Metal Storm logo
Sanctuary - Into The Mirror Black review



Reviewer:
9.4

272 users:
8.72
Band: Sanctuary
Album: Into The Mirror Black
Release date: February 1990


01. Future Tense
02. Taste Revenge
03. Long Since Dark
04. Epitaph
05. Eden Lies Obscured
06. The Mirror Black
07. Seasons Of Destruction
08. One More Murder
09. Communion


During the late 80s, many great bands emerged from Seattle; Sanctuary were certainly amongst them, and their debut album, Refuge Denied, was a very good beginning point for them. However, it was the second album, Into The Mirror Black, that I believe showed Sanctuary's true capabilities. This album was released just a few years before the outrageously popular grunge scene emerged, taking Seattle by storm. Sanctuary, however, had a short-lived career; it would be a whopping 18 years before the band would release another album after this, with members of the band in the meantime forming the mighty Nevermore.

Into The Mirror Black is defined as US power metal, but Sanctuary's approach to the genre was different in many ways. First, they were more geared towards the traditonal style of heavy metal; they were also very thrash-orientated as well, and used progressive elements in their music. They focused more on creating an authentic and atmospheric sound, as opposed to the typical European form of power metal, which made use of more keyboard melodies, synthesisers, and over-the-top vocals with slightly cheesy lyrics (Helloween and Blind Guardian are bands we associate with this style). Sanctuary, however, alongside bands such as Iced Earth, Fates Warning and Crimson Glory, are associated with US power metal.

What's great about this album is that you don't need to be a total fan of power metal to enjoy it; the lyrics aren't based on any typical fantasy themes like fighting dragons or anything like that. You could even mistake this album for a pure thrash metal album, with perhaps some progressive influences thrown in. For me, the album sounds very much inspired by the Metal Church debut, especially the tempo and riff structures; the melodies and overall sound also remind me of The Legacy by Testament to some extent, so fans of 80s old school thrash will surely love this album. The production is also a massive improvement on the debut; it sounds a lot more polished and refined, and every instrument sounds crystal clear.

Each song is brilliantly wrote and outstandingly performed by each member of the band. The riffs are amongst the best of the period's time; although they are kept relatively simple, they are still very catchy and keep you hooked throughout. The guitar tone also fits perfectly, but what stands out for me most is undoubtedly Warrel Dane's vocal performance; it's quite simply breathtaking here. Lenny Rutledge and Sean Blosl also give outstanding performances with some great soloing; it's just a shame they opted for a grunge direction after this album.

There are many standout tracks on this album, the main ones for me being "Future Tense", "Taste Revenge" and "One More Murder". Even the two slower songs, "Communion" and "Epitaph", are great, as they bring a progressive element to the album. I can't say there are any tracks I don't like here though, some better than others, but nothing short of decent; it's a real classic album to get you in the mood for some serious headbanging.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by AndyMetalFreak | 23.10.2021




Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 59 users
23.10.2021 - 15:50
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Killing band, best of uspm and prog vibes. Sad it's all gone, those 2 albums lives forever
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 15:56
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 15:50

Killing band, best of uspm and prog vibes. Sad it's all gone, those 2 albums lives forever


the band came back with a new album in 2014.
They got the vocalist of Witherfall and are still around.
I hope they make some new music soon.

Nice review BTW
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 15:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by JoHn DoE on 23.10.2021 at 15:56

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 15:50

Killing band, best of uspm and prog vibes. Sad it's all gone, those 2 albums lives forever


the band came back with a new album in 2014.
They got the vocalist of Witherfall and are still around.
I hope they make some new music soon.

Nice review BTW

Its not same
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 16:03
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 15:59

Written by JoHn DoE on 23.10.2021 at 15:56

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 15:50

Killing band, best of uspm and prog vibes. Sad it's all gone, those 2 albums lives forever


the band came back with a new album in 2014.
They got the vocalist of Witherfall and are still around.
I hope they make some new music soon.

Nice review BTW

Its not same


How do you know? Can you see the future or something? Why so negative and radical? There is the possibility of this band releasing something at least good, meaning they could still release a great album.
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 16:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Yes unless you can bring back Warrel Dane from the grave

Btw I am not negative, I am not defender, I am radical thinking... I don't care about big name, slash and Mike Kennedy project sucks. So I can judge big names.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 16:28
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 16:11

Yes unless you can bring back Warrel Dane from the grave

Btw I am not negative, I am not defender, I am radical thinking... I don't care about big name, slash and Mike Kennedy project sucks. So I can judge big names.


I was not saying you are not allowed to judge, but you sound pessimistic (to put it nicely).
You are already dismissing and dissing music that has not been released yet, how does that make sense?

I don't think radical thinking is something good or worthy to be proud about
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 16:39
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Well do you believe that this band can write better albums as first 2?
I Wil give a try as always, but now I have ide. Stu Bock should be singer here
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 16:51
JoHn DoE

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 16:39

Well do you believe that this band can write better albums as first 2?
I Wil give a try as always, but now I have ide. Stu Bock should be singer here


Better than Into The Mirror Black probably not, but able to make great music - for sure.

Stu Block?! I disagree. The vocalist they have now is great anyway, go listen to some Witherfall and then come back and complain, if it's still the case.
----
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 17:35
AndyMetalFreak
Mr Nice Guy
Written by JoHn DoE on 23.10.2021 at 15:56

Written by Bad English on 23.10.2021 at 15:50

Killing band, best of uspm and prog vibes. Sad it's all gone, those 2 albums lives forever


the band came back with a new album in 2014.
They got the vocalist of Witherfall and are still around.
I hope they make some new music soon.

Nice review BTW

Thanks I hope they release another album soon too. I don't think they will ever top this album, but I believe they are still capable of releasing albums of good quality.
Loading...
23.10.2021 - 23:36
nikarg
Mod
Those two first albums are top-tier metal, regardless of genre. I got the 30th Anniversary Edition of this recently and was thinking about reviewing it, since there was none (for shame!), but I am glad you did it.
Loading...
24.10.2021 - 06:50
AndyMetalFreak
Mr Nice Guy
Written by nikarg on 23.10.2021 at 23:36

Those two first albums are top-tier metal, regardless of genre. I got the 30th Anniversary Edition of this recently and was thinking about reviewing it, since there was none (for shame!), but I am glad you did it.

Thanks Unfortunately I don't have the 30th Anniversary edition, but it's a top quality album that I felt was in need for a review, I couldn't resist.
Loading...

Hits total: 714 | This month: 19