the band changes and shows a different side of their musical abilities. "Curse Of The Vermin" starts out with a slow, old-school like intro. The following rhythm is a mixture of the midtempo and highspeed drumming completed with more complex riff structures and the vocals keeping it much sharper, shorter and harder. With a duration of around seven minutes this one is the longest numbers of the record.

The title track "Winter's Doom" kicks you to yet another side. One of my favorite tracks of the record. A fast paced riff hacker going straight all on it. Then there is this section where the band let's the guitars burn for a while just to go over to a more melodic classic part rounded out with sharp-sounding solo's  "Corpse Blockade" deserves a mention. A full-fun track with a great scream-along chorus with it. I think you'll love this once you've heard it.

Player and Purchase-Link

Since the album is yet to come (release date is January 22nd 2016) there isn't a full stream out yet. If the band will set up a album stream I'll add it here of course. So far two tracks are available out there. One of them is the opener "Space Race" which you can listen below. The second single "Corpse Blockade" is exclusively up for listening on the website of PureGrainAudio. These guys also offer you a free download of the track so don't miss out your chance to pick up a free copy of that song.

Update 2016/01/22: Today is the day! The band has set up a full album stream. Enjoy this great thrash album.

Update 2016/01/19: A few days before the album release metal-rules.com has been given the honour to stream the full record in advance, so just head over to listen to the brand new Sanktuary on their website.

Update 2016/01/08: The website Metal Snob has premiered the album track "Vermin Lord" on their site as stream. They also have a giveaway contest up and running where you can win one of two copies of the album. All you need to do is to make a proper picture of yourselves showing you as a mighty warrior from the grim darkness of the frozen north.

The album is up for pre-order through the band's Bandcamp page. It's fairly piced at just 4,99 CAD for the high-quality download or a few bucks more (6,99 CAD plus shipping and handling) for a copy on a silver disc. Please support such great guys and pick up a copy. Bands depend upon the support from the fan's so there's nothing better than handing over some money for all the fun they provide (life wouldn't be bearable for me without music from bands like this one).

Contact Data

If you wanna keep a eye upon the band don't forget to like them on Facebook. 

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