Sanctuary Of Death
Label: MDD Records
Out: May 9th, 2024
Playing time: 45:55

With ‘Sanctuary Of Death’, Spain’s biggest (English-speaking) Heavy Metal band are about to release their seventh long player.

Great words, typical for press releases. The band has been active since the end of the 90s and holds the banner of traditional Heavy Metal high. Like its predecessors, the album was recorded and produced at Chromaticity Studios by guitarist and producer Pedro J. Monge. The cover artwork was once again created by Darkgrove (Manowar, Testament, Battle Beast, among others).

The album starts with the great metal anthem ‘Devil’s Child’. Running Wild or even early Manowar send their regards. ‘Dreambreaker’ is much more aggressive and faster. You might think that Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) is singing here, but that’s not the case. The choruses are once again very anthemic. And lightning-fingered Pedro J. Monge provides a huge guitar solo, alternating with the keyboards. ‘Deathwalker’ starts with a gloomy intro. This electric piano part would be good for many a horror film. But don’t worry, this is also pure heavy metal later on. Singer Carlos Escudero shines with high metal screams. The guitar riffs are extremely rhythmic. And again and again these anthemic choruses. The title track ‘Sanctuary Of Death’ is a par force ride à la Gamma Ray meets Grave Digger. And again keyboards can be heard, unobtrusively and in keeping with the song. Forevermore’ also starts with a mystical intro before a majestic sounding mid-tempo song blasts out of the speakers. ‘Heavy Metal’ lives up to its title. A great heavy metal anthem that probably not many representatives of the genre could intonate better. As the title ‘Old King’s Visions (Part VII)’ suggests, a tradition is being continued here. You can hear this song on each of the previous six albums, from Part I to Part VI, and what else can you expect but a Metal anthem. And of course, ‘Journey To The Unknown’ is another anthem in the programme. ‘Brothers’ offers grandiose Power Metal. And vocals that don’t sound like Chris Boltendahl this time. It’s more like being beamed into a Firewind song. ‘The Rebel’s Law’ is bursting with guitar solos, outstanding melodies and a journey back in time to the Classic Heavy Metal of the eighties. It brings back memories. But have the Spaniards saved the best for last? The instrumental outro ‘The Last Flame’ with its mixture of piano, powerful drums and a final outstanding guitar solo is definitely a crowning finale.

Are Vhäldemar really the biggest English-speaking Heavy Metal band in Spain? I can’t say for sure. But I do know one thing for sure, ‘Sanctuary Of Death’ is a completely convincing Metal album. The Spaniards have clearly made their mark. Other bands in this genre have to measure themselves against this album. And only a few will succeed. I’m so euphoric about what I’ve heard that for the first time in a long time I’ve given it top rating. Chapeau!

Vhäldemar – Devils Child: https://youtu.be/rbJbv6_c1PI?si=XDZbsQAeipvMqGzr


Carlos Escudero – Vocals
Pedro J. Monge – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Raúl Serrano – Bass
Jandro – Drums
Jonkol Tera – Keyboards

Track list:

  • Devil’s Child
  • Dreambreaker
  • Deathwalker
  • Sanctuary Of Death
  • Forevermore
  • Heavy Metal
  • Old King’s Visions (Part VII)
  • Journey To The Unknown
  • Brothers
  • The Rebel’s Law
  • The Last Flame
  • Album - 10/10
  • Cover-Art - 10/10
  • Songwriting - 10/10


Disturbingly Good


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