Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Sanctuary “The Year the Sun Died”

Sanctuary New AlbumSeattle’s metal sons Sanctuary released only two albums before splitting up. The first, “Refuge Denied”, was produced by none other than Dave Mustaine, and the second was a tight, heavy, and mature killer of an album, “Into the Mirror Black”, which blew me away when it came out in 1989. After the band split in 1992, frontman Warrel Dane and guitarist Jeff Loomis formed Nevermore.

Fast forward 18 years to the latest release from the reformed Sanctuary, “The Year the Sun Died“, and I swear it sounds like they never broke up. Rentless, heavy, and mature, it’s the natural progression of one of the great unsung bands of late 80s/early 90s heavy metal. I grabbed the last copy before Amoeba sold out for the second time. It’s a must listen!

Sanctuary on Last.fm

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – CoC “Into the Arms of God”

CoC Into the Arms of GodPick of the WeekPreamble: this is my first Pick of the Week that isn’t a band. Instead, it’s a disc that I can’t stop playing. A disc I’m digging on so much that I’m permanently breaking my six-year-old convention and allowing the Pick of the Week to now be a concert, album, piece of gear or anything music-related that impressed me that week.

Corrosion of Conformity‘s 2005 release “Into the Arms of God” is an angry, yet melodic and very mature album from the seminal stoner rock band out of North Carolina, when it was still regularly fronted by Pepper Keenan. The grit, doom and fuzz is tempered with some surprisingly hooky grooves as found in “Rise River Rise” and “Backslider”.

We begin with the track that got play on MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball, the killer “Stone Breaker”, and lead through the trippy “Paranoid Opioid” into another hook-filled fuzzfest, “It Is That Way”. Nearly very song on this album is good or even great, and as a whole it hangs together like few other albums I’ve heard lately. From the Slayer-like pounding of “Infinite War” to the bluesy, psychedelic jam of “So Much Left Behind”, this album is very much a progression from its previous milestone album, the gritty Wiseblood. The weakest track is oddly the title track, which is an acoustic song that sounds like it was lifted from the quiet moment of a movie about ritual self-flagellation. Skip that, take the rest and you have an album well worth putting into your heavy rotation!

Here’s the official video for the opening track, Stone Breaker

Find Corrosion of Conformity on the interwebz:
http://www.coc.com/
https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity

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