The heavy metal faithful gather at the Token Lounge to herald the rebirth of Sanctuary after their long 23-year hiatus.
Break The Edge, who traveled from Lansing, open the show for the growing crowd at the Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan. They manage to persevere through the adversity of a couple of technical issues, yet deliver their set of music. This band’s sound has elements of Atreyu and Alesana, which may not be the audience’s cup of tea.
Detroit’s A.S.S. take the stage next. This band is tight and impressive. The song “Fallen Angel” pulls the crowd toward the stage with fierce attraction. Brian Thomas (vocals) asks if anyone would mind hearing some cover tunes, and there are no arguments. They launch into “Black Magic” by Slayer and then roll into covers of “The River Dragon Has Come” and “Inside Four Walls” by Nevermore. A.S.S. resume with more originals and finish up with a tribute to our armed services with “Warrior.” The crowd shouts out much-deserved praise for an outstanding performance.
As the lights go down, the cheers from the crowd rise and Sanctuary arrive on the stage. Bodies press toward Warrel Dane (vocals) as the band plays “Arise and Purify” and “Let The Serpent Follow Me” from The Year The Sun Died album that was released this time last year. Nick Cordle’s fingers fly across the scalloped neck of his guitar with fascinating percussion.
Sanctuary goes back to Into The Mirror Black with “Seasons Of Destruction.” Lenny Rutledge lights up his flying V on this song. It is great to hear this fantastic music being played live again.
As Warrel starts to tell us about a girl named Alice, the haunting intro to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” cascades around us. The crowd reaction is energetic as fists fly into the air in time with the crushing drum work of Dave Budbill.
Warrel mentions that the song “Frozen” is not from the Disney movie of the same name which gets many laughs from the fans. This song sounds incredible live with the rolling toms and bass driving this metal masterpiece.
Someone in the crowd is screaming at the top of their lungs “SANCTUARY!” as the band slams into “Die For My Sins” from Refuge Denied. Sanctuary wraps up this set of metal bliss with “Sanctuary.” After a short break and much cheering from this diehard crowd, Sanctuary gives us one more with “Taste Revenge.”
It is great to see heavy metal stalwarts like Sanctuary on stage igniting fans with the passion of their music. Many thanks to the great people at the Token Lounge who continue to bring the best local and national acts to the Detroit community.