Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

51 guests

Welcome to our newest member, umogox

Sanctum – Believers (Reissue)

Believers (Reissue)
by Rachel Montgomery at 14 August 2020, 11:00 PM

I don’t like reruns. Meaning, I’m not a fan of bands that try to sound exactly like another band. To me, SANCTUM sounds like another IRON MAIDEN knockoff. However, given that they’re from roughly the same era and this is a reissue of their 1991 album “Believers,” I tried not to judge them as harshly as I would a band from this era with this same sound. While the opening tracks sounded like discount Maiden at its most tolerable, there were a few tracks that stood out and surprised me, especially as the album continued on. When the vocalist isn’t trying to sound exactly like Bruce Dickinson, they can be a decent, unearthed gem. However, those moments are too few and far between to save it from my displeasure.

SANCTUM got their start in 1986 in New Jersey, touring locally until they broke up in 1992. “Believers” was their only EP released while they were together in 1991. Would they have gone big had they not split up? Honestly, rock and metal moved on from the more traditional sound SANCTUM carried by then. Rock went from big hair and bigger music to grunge - understated and experimental. Metal was in peak heaviness with bands climbing to be thrashier and heavier than their predecessors. Either way, tuned-down guitars and lower melodies (if any melodies) were used in this time, not the high and tight melodies that SANCTUM played.

Apparently, this is one of the rarest metal albums you could find since so few copies were made. I won’t go so far as to say it was like the rarest videogame in the world, the abysmal ET game for Atari, but I wasn’t happy with the opening tracks. “Voyager” sounded like it was trying to be Iron Maiden from the start. The trend continues with “Running Away” where the vocalist begins reaching, really reaching, in his upper register. There was a part of the song where I was sure it cracked. However, starting with “Candle,” I can hear some promising progressive elements.

Later in the work, I start hearing more progressive influences in interlude tracks. “Outcast” was a standout for me due to the progressive elements used, like a melodic change mid-stream and a warble at the end for ambiance. Like the opening tracks, the vocals weren’t perfect, but they fit better here. Why? It wasn’t trying to fit another band’s style. “Nasty Weather” was another track I started to enjoy, minus the vocals. The high notes are well-done in the verses. I think the singer gets too carried away with them as the song goes on, though. Instrumentally, it’s an engaging hybrid of RUSH and JUDAS PRIEST that made me pay attention from the start.

Overall, it’s fair for its day. A little dated in my opinion. Instrumentally, the musical talent is there. Vocally, as long as he doesn’t try to sing too high, he’s OK. However, it has all my pet peeves: straight 80s knockoffs with little to no originality, reaching vocals, and dated production and style, even for its release. Unless you’re a hardcore fan of the band from way back, this is a skip. It’s not horrible, you may be kinder to it than I was, but it’s not my cup of tea personally or quality-wise.

Songwriting: 5
Production: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2

2 Star Rating

1. Believers
2. Voyager
3. Running Away
4. Candle
5. No Man’s Land
6. We Saved
7. Murder
8. You Will Never
9. Outcast
10. One Burning Candle
11. Nasty Weather
12. Running Away
13. No Man’s Land
Vinnie Cardona – Vocals
Jim Mayberry – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Ray Babula – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Al Ducsai - Bass
Mike Rogers – Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Arkeyn Steel Records


You do not have permission to rate
Edited 29 September 2020

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green