If you have been fortunate enough to watch Sanctity rip through a furious set, opening for Symphony X (an odd pairing to be sure), you would undoubtedly have had to run out to pick up ROAD TO BLOODSHED, their debut disc for Roadrunner Records. It’s not often nowadays for a young, new band to play a kind of metal that will interest the old school metal fan. Generally, the new bands tend to be some uninspired version of metalcore, usually only appealing to the teenage wannabe who has yet to hear a Testament or Overkill record. North Carolina’s Sanctity is a welcome exception to this all too true rule of metal these days. While there are moments of modern production and melodies splashed in, the heart and soul of this outfit is traditional, head-banging thrash-styled, in-your-face metal. Featuring a mix of aggressive and melodic vocal deliveries, classic guitar leads and solos, and pulse-pounding beats, Sanctity’s debut, ROAD TO BLOODSHED, is an album that should find itself welcome among the young fans and the old school followers alike.
The album opener, “Beneath the Machine,” is a killer track. As the song kicks in, the listener might think they are listening to a lost Testament track from around PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH, but then it segues into a brilliant and contemporary, hook-laden chorus. The title track is another highlight, featuring a furious opening riff that leads into a sort of off beat verse, building towards another in a long line of memorable choruses. In fact, most songs fit the description of these two highlight tracks: lots of chunky, speedy riffs, tons of catchy melodic changes, classic guitar solos, and heaps of attitude.
ROAD TO BLOODSHED is not a modern, trendy metal release; but, rather, it is a punch in the mouth, feet stomping metal record that would have felt at home in the mid to late eighties when bands like TESTAMENT, METALLICA, and OVERKILL made their best records. For fans of no frills, straight ahead, thrash-inspired metal with just a few hooks thrown in, this will be something worthy of the sore neck you will have after repeated listens. ROAD TO BLOODSHED is an incredible release for a band relatively new to the metal scene, and it should give heart to the metal heads who have had to endure the ceaseless outpouring of garbage metalcore releases in recent years.
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