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Raped of production - 85%

ArtOfWar, May 18th, 2004

Sanctum was a band that got little, if any, coverage during their short stay in the Death Metal scene. In fact, I only saw this album reviewed once, back in 1993, and I never heard about Sanctum again. It's kind of a shame really, because these guys played some fairly ripping music. You can hear the huge Deicide influence throughout, especially on the fourth track, "Errission," which sounds like an outtake from Legion-era Deicide. This is not to say that Sanctum were a clone band by any means, because that couldn't be further from the truth. For the time period this was recorded and released (1992 - 93), this had some original touches to it. For one, the use of keyboards throughout the album. There's no overabundance of said instrument here at all. Rather, keyboards are spread out liberally in just the right places, adding a certain feel to the songs. The only small downside to the keyboard usage would have to be in the opening track, "Parasite." I say downside because during the keyboard interlude, you'd swear this was a Cradle of Filth album. Other then that though, Sanctum was a band that knew when enough was enough when it came to keyboards on Raped of Your Religion.

One big plus of this album is Brad Cranwell's vocals. Employing a Glen Benton style of layering ear bleeding screams over sadistic growls, Cranwell comes across sounding like 2 different people at times. His almost Black Metal like screams are shattered by his unearthly roars, showcasing a voice that is vioent, yet understandable in it's delivery. The music on this release is fairly standard Death Metal, blast beats and all. Sanctum however has a way of hooking the listener with their music, especially in the instrumental track "Our Violent World," where the almost serenity like quality of the music is shattered near the end by Brad Cranwell grunting, "Welcome to our violent world!!" A few solos here and there break up the monotony a bit, but for the most part, the music is nothing really new at all. 2 instrumentals almost back to back (tracks 6 and 8 respectively) was pretty pointless, and caused me to deduct a few points here as well.

Now, my one HUGE complaint about this album...the production. To put it bluntly, the production on this recording absolutely sucks! The guitars all have that annoying loud fuzz sound to them. You know what I mean, the kind where you find yourself checking your speakers for a problem before you realize it's just the way the album really sounds. Nothing really gets buried here due to the production, but make no mistake, the guitar fuzz throughout will drive you up a wall. If you can look past something like that, then you will absolutely love this album.

It's a shame this one had to be released on Lethal Records, of all labels, because as with other Lethal releases (Belial, Miasma, etc.) this one is nearly impossible to find. I have not seen it in any distros or auctions for longer then I can remember. It's worth hunting down however, not only for the music, but for the blasphemous cover art as well, which depicts a priest murdering and dismembering 2 nuns on an altar.