Sanctuary
Refuge Denied


3.5
great

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
February 5th, 2010 | 24 replies | 8,233 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Refuge Denied stands as a worthy achievement of a cult heavy metal band that sowed the seeds of Nevermore.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

I discovered Sanctuary accidentally in a local record shop. I was 14 years old, a newcomer in the world of metal, who used to listen to Dead Heart in a Dead World 5 times a day ,and thought that The Sound of Silence was Dane’s most impressive lyrical achievement. See, there was no room for Paul Simon in that weary, little head. So, after recognizing Warrel’s froglike face in the backsleeve of the album, I was truly amazed by my discovery. An hour later, Refuge denied became an everyday-before-school listen, and paved the way for the coming of the undoubtedly monumental Into the Mirror Black.

Refuge Denied stands as the first album for Sanctuary, whose band members Warrel Dane and Jim Sheppard would later became recognized as the spinal chord of Nevermore. Sanctuary also had great guitarists and composers, like Rutledge, whose songwriting ability was pretty impressive. Dane was once more the lyricist, but this time, one can witness the more clichéd heavy metal approach on his lines. Dane had the potential to write good enough, and this would later be seen by the prophetic “Future Tense”. Another interesting aspect of the album is the production by Dave Mustaine who discovered the bandand recognized its abilities. He also plays a solo at the cover of White rabbit.

As for the songs ,Refuge Denied contains some classic, pure heavy metal tracks, that may not be anything so special as for the standards of their time, but the whole work is at a very high level. There are some truly great riffs(Battle Angels) and the vocals of Dane shine on every track .He is hitting godly high notes, and sings every lyric with anger. His extremely wide range is wondrously depicted in every track. Songs like the homonymous and Battle Angels keeps the standards high, having both great riffs and vocal lines.

However, there are some specific things that keep the album from being a memorable work. The similarity of the songs is a common complaint. I have to agree, but also to state that this was(and still is in many situations) a common flaw of the most heavy metal bands with the speed/power metal label on them. To put it simply, there is a lack of variety in the music spectrum of Sanctuary. Thankfully, this possible”narrow-mindedness” would later be cured with their masterpiece” Into the Mirror Black” .Complaints are also heard for the weak production of Dave Mustaine, who stood as their mentor at that time. This slightly muffled production, maybe isn’t a positive aspect of the album, but it’s also a point to the record's unique ambience.

Refuge Denied can be summarised as a good and fast heavy metal record that every metalhead will enjoy. The others may find it boring and repetitive. It would also be a shame to credit Sanctuary only as the band which nurtured Warrel. They had skills, songwriting abilities and potentials for being even bigger. Refuge Denied will stand as a fresh heavy metal album, and a great beginning of an amazing singer who will catch many people’s attention some years later…



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user ratings (49)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
combustion07
February 5th 2010



5303 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't remember ever hearing this but according to my rating I liked it lol, good review, I'll have to listen to this again

rattlehead42147
February 6th 2010



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is definitely worth having its one of the few power metal albums i can stand.

TRMshadow
February 6th 2010



4982 Comments


I saw this at my Record store used for around 5$, should I get it (it's in RECORD for not some lame CD)

Willie
Moderator
February 9th 2010



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've never bothered with these guys even though Nevermore kick ass... kind of hesitant to hear their 80s roots shining through.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2010



5625 Comments


Trey, listen to Into The Mirror Black.

You'll be surprised.



Digging: The 3rd and the Mortal - Painting On Glass

Ovrot
July 25th 2010



10260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Battle Angles kick ass.

OvrotLivesAgain
September 3rd 2010



1501 Comments


There White Rabbit cover kicks ass

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2010



5625 Comments


many reviews rate this as average, but from your review it seems that it isn't so.

Ovrot
January 26th 2011



10260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It is not.
It is awesome.

scissorlocked
January 27th 2011



3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so worried about the announced reunion...

Digging: Fantastic Mr Fox - Sketches

Willie
Moderator
January 27th 2011



15781 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Their first live show since reuniting is on YouTube.

scissorlocked
January 28th 2011



3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it seems like a good show, but Dane is trying to much and his voice isn't in the best condition

TheNotrap
August 28th 2011



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Very cool record. Warrel's high range here is amazing. My favourite songs are Battle Angels, Termination Force, Soldiers of Steel, White Rabbit (cover) and specially Die for My Sins, in my opinion their best song.

Extreme uderrated
Definitely their best album IMO

TheNotrap
November 1st 2011



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

MY MORTAL LIFE OF ANGUISH I’VE ENDUREEEEEEEDDDD
DIE FOR MEEEEEEEEE
DIE FOR MY SINS FOR I’VE SEENNNNN













NOW DIE

scissorlocked
November 1st 2011



3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, band is generally pretty underrated

... this was my first review- it really sucked but it's fun


TheNotrap
November 1st 2011



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

POS'D just for reviewing this absolute classic
m/

Battle Angels, Termination Force, Die for My Sins, Sanctuary or the White Rabbit's cover are amazing tracks.

Best Warrel Dane performance by miles....
He never was the same after this album...something went wrong with his voice..he pushed too hard and damaged his voice for good...

scissorlocked
November 1st 2011



3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's true that this is maybe the best high-pitched Warrel ever

well maybe I have to reconsider this rating- the record was amazingly fresh in execution and it's way above average inside the genre as far as songwriting is concerned

TheNotrap
November 1st 2011



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Indeed. In my opinion 3.5 is too low for Refuge Denied.

"the record was amazingly fresh in execution and it's way above average inside the genre as far as songwriting"
150% Agreed

TheNotrap
December 22nd 2011



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Rules damn hard.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 5th 2013



18651 Comments


surprised more people don't talk about these guys

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty



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