Sanctuary is an American heavy metal band founded in Seattle in 1985. They split up in 1992, but reformed 18 years later. The band consisted of Warrel Dane (vocals), Lenny Rutledge (guitar), Sean Blosl (guitar), Jim Sheppard (bass), Dave Budbill (drums), and in the end Jeff Loomis. To date, they have released two studio albums and are currently working on a third one.
They released a demo in 1986, which was well received, and that led them to sign with Epic Records in 1987. They released their debut album, Refuge Denied, in the same year. It was produced by Dave Mustaine, frontman of thrash metal band Megadeth. Thus followed a tour alongside Megadeth and the German band Warlock.
After the tour, they entered the studio to record their second studio album, Into the Mirror Black. It was released in Europe in 1989, while the US version came out the following year. A video clip for the song "Future Tense" was made and received some airplay on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. During the tour (with the bands Fates Warning, Forbidden and Death Angel), the guitarist Sean Blosl left the band and was replaced by Jeff Loomis.
Shortly after, pressure from Epic Records to fit in with the flourishing Seattle grunge scene caused disagreements between band members regarding the band's musical direction. In 1992, Sanctuary officially disbanded.
Epic Records was to release a full length live recording from this final tour, but only a limited number of copies of a promotional live EP ever saw the light of day. It was named Into the Mirror Live.
Refuge Denied and Into The Mirror Black were re-released as a double CD set by IronBird Records on February 22, 2010.
After disbanding, Warrel Dane, Jim Sheppard and Jeff Loomis formed the band Nevermore in 1992. Dave Budbill lives in Florida, and is currently the drummer for Alive Inside. Sean Blosl is creating music and film through Golden Flower Media. Lenny Rutledge became a musical producer, and has his own studio. Additionally, he helped Nevermore on the demo sessions of their 1998 album, Dreaming Neon Black.
Reunion and New album
Warrel Dane announced in May, 2010 that Sanctuary was reuniting to record a new album. Dane confirmed on Nevermore's official forum that he can still hit the high notes he did in Sanctuary's early days. However, he did not say whether or not he would be implementing them into the new album, which is tentatively titled The Year the Sun Died.
Blosl is currently working on a film called Into the Heart of Shiva and will not be taking part in the reunion. Replacing him is former Forced Entry guitarist Brad Hull.
A US appearance in 2011 took take place at ProgPower USA, Atlanta on Friday, September 16, 2011. The band also played on the 70,000 Tons of Metal festival onboard Royal Caribbeans' Majesty of the Seas in January 2011 on the same date as Nevermore. In January 2013 Sanctuary got a deal with Century Media.