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A worthwhile experience... - 92%

Elric, August 13th, 2004

Morgana Lefay had a very distinctive sound. A good example of their originality is this fine album, a blend of power and melody, thrashy, epic and gloomy at the same time. "Sanctified" also marks an improvement in production and songwriting for the band, that after the previous "Secret Doctrine" chose a cleaner sound and an even more introspective atmosphere for each song. Not that "S.D." was a bad album, but it had some flaws, like many fans say, for some over-the-top lyrics and the overall modest recording and production. That's not the case of this album, luckily, being thicker and heavier than any other Morgana release, still retaining the psychological and mystical themes, plus the occasional Tolkien references. The tracklist is a rollercoaster between heavy ("Out in the Silence", the opener, "Another Dawn") and mid-paced, doomy songs ("To Isengard") and almost acoustic power ballads ("Why?" or "Sorrow calls"), though never lacking energy and originality. One of the highlights is "In the Court of the Crimson King" (for which a video was shooted), very fast and heavy and very representative of the album, musically speaking, as every note is played with great precision, every riff is interesting and all instruments, voice included, create a perfect mix; all this, while the arrangements are great on every song for they fit every different mood needed and the lyrics are thoughtful or fantastical, or both! To sum it all up, it's a great album, with many good moments, though some listeners will find it hard to get into or even cheesy in some details, nonetheless a very diverse release in the field of power metal, for its thrash, doom and other influences make it something different, and better, and the good music of this album is very enjoyable and surely worth a listen for every metal fan in general.