Sanctum - Awakening
Progressive Metal
6 songs ()
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Wes
Surprise of the month

Being a metal band in Tampa it's hard to get out of the shadow that death metal has cast. The metal landscape is ravished with Cannibal Corpse ripoffs and Morbid Angel wannabes. So when you find a band that is different, it's like a breath of fresh air. Duality is more than just a hit single by Slipknot. It also defines the style of Tampa-based prog metal band Sanctum. After seeing them live before, it is nice to sit down and review them in a recorded fashion. Boys and toys, here is the review of Awakening by Sanctum.

Although it's first, it's "The Aftermath". Aftermath of what, opening the CD case? Just an intro, so don't get too excited. A relaxing melody of riffs, done on both an electric and acoustic guitar. 1:42 of a near-romantic, relaxation introduction.

Continuing the mellow riffs is "Of Blood and Silver". That lasts about 20 seconds and then Sanctum shows their duality. Fast drums with all electric Thrash riffs floods the air. Then comes the modern death metal vocals with growls and song. After a minute of all metal, comes the smooth and clean vocals with the catchy chorus, then back to the guttural. The dual vocals truly shows that this band is of blood... and silver. 5:05 of groove, brutal, smooth and rough rock and metal. Don't hide the demon inside, boys.

Take no prisoners! Next up is "The Prisoner". No mellow intro, just jumping straight into your face with '80s like riffs and modern death vocals. The only near breaks is the clean vocals of one of the guitarists. This song has an undertone of romantic riffs, as if they are the prisoners and long for a release. In the middle of the song, we change gears to traditional low death growls and crunchy riffs. They then speed it up on drums and guitars in one fluent motion.

Living next is "Knee Deep in The Dead". Going straight for the jugular on this one. Groove riffs lead in the death vocals of both old and modern. The drums have simple, but effective beats. The guitars are dueling in a technical fretwork and a grooving motion. You feel like they are going to lighten up and go soft, but they only break away from the extreme metal once, and it isn't for long. Nearly all of the 4:35 is in your face extreme metal!

"Betrayer" follows up. Starting off in an industrial-like riff, and followed by a marching drum. The second guitar comes in with a melody. After the vocals kick in, everything fires at all cylinders. Romantic undertone feel in the guitars with an industrial overtone. The clean rock vocals come when the metal vocals die down. This is the one song that actually sounds recycled.

Lastly is "Prophetic". Speed and power combines in an onslaught. The drums are the heaviest they been all album, with a viking-warship feel. Guitars go from technical to crunch back to technical in seconds. The extreme metal vocals rip at you first. Guess you can't have a metal song without some kind of religious message. No romantic undertone in this one. But a warning comes with the rock voice, though.

Sanctum is the most effective experimental band in Tampa today. Some bands try to experiment and it blows up, sometimes it sounds too much the same. Awakening is the new blueprint of experimental metal. Thrash, black, death, hard rock and more blended into 6 amazing hits. Some songs will make you wanna hold that special someone under the stars, where some will make you want to throw them into the pit and slam every living thing in sight. Sometimes its in the same song! Two vocalists, two guitarists, double bass. They truly are a dual band. Sanctum is also a favorite to make it to the finals at this years Tampa Metal Awards. Awakening shows why.

Killing Songs :
Of Blood and Silver, Knee Deep in The Dead
Wes quoted 88 / 100
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There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:55 am
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