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Sanctuary – Sanctuary Vol 1 & 2 Review

Cinematic music for alien vistas.

Sounds like….

Cinematic music for alien vistas.

The review

Released as a double EP, “Sanctuary Vol 1 & 2” come from a composer and visual art collective of the same name. Sanctuary are composer Jose Parody and film composers Grayson Sanders and Leviticus Penner. Parody and Sanders worked on Vol 1 and Penner on Vol 2 but the idea is that their cinematic ambience tells a continuous story throughout. This is a collection for listeners of film scores, Philip Glass, orchestra ambience and game soundtracks like Journey or Abzu from Austin Wintory.

There is a cinematic brilliance to several of the songs that really drew me in. In particular the tracks “Rift” and “In Absolute” are hugely emotive and grande in their form. They both follow the idea of long sweeping string arrangements that have either strings or light synths bleeping away at speed underneath. The music swells and swells over the course of the track leading to a climactic conclusion. Think sci-fi movie planet or vista reveal sequence and you are in the right ballpark. Vol 1 is far more cinematic and orchestral and as a result, is probably the easier of the two to get into.

screenshot of Sanctuary

Whilst being titled “Sanctuary”, Vol 2 is less choral and aural and feels at times a bit like an alien world. Tracks like “Twice Becomes Always” have a pensive shroud to them as distance guitar wails echo over inquisitive synth chords. “Mendacius” still provides a cinematic flair but its the transitional song moving us away from voice and string to a more synthetic sound. After exploring some of the more clouded tracks, the conclusion returns to beautiful harmony again with the warm and cosy piano of “Monochopsis” and the organ hues of “Toska”. It’s as if the music had to take a journey of uncertainty to clarify the place of sanctuary.

What I enjoyed about Sanctuary is that it doesn’t skip on the melody or the layers. Often when composers badge their music as healing or sanctuary music, it’s a thin drone that doesn’t evolve much. That’s not the case here at all. The music is full of life and soul and could happily sit as a film score as much as a mindful journey. Austin Wintory and Philip Glass fans especially – check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended track: In Absolute

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Sanctuary - Sanctuary Vol 1 and 2



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