Sanctuary backstage at Club Nokia in L.A. on January 7 2012 by Stephanie Cabral

Have u been following the return of Sanctuary, the great Seattle thrash metal band featuring future Nevermore dudes Warrel Dane, Jim Sheppard, and Jeff Loomis for a minute? They were about to be fully awesome by 1990, but folded after two albums marked by Dane’s powerful high vocals. Their exciting reunion is going in spurts and is tangled in last year’s demise of Nevermore, so let’s get straight and up to date! 

  • January 2011 Sanctuary plays a secret show in Seattle and the 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise with Loomis alongside Dane, Sheppard, and founding members Lenny Rutledge (guitars) and Dave Budbill (drums). Loomis departs upon his April 2011 exit from Nevermore.
  • September 2011 For four shows, Sanctuary is joined by guitarist Shannon Sharp.
  • Still September 2011 Right around Loomis’ first post-Nevermore interview, Sanctuary names Forced Entry’s Brad Hull as second guitarist. That dude is awesome! Exciteballz!
  • October 2011 Dane states that a deal for Sanctuary with Century Media was “imminent,” and reveals that their forthcoming third album is titled The Year The Sun Died. (Note: I’d stick a that in there.) Also he hints at the certainty of classic Sanctuary-style high vocals, y’know, within reason.
  • Still October 2011 Dane says that he and Loomis “still talk.”
  • January 2012 Sanctuary plays Joilet, IL, Los Angeles, New York, and Germany. Fan videos reveal a steam-gathering band and a returning-to-Sanctuary-form Dane. Which is puzzling since we’re always reading sworn testimony that Dane is shiddy jrunk and old and can’t sing for crap. Could it be that observations by internet commenters are inaccurate and that nerds are whiteknighting the shit out of Jeff Loomis?
  • July 2012 Loomis expressed his openness to doing “a reunion thing or a festival … in the future [with Nevermore]. But working with those guys again … It’s just not my cup of tea at all.” So Sanctuary and Loomis solo albums full steam ahead!
  • August 2012 Reports from their performance at Wacken Open Air indicate that Sanctuary’s set included two new songs, “I Am Low” and “The World Is Wired.” Again I stare unblinking at performance clips for evidence of a sloshed, out-of-shape Warrel Dane but don’t see it, despite the many claims of buttsore Jeff Loomis fans. My only beef is with Dane’s omnipresent cowboy hat. I swear I barfed into that very hat at 1989 Wisconsin State Fair. It then belonged to Tesla’s drummer #truefact.

Okay so that brings us to now! The record deal with Century Media is yet to be announced and no footage of new jamz has surfaced, so this Sanctuary return is still in first gear. Saturday they play Bloodstock, probably their biggest show yet; I’ll be watching the fest livestream so blab with me @AnsoDF. For now let’s all examine this Wacken clip from last week. Pretty great, right?



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