ICED EARTH / SANCTUARY Bring The Stormrider And Battle Angels To New York City

March 26, 2018, a year ago

By Rich Catino

gallery heavy metal sanctuary iced earth

On March 22nd, the day after another east coast Nor’easter (our 4th!), Iced Earth and Sanctuary made it to New York City (Gramercy Theater) bringing some good old fashioned heavy metal to lift our snowblinded spirits.  Iced Earth out in support of their latest album, Incorruptible, while lone original members of Sanctuary - guitarist Lenny Rutledge and drummer Dave Budbill, with fill in singer Joseph Michael (Witherfall), celebrate the legacy of the recently passed Warrel Dane (Nevermore). Jon Schaffer (rhythm and lead guitar) founding member of Iced Earth, still joined by Stu Block on vocals (Dystopia, Plagues Of Babylon albums), with Brent Smedley returning on drums, joined by Luke Appleton on bass, and Jake Dreyer on lead guitar (White Wizzard, Witherfall). 

Sanctuary played really a perfect selection covering the first two classic albums (Refuge Denied, Into The Mirror Black); “Die For My Sins”, “Seasons of Destruction”, “Battle Angels”, “Soldiers of Steel”, “Future Tense”, and “Taste Revenge”. Plus, “Arise and Purify” and “Frozen” off their 2014 album The Year the Sun Died. If you question whether or not Joe can handle Warrel’s vocals, fear not he nailed everything. Yes, all those insane highs put down on tape were recreated perfectly live. Joe is no joke!

Iced Earth’s set was heavy on the new songs (six), mixed with a few classics. “Burning Times” (the band's Powerslave, Something Wicked This Way Comes) is a given, and ballad “Watching Over Me” was a nice choice to close the night on a spiritual note. Stu even invited the youngsters in the audience to join the band on stage. “Vengeance Is Mine” crushes, “Dracula” more epic and dynamic, while a trilogy off Night Of The Stormrider (“Stormrider”, “Angels Holocaust”, “Travel In Stygian”), sent the headbanging into a frenzy.

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