Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor
The contemporary version of iconic U.S. power metal band SANCTUARY announce an upcoming U.S. summer tour playing their 1988 début album, ‘Refuge Denied‘, in its entirety.
The trek will kick off on July 11th in Atlanta and conclude on August 17th in Seattle, with support on the tour provided by GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS, the band featuring former Nevermore drummer Van Williams. The news is sure to come as a welcomed update on SANCTUARY, who have been somewhat vague about the future of the band since the passing of singer Warrel Dane in 2017.
Last year, SANCTUARY successfully conducted a North American tour as a tribute to Dane, one with Witherfall vocalist Joseph Michael behind the microphone. Also joining the band on the road was second guitarist Joey Concepcion (Armageddon, The Absence) and both Michael and Concepcion will return for this summer’s trek. The band revealed their plans in the following statement:
“It is with great pleasure that we can finally announce that SANCTUARY are officially continuing on. This small string of U.S. dates will serve as the starting point of many more things to come.
“To celebrate the deep history of the band and the connection the fans have with us, we will perform ‘Refuge Denied’ in its entirety, along with other popular songs. Along for this journey, GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS will be joining us.
“2019 will be an exciting year.“
Formed in Seattle in 1985, SANCTUARY were quickly signed to Epic Records with the help of Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine. There, they released two well-received albums, ‘Refuge Denied‘ in 1988, and its follow-up, 1990’s ‘Into The Mirror Black‘. Without question, it was their introductory offering in 1988 that put SANCTUARY on the metal musical map for many.
The nine-song opus was produced by Dave Mustaine and engineered by Terry Date, and is adorned with incredible cover artwork from the famed Ed Repka (Dark Angel, Fallen Man, Nuclear Assault). Eventually, SANCTUARY would disband in 1992, members going on to either form or join such bands as Nevermore, Undone, and Panic. It would be nearly two decades before they would reform in 2010, appearing at several prestigious worldwide metal festivals before returning to the studio to record their acclaimed full-length comeback album, ‘The Year The Sun Died‘, for Century Media Records in 2014.
Sadly, that return of the band was cut short by the passing of Warrel Dane from a heart attack in 2017. The future of SANCTUARY was briefly reduced to uncertainty until his surviving bandmates recently decided to carry on in tribute to his memory. That, and the overwhelming fan support for last year’s touring version of the band, seems to have helped sway SANCTUARY toward the realization to advance into a new era for this iconic band.
Joseph Michael – vocals
Lenny Rutledge – guitar
George Hernandez – bass
Dave Budbill – drums
Joey Concepcion – guitar (live)
– SANCTUARY U.S. Tour 2019 –
Jul. 11 – Atlanta, GA – Basement
Jul. 12 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Jul. 13 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611
Jul. 14 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar
Jul. 16 – Somerville, MA – Once Ballroom
Jul. 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse
Jul. 18 – Cincinnati, OH – North Side Yacht Club
Jul. 19 – Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle Brewery
Jul. 20 – Detroit, MI – Sanctuary
Jul. 21 – Chicago, IL – Reggies
Aug. 16 – Portland, OR – Bossanova Ballroom*
Aug. 17 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon*
*No Ghost Ship Octavius