Sanctity

Road to Bloodshed

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Asheville, North Carolina heavy metal quartet Sanctity somehow avoids the fickle finger of genre pigeonholing while still managing to illicit a veritable poetry-slam of artist comparisons. The group's Roadrunner debut, the brutal and mesmerizing Road to Bloodshed is a testament to the power of, well, Testament. Late-'80s thrash never sounded so good, especially when it's filtered through the jackhammer, maxed-out levels-production-style of modern alternative metal, courtesy of Trivium producer Jason Suecof. Sanctity embraces both the mood and the melodic precision of bands like Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica, but vocalist/guitarist Jared MacEachern isn't above tossing in a high, Rob Halford-kissed shriek (witness the blood-curdling "Zeppo" and the "Mars, Bringer of War" inspired "Laws of Reason") or assisting lead guitar player Zeff Childress in a race through a maze of Piece of Mind-era Iron Maiden-gleaned, twin guitar noodling. Road to Bloodshed is a big, highly melodic slab of nu-classic metal, and despite an industrial-tinged misstep near the record's end (the dry, forced "Seconds"), it sinks its teeth into your arm and doesn't let go until it hits bone.

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