Formed in 2011 with a desire to delve into the sounds of “classic heavy metal”, Philadelphia’s Corners of Sanctuary very much stick to tradition when it comes to their brand of rock. Like Aussie metallers LORD, CoS occupy a space where the big hair and the leather trouser reigns; a musical spectrum where solos are closer to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest than any more “modern” acts you’d care to name. For all of that, though, their sound is often impressive; a riff-heavy machine that’s not just a celebration of the past, but proof that classic metal lives on. By sticking to their guns in championing a very traditional approach, they’ve shared stages with Saxon, Blaze Bayley, and Anvil. And, somehow, they’ve also shared bills with Enuff Z’Nuff and – bizarrely – Green Jelly. Their strong held belief that metal will never die obviously works for them.
In 2018, Croatian hard rockers Animal Drive released their debut album ‘Bite!’ on Frontiers Records. With plenty of hard rock crunch, the record drew parallels with the heavier end of Skid Row’s early output, as well as showing off more than a passing fancy with the late, great Ronnie James Dio. The record featured at least a half dozen cuts that were well worth hearing, but if anything, it was the Dio-tastic ‘Time Machine’ with its heavy but melodic riff which best demonstrated the band’s skills.