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Corners of Sanctuary - Axe to Grind

Corners of Sanctuary
Axe to Grind
by Saxon Davids at 26 October 2014, 1:48 PM

“CORNERS OF SANCTUARY” are a 4 piece heavy metal band from Philadelphia and since their formation in 2011 have released 2 EP’s, 1 full length album and most recently, their new second full length album entitled “Axe to Grind” and should be an addition to any metalheads collection!

“Axe to Grind” is full of chunky riffs with a feel similar to that of “British Steel” from heavy metal titans “JUDAS PRIEST”, In fact, I get a strong Rob Halford vibe coming across from frontman Frankie Cross too! These guys really do know how to deliver their heavy metal with force and fury in the way that the like of JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN did back in the day!

“Axe to grind” opens up with a short instrumental fittingly called “Axe In” which brings the metal and power in straight away as if an axe was being swung into your skull and splitting you wide open. This track, although only being 1:07, had me hooked from the first few bars, and sets the tone and feel for the whole album; Choppy guitar melodies with pounding heavy riffs and rhythms underneath!

Then we have the title track of the album, which for me was a slight let down, the riffs are cool and everything the vocals are slightly irritating with not much range, which was disappointing. Much to my relief though, the table turn come track 3, “On the Hunt” opens up with a chunky riff before a long and high pitched power metal scream which reminds me instantly of Rob Halford’s high notes in the late 70’s/early 80’s. This track is full of very well executed vocal lines and great guitar melodies that really make up for the slight disappointment of the first full length track.

“Mark and Remember” is next and is mid tempo and very riff heavy and easily gets you uncontrollably banging your head, and then picks up the tone in the middle with a faster and more up-beat lead line leading into a few bars of virtuosic drumming from Sean Nelligan. This is one of the more diverse songs on the album and at this point you really start to love these guys!

More of my favourite tracks on this release include “A Fist Full of Vengeance”, which is fast paced, angry and has some brilliant drum work. The influence of Glenn Tipton really bleeds through guitarist Mick Michaels in this one too! “Shadow Soldiers” is another blinder of a track which has a really cool upbeat feel to it and exhibits some incredible riffing. “Victoria” is probably my favourite track on the album because it showcases the best vocal work on the album; great lows and great highs! Frankies vocal range in this song is brilliant and very well put across, my favourite part being the insanely powerful high scream at the end of the track!

The album comes to a close with “Axe out”, which is the exact same as the intro, “Axe in” just a few seconds shorter. “Axe out” being a clone track isn’t necessarily a bad thing though; it brings the album full circle and wraps it up nicely I think! I would strongly recommend that you listen to this album for yourself, especially if you are a huge “JUDAS PRIEST” fan! You classic heavy metallers will not be disappointed with this one!

4 Star Rating

1. Axe In
2. Axe to Grind
3. On The Hunt
4. Mark and Remember
5. A Fist full of Vengeance
6. One Lifetime
7. Shadow Soldiers
8. Heart of Stone
9. Meet Your Maker
10. Victoria
11. Axe Out
Frankie Cross – Vocals
Sean Nelligan – Drums
James Pera – Bass
Mick Michaels – Guitars
Record Label: La Mazakuata Records


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