Sanktuary: Something Fierce

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Sanktuary: Something Fierce
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Sanktuary: Something Fierce
Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal
Spread the Metal Records
July 2nd, 2013
Release length: 29:30
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Sanktuary is a Canadian Metal group that formed back in 2007. Over the years, they issued two EPs themselves, and appeared on the split release Tundrastruck alongside Metalian and Black Moor in July of 2011. Almost two years later, the band presents their debut full-length album, Something Fierce, which was picked up by Spread the Metal Records. Just shy of thirty minutes, this eight track offering has been awaited by some circles with their ears to the underground, but does it live up to those expectations, or is this album something less?

Something Fierce offers a little something from all walks of early Metaldom after the simple introductory track “Deadly Prey.” The held guitar chord is interrupted by “Heat Lightning.” The music is infectious and shifts between some lighter Heavy Metal and edgier Power Metal transitions. The music sounds good against the somewhat rawer audio quality, but not some much the higher pitched cleaner singing akin to recent bands like Katana and Enforcer. While it sounds great here, they can be a bit weak, and in some spots seem uninterrested, an issue that shows from time to time throughout.

That problem with the vocals basically vanishes during the Thrash heavy cuts like “Thrill of the Kill” and on. This is much darker and aggressive with matching rougher vocals and music hammering away with faster, simpler riffs, and a catchy chorus with a some simple hooks thrown in. “Fire in the Sky” offers a twisted guitar solo towards the end, and a strong focus on the drumming. The bass ends up a vital backbone to the music, while the riffs often throw a bit of melody to the later slower section that bleeds into a well done guitar solo. The chorus is worth noting too, gradually getting richer before the track ends, helping to establish this as one of the strongest performances on the album, as well as the genre Sanktuary seems to excell at.

Aside the clean singing issue already mentioned, the only other gripe to really be had is with “Hail the Villain.” Yes, it’s another solid Heavy Metal track with catchy music and a varied vocal performance, though not as much on the weaker side. There’s a solid extensive guitar solo towards the end, and a decent amount of shifts to the music throughout, going from a catchy mid-pace commanding, galloping start to a faster Power Metal influenced tempo. The problem is that the song is well over six minutes, and it really doesn’t need to be, eventually feeling a bit padded for the sake of length.

Something Fierce is a nice mixture of various Metal styles, though it isn’t anything all that surprising, or highly original. If you’re a fan of eighties influenced Metal, there’s a good amount of material here you will be able to sink your teeth into and appreciat, as well as bang your head along to. It’s pretty obvious though that the Thrash Metal material is the band’s strong point, and you’ll wish there were more songs like it here than the traditional lighter eighties Heavy Metal cuts that start the release. But, the bottom line here is that Sanktuary present about a half hour worth of solid music that you can easily throw in at any time and enjoy.

01. Deadly Prey – 1:44
02. Heat Lightning – 3:29
03. Hail the Villain – 6:45
04. Thrill of the Kill – 2:21
05. Screeching for Vengeance – 3:05
06. Fire in the Sky – 4:28
07. Beyond the Wall – 2:08
08. Midnite Mass – 5:30
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Sanktuary (band)
Sanktuary

Digital review copy of this release provided by Spread the Metal Records.