Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Album Review: "Winter's Doom" by Sanktuary

Winter's Doom
I'm a big fan of our neighbor's to the north, Canada. I'm one of the few Americans who doesn't think of them as America's Hat.

It's an interesting country that deserves a bit more love than they get from us I think, but there are parts of Canada that are a bit, shall we say, off the beaten path even in Canadian circles.

Case in point: The Yukon Territories.

It's not even one of the ten provinces. What's up there? I can't tell you much about this part of the country. I did read an amazing story about the warnings of youth and impatience by Jack London, To Build A Fire, in my Introduction to Fiction course in college.

It was a great story by the way. That's still kind of how I see this corner of Canada. There are a few cities I can name, but that's it.

I often speak of the influence of one's home when it comes to music.

What I know about the Yukon is that it's very, very cold, but this music isn't cold or morose.

It's full of heat.

The guitars, drums, and vocals sound like they're burning with anger and desperation.

Sanktuary is an independent band and their LP sounds like it, which is a great thing.

Winter's Doom doesn't sound like a Pro-Tools record, though it very well could be. It sounds earthy and pure. The guitars sound like they would live instead of overdriven guitars  played at low volumes. The vocals hurt.

The drums....this is probably my favorite drum record I've heard in some time. Blast beats used to be the dominion of extreme metal only, but all variants of metal  now use them all the time. Even Ahab, who's slower than molasses in January has blast beats. This has caused a shift in drumming.

Even though Sankuary features plenty of blast beats, the drums still retain the bounciness of early thrash metal which gives this album an off kilter, throwback feeling because the drums are played like an instrument instead of say, a very fast metronome.

Throw in some shred guitarwork, dueling solos, and you've got the makings of a band that's going places. Winter's Doom is raw and green, but these songs could have their shine polished off if one tried too hard.

Release: 1/22/16
Genre: Metal
Label: DIY
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