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Review: Sanctuary - Into The Mirror Black
Into The Mirror Black

Label: Epic
Year released: 1990
Duration: 46:57
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: April 17, 2006
Reviewed by: Sirliftsalot48
Readers Rating
Into The Mirror Black

Rated 4.34/5 (86.84%) (38 Votes)

I hate when I hear a band's debut album and get blown away by it, only to hear their next releases and not get the same effect. Testament's debut was excellent debut, only never to top it. Same goes with Infernäl Mäjesty's debut. I would love to say that this is not the case with Sanctuary's sophomore album, but as you have probably already guessed, they have the same problem as the other bands I've already mentioned. They are members of the infamous sophomore slump club.

Sanctuary is basically the precursor to Nevermore, consisting of Warrel Dane on vocals, Jim Sheppard on Bass, and touring guitarist Jeff Loomis, all of Nevermore. They begin to sound more similar to Nevermore on this album than they did on Refuge Denied. This is a bad thing. Refuge Denied was excellent and this is definitely a let down from that excellent album. The guitars are slow and more plodding. The lightning fast screech of the guitars must have taken the short bus to school because it is remarkably slow compared to the debut. Warrel Dane is no longer using his incredible piercing screech that impressed me so much on Refuge Denied. He instead decides to use more of a mid-range to a slightly higher range, but not the head-splitting high pitched style one would hear on songs like Battle Angels. That is not to say this is a terrible album. This album is still good with many good songs. The only problem is that they are just good, not great or incredible. The best songs include Future Tense, Epitaph, and Communion. On these songs Dane pulls out his superb shriek a few times. My advice is that if you are a fan of Nevermore pick up Into the Mirror Black, as this album is as good as much of their work, but if you are a fan of Refuge Denied, stay away from this release, as you will only be disappointed.

Other related information on the site
Review: Refuge Denied (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Refuge Denied (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
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