Sanctuary Soldiering on Without Warrel Dane; New Tour Dates Announced, New Album in the Works

  • Axl Rosenberg

It would appear that Sanctuary did not die with Warrel Dane after all.

To play catch-up: the renowned vocalist (also of Nevermore fame) passed away from a heart attack, at the far-too-young age of 56, in December of 2017. At that time, Sanctuary already had a tour booked, playing support for Iced Earth, set to kick off in February. Rather than cancel that tour, the band opted to enlist Witherfall frontman Joseph Michael to handle vocals and carry out the performances as both a farewell to fans and a tribute to Dane.

Well, apparently, that tour went well — like, really well — ’cause the band has now announced that they’re going to continue with Michael as their permanent singer. They’re working on a new album, which they expect to release in 2020, and have announced a pair of appearances at European festivals this summer, as well as a tour of North America on which they’ll perform 1988’s Refuge Denied in its entirety.

Says Sanctuary guitarist Lenny Rutledge:

“Sanctuary are looking forward to playing two special festival shows in Europe this summer in addition to our commemorative ‘Refuge Denied’ dates in the US where we will perform our classic debut album in full. If you’re an old school Sanctuary fan or a fan of classic metal, you don’t what to miss this run of dates! Joseph Michael(Witherfall) is the new singer of Sanctuary and we will be playing songs from all 3 albums but focusing on the earlier material. Come check out the return of Sanctuary!”

I gotta say, I can’t imagine Sanctuary without Warrel Dane… but, of course, bands have managed to move on from these tragedies many in times in the past, so I don’t think the whole idea is nuts or whatever. If Sanctuary’s new album brings their A-game, I’m sure fans will be more than happy to accept Michael with open arms.

You can learn a lil’ bit more in the video by Rutledge and Michael below. Sanctuary’s upcoming live dates are all at the bottom of this post. Ghost Ship Octavius are providing support for the North American dates.

Sanctuary Live Dates

North America

July 11 Atlanta, GA – Basement
July 12 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 586
July 13 Frederick, MD – Cafe 611
July 14 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar
July 16 Somerville, MA – Once Ballroom
July 17 Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse
July 18 Cincinnati, OH – North Side Yacht Club
July 19 Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle Brewery
July 20 Detroit, MI – Sanctuary
July 21 Chicago, IL – Reggies
August 16 Portland, OR – Bossanova Ballroom *
August 17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon *
* only SANCTUARY performing


25. – 27.07.2019 Brande-Hörnerkichen (DE) Headbangers Open Air Festival 2019
10.08.2019 Kortrijk (BE) ALCATRAZ MUSIC Festival

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