Review Summary: After being presented to Roadrunner Records by Trivium’s Matthew K. Heafy does Sanctity live up to or surpass the metal community’s expectations?
American metal has taken a step to higher ground after stepping off the sinking ship that has plagued Roadrunner Records of the past few years. Sanctity’s debut effort ‘Road To Bloodshed’ with its crushing albeit heard before guitar riffs, melodic solos, and somewhat unique vocal styling’s have steadily been giving Sanctity the growing attention of the metal community.
Sanctity’s music can be roughly described as ‘modern thrash’ and while that title may not be entirely correct as they incorperate elements of metalcore and power metal. The vocals contain a 80s hard rock yelled style. Being brought to the Roadrunner Records label by Matt Heafy, a label known for producing quality metal for the last twenty-five years leaves a lot on the table for most new comers to the metal genre. When listeners are presented with this ‘new age thrash’ they for the most part will be impressed enough to wait for a follow up album.
Throughout the twelve tracks album listeners may find themselves repeating parts if not whole of tracks. Sanctity present a very groove filled thrash album making a very enjoyable listen for those after something a little different on the Roadrunner label.
Instrumentally this album comes in at almost top notch. The overall drum work on Road To Bloodshed show interesting levels of contrast and does not sit directly in a double bass filled effort of thirty-two note patterns, occasional bursting and untraditional drum fills a peppered throughout the album and the extended drum kit allows more tom cymbal work an example of this is the cymbal china work in the introduction of the last track “Once Again” a very tasteful and interesting section before leading into the rest of the fast paced and groove filled track. The overall guitar work of Sanctity while not exactly anything new works well with various amounts of guitar chugging, palm muted riffs and melodic patterns layered over the top or underneath main ideas. The guitar solos display a great sense of technical ability showing that they really know how to play their instruments. Furthermore showing some creative contrast Sanctity uses an acoustic styled bridge during the track ‘Beloved Killer’ drawing the listener in before hitting them with a highly enjoyable guitar solo. The bass guitar work seems to be hidden under the highly noticeable guitar and drum work and fades in and out in parts of tracks and this seems to be a main problem with metal mixes in modern day metal. Lastly the vocal work of Sanctity whilst not overly melodic almost suits the music well, this however seems to be the main down point of the album and it appears that the band would greatly improve by the inclusion of a slightly more melodic vocal styling.
Road To Bloodshed displays a great level of hope for the metal community and those that are particular of the thrash and metalcore genres bringing different elements to the table and combining them in a manner that creates a somewhat unique sound overall. New age American metal is taking a step in the right direction showing great potential for what is to come. Road To Bloodshed definitely surpasses the metal community’s expectations. This is an album to get if you like thrash, metalcore or metal in general.
Highlights Include: Laws Of Reason, Beloved Killer, Seconds, and Once Again.