Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sanctuary / A Sound of Thunder / Burning Shadows @ Baltimore Soundstage 10/14/2015

I went to see Sanctuary ($20), with A Sound of Thunder opening for them at the Baltimore Soundstage. I saw Ariel, Bobbie, Armon, Raul, Chris Crazy-Wolf, Dan, Tom, Jessica, and Jason W (and ASOT of course) there.

I was looking forward to this show a bit because Sanctuary hasn't toured in ages, and they had the pretty solid new album The Year the Sun Died (although it was a bit more Nevermore than Sanctuary). In any event, the crowd who also traveled up to Baltimore on this weeknight were...not a lot, maybe a couple hundred?

Arise and merchify
A Sound of Merchandise

Merchandise was mainly shirts ($25), beanie ($15), hoodie ($40). Myabe I should have grabbed an old school shirt? Oh well. A Sound of Thunder had their usual merch set - CDs, shirts, etc. and seemed to be doing brisk business.

Burning Shadows

Local power metal rarity Burning Shadows was on first. Despite being around since about 2000, I've not seen them as active as one would think. This is the second time I've seen them- they gained a guitarist, but still sound about the same. I don't think the extra guitarist added anything to their sound, only crowded the stage a bit more. Their hefty singer still has that powerful voice, and their overall sound was good, but the songs were still a bit lacking. Elements of their sound- the power, the twin (triple?) guitars, and the heavy drums are all good, but the execution still is not quite there. Usually I would like the swords an sorcery power metal crap, but the stars were not aligning.

A Sound of Thunder, Trembling

Local true/power metal darlings A Sound of Thunder were on next! This was the first time I would see them after their latest album Tales From the Deadside (Music inspired by the Shadowman comic by Valiant Comics), so I knew there would be some new songs thrown in their set. I was excited because I thought their last effort was a bit off, and it had been a bit since I had last heard them live. They played three new tracks, each of which sounded even better live, despite some initial sound issues. They seemed to go over quite well with the Sanctuary crowd, as I saw the merch booth quite well attended. I wanted to hear more, but hey- Sanctuary was headlining this show!

Sanctuary took the stage close to 10 PM, with guitarists Nick Cordle (ex-Arch Enemy, ex-Arsis) and Lenny Rutledge, bassist Jim Sheppard (Nevermore), and drummer Dave Budbill getting their first. vocalist Warrel Dane stalked to the stage and looked like a shockingly skinny metal cowboy. I am pretty sure someone could suplex him and he would snap in two (BROTHER).

Heavy Metal Cowboy Warrel Dane

He was quite an odd sight with his Hot Topic Tripp top, baggy pants, straw cowboy hat, and not great looking goatee/neckbeard. I gotta say at least he can still put on a show. He hit a few high notes (although not as many as we would have liked to hear), but there was no "Battle Angels..." Regardless, he was clearly the center of attention when he was on stage, and was a key part of the great performances this evening. Dane seemed a bit miffed at something, perhaps the weak Wednesday night turnout?

Sanctuary was noticeably louder than other recent Soundstage shows as well. I don't know if it was the lower turnout of bodies not absorbing the sound or if they just cranked it louder, but I pushed my earplugs in a bit further this evening. The result was delightfully heavy, even if a bit uncomfortable during the drum heavy parts... I recall nearly all the newer songs sounding pretty damn amazing. I think we could have done without the Jefferson Airplane cover, but I surprisingly enjoyed it more than I did Sanctuary's album version. Some sort of extra energy live?

As the show went on, I either was a bigger Sanctuary fan than I thought, or the band was JUST that great, because I had a blast for the majority of their set! The crowd was very much appreciative, even if we numbered not that many. I know some people mentioned not hearing the piercing vocals in "Battle Angels" was disappointing, but honestly I don't think I minded it missing, based on the strength of the set we just heard!

Overall, a pretty nice lineup of bands for my metal fix- but I was craving more. Maybe if they make another album? Maybe it will be less Nevermore sounding?  Certainly worth another trip out to godforsaken Baltimore!

Next show: Symphony X / Overkill

Burning Shadows (8:00- 8:32)

  • ?
  • ?
  • Last One to Fall
  • Southwind
  • Break the Sanctuary

A Sound of Thunder (8:51- 9:20)

  • Udoroth
  • Tower of Souls
  • A Sound of Thunder
  • Tremble
  • Children of the Dark

Sanctuary (9:45- 11:05)

  • Ad Vitam Aeternam
  • Arise and Purify
  • Let the Serpent Follow Me
  • Seasons of Destruction
  • Eden Lies Obscured
  • White Rabbit  (Jefferson Airplane cover)
  • Question Existence Fading
  • Exitium (Anthem of the Living)
  • Frozen
  • The Year the Sun Died
  • Soldiers of Steel
  • Sanctuary
  • Future Tense
  • Die For My Sins
  • Taste Revenge