We never know when the end will come but it’s clear, what we do with the time we have is what truly matters.

Getting old sucks. It appears all bets are off once we hit fifty. Unfortunately, heavy metal has suffered yet another blow this year with the loss of Sanctuary/Nevermore front man, Warrel Dane.

I’ve always had the greatest respect for Dane’s voice and the music he delivered. I remember when Sanctuary arrived. The song “Battle Angels” dominated the air waves. The debut album, Refuge Denied, was produced by Megadeth icon Dave Mustaine and continues to be a highly regarded release. I’ve always thought of it as a pioneering effort. The music of Sanctuary is like Metal Church with more progression or perhaps even a darker version of Queensryche. This unique take on the ‘Seattle Metal Sound’ put the band on the map.

It made sense for this musical progression to evolve and eventually Sanctuary folded and Nevermore was born. In my mind the album, Dead Heart in a Dead World, is a musical masterpiece and furthered Dane’s place as a premier metal vocalist.

As I lament his unexpected loss, I find it difficult to judge his true impact.  At 56, I had the impression Dane was in the process of re-invention. His reunion with Sanctuary was praised and the 2014 release The Year the Sun Died was an awesome effort. Sanctuary put out a compilation release just this year (Inception – 2/24/17) and there were rumors Nevermore might reform.

We never know when the end will come but it’s clear, what we do with the time we have is what truly matters. Dane made good use of his time. His legacy with two high profile acts resulted ten full length albums, an achievement worthy of recognition. Warrel Dane may be gone but his unique artistry will be celebrated forever! \m/

Sanctuary (1988):
Warrel Dane – Vocals
Lenny Rutledge – Guitars
Jim Sheppard – Bass
Dave Budbil – Drums
Sean Blosl – Guitars

Nevermore (2000) :
Warrel Dane – Vocals
Jeff Loomis – Guitars
Jim Sheppard – Bass
Van Williams – Drums

 

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