Sanctum & Solace // Made Wrong [EP Review]

Band: Sanctum & Solace

Release: Made Wrong

Area: Mackay, North Queensland

Date of release: 23rd of February

Genre: Hardcore

Reviewer: Aaron van Akker

For Fans Of: Pulled Apart By Horses, Life Pilot, Beartooth

Next Gig: Presumably a tour or EP Launch?


Not only that, but its kicking you straight in the face from sunny Mackay in North Queensland. There is just something about local Australian bands making killer music that gets my rocks off and this 15 minute absolute slog fest of an E.P from Sanctum & Solace, well let’s just say, it tickled me in all the right places.

"Made Wrong" is set to be released this Friday the 23rd of February and I have a feeling it’s going to gain a lot of attention, this is that kind of release that once some one hears it, they WILL be telling people about it, it’s hard hitting, short, sweet and leaves a huge impression, which is hard to do these days, and even more impressive that this four piece managed to do it in only 6 tracks.

From the opening track (Coincidentally called 'Intro') Sanctum & Solace really set the pace right out of the gates. Throwing out some heat that sort of gives of a Beartooth style vibe in the beginning, but don’t let that fool you, the aggression is coming and it’s coming hard. This will have you throwing your head around as soon as it kicks in and in a matter of 36 seconds of pure energy its over as quick as it started, rolling straight into the next track like a runaway freight train. In fact the first few times I listened through I thought it was all one track until I started to break the entire release down and I realised how wrong I was.

Vocalist Justin Kelly is ripping apart your eardrums as soon as the second track 'Slave' opens, and with the backing of some pure hardcore riffs at the hands of James Levin on guitar and Benjamin Burrows on bass, this track goes off like a frog in a sock and doesn’t sound like it’s going to calm down until around the one minute thirty mark where the slight change in feel slowly creeps in and by about two minutes in, the tone of the song has changed completely to an oddly calming jam that will be sure to have you rocking side to side breathing heavily trying to regain some sort of composure after all the thrashing around you’ve done up until that point. It’s like one of those sort of sad boy rock calming moments of clarity that wash over you as you fully realise what’s just happened and the possibility of what’s to come.

Starting off with the crisp cracks of Mike Hutchison’s Snare and the driving guitar of James Levin, '1096' doesn’t drop the opening pace either. It seems like the boys have set out to have every track grab you by the neck and force you to pay attention before breaking off into another fascist of their song writing ability, and it works. The intro pulls you in and for the first listen through will have you wondering what is coming around the bend. It will have you throwing down and the chorus will have you screaming along into the sky before taking you to slam town and ending abruptly.

Justin has this aggression and belief in his vocals that makes you believe in what he’s saying. This becomes even more apparent later in the EP on the track 'Taedium Vitae'. With opening lines like “Well are you bored, with living, not fully satisfied with what you’ve been given, because I’m bored, with living, with pill-heads and DJ’s and shallow opinions” how can you not feel like he has an opinion to share, and when you throw these sorts of messages at the head of this in your face, full blown, hardcore sound it’s a recipe for a killer track. This band just fucking works, it’s hardcore and unapologetically hardcore, with hints of other influences thrown in just to change it up.

Having said all that, there are some things on the EP that kind of get to me, it is clear that the boys have their influences, and whether it was intentional or not, they shine through. Be it the before mentioned 'Intro' that sounds a lot like a Beartooth track, of the lyrical pattern and content of some of the lyrics in 'Taedium Vitae' that follow an idea and rhythm similar to a Stray From The Path track, I'd just like to say it’s great to pay homage to others but always try and make it your own.

Over all this EP is right up my alley and will be on my rotation for a while. I hope to see and hear more from these lads in the future.

Support your local artists, support your local scene. Without you it wouldn’t exist.

Bandcamp - Big Cartel - Spotify

Vocals: 8/10

Guitars: 8/10

Bass: 8/10

Drums: 8/10

Lyrics: 8/10

Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 4/5

Mixing: 7/10

Production: 13/20

Structure: 15/20

Overall: 79/100

Personal Enjoyment: 9/10

#SanctumandSolace #PulledApartByHorses #LifePilot #Beartooth

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