Search - Sanctuary :: Into the Mirror Black

Into the Mirror Black
Into the Mirror Black
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Sanctuary
Title: Into the Mirror Black
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 2/9/1990
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074644508529, 074644508543

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CD Reviews

The Lure of power creates a DEEEAAATHTRAAAP! of-social-decay
e5150 | United States | 09/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In a word, this, the second and sadly final album from Sanctuary, is GENIUS. Cerebral power metal at its finest. Your favorite band blows compared to Sanctuary. You know it, I know it, we all know it.
There's no point in breaking down each song into its essential parts, this album as a whole is essential for any self-respecting disciple of Heavy Metal. It is one of those ultra-rare records where there isn't one song even remotely bad.
Lenny Rutledge is one of the finest composers this genre has seen, with his mastery of heaviness and melody, and the complex arrangements which give both rhythm guitars the occasional separate-but-similar riff that eventually meld back together into a dark whirling inferno. And Warrel Dane's vocals are mesmerizing and passionate. Again, one of the greatest. He still rules fronting Nevermore, but it's a shame he can't quite reach such tormented heights like on here. That's aging for you. And lyrically he weaves his mystical words like seances for sorrowed spirits.
Dave Budbill: where are you now? One of the best metal drummers of all time.
The production is light years ahead of its predecessor (which was filtered through Dave Mustaine's heroin fog), clean, crisp, and sharp. We are not worthy.
With only 2 records to its credit, it would be so easy for Sanctuary to be overlooked when someone compiles the "greatest of all time" lists. But this star, though brief, burned brighter than all the rest.
Don't let this band fade into memory. One of the greatest to ever bless our ears with its unique, never duplicated style of power metal. Tell all of your headbanging friends who think they know metal to get this as well. They will thank you. But I warn you: one listen to this will render all of your precious cds, the ones you think you hold so dear, meaningless. This is the only one you need.
Well, this and Refuge Denied."
Sanctuary : "Into The Mirror Black"
Masked Jackal | Ft. Lauderdale, FL United States | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can't understand why this release is so overlooked. "Into The Mirror Black" has to be one of the best Heavy Metal releases of 1990....

This is much more mature than "Refuge Denied". It's also much easier to listen to. The guitar soloing here is incredible, and the songs are pure Metal at it's best. It's better organized than RD, and the sound is more on the lines of "Nevermore"....

This release must not be overlooked. If your interested in something new, or something that you may have missed out on in the 90's, Sanctuary's "Into The Mirror Black" is certainly a release you should check out....

It's without question Sanctuary's finest hour...."
Warrel Dane's first masterpiece
Murat Batmaz | Istanbul, Turkey | 08/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Into the Mirror Black is Sanctuary's second and unfortunately last album. The band broke up after this release before evolving into the great band known as Nevermore. Leaving its Priest influences on Refuge Denied behind, with this release, Sanctuary show incredible amount of growth in their songwriting. The melodies are quite catchy with memorable vocal harmonies provided by Warrel Dane. Also, unlike Dave Mustaine's production on Refuge Denied, Into theMirror Black has a sharper sound and more focused riffs centred around Dane's almost thrashy vocal style.

This album is where the seeds of the current Nevermore were planted. Released in 1989, Mirror Black was Dane's testimony to a darker, deeper and more captivating musical vision. The thrashy riffs, which would later become the trademark Nevermore style, abound most of the compositions here. Although the opening song "Future Tense" is the most popular song on the album, I am of the strong opinion that Warrel Dane and his friends outdo this track several times. The first wonder is "Taste Revenge" displaying Dane's slightly operatic but moreso aggressive delivery. This song has everything: hooks, melodies, stunning guitar solos and searing vocals. "Epitaph" sounds like the first ever tune penned by Dane that would eventually lead him to write his most incredible masterpiece Dreaming Neon Black ten years after this album. It begins with a very dark and unusual vocal style and delves into unexplored territory picking up on speed and heaviness. "Eden Lies Obscured" and "The Mirror Black" are two other songs that follow this amazing track and become the centrepiece of the entire record. The opening scream of "The Mirror Black" is one of the finest moments on this disc. The lyrical depth of these songs exploring political corruption and how politicians manipulate the society are fearlessly criticised.

It is obvious that Dane opted for a more distinctive style when he was writing this album. The structure of the songs are rather unusual compared to other 80's band and Dane uses his voice in every different style possible. The opening song "Future Tense" offers lots of stop-starts with a variety of key and tempo changes. In this aspect I am slightly reminded of bands like earlier Psychotic Waltz and Antithesis. I can also see some older Queensryche fans digging this release if they're up for songs in a heavier context.

"Long Since Dark", "Seasons of Destruction" and "Communion" are more on the heavier side of the spectrum with relentless guitar work and thrashy rhythm patterns. "One More Murder" lies somewhere in between spawning the roots of some of the songs on the self-titled Nevermore debut. The songs are within the 4-6 minute mark and the record clocks in at over 46 minutes. 15 years after its release, it still finds its place in my stereo quite often. If you like Nevermore and have never heard any Sancturay before, this is where you should start. It is no where near as dark and brooding as Nevermore but it has more emphasis on melody and vocal harmonies. Highly recommended to any metal fan regardless of what genre appeals to them most."