CD Review

Jed – “Sanctuary 200”

By Marcus Pan

Sanctuary 200We're going backwards today, as I've already reviewed Jed's most recent Synesthesia release already[1]. Sanctuary 200 came along to me as an afterthought (along with a hat, which I wear every sunny day of soccer practices or games). Going backwards is a standard for me...I do it in many facets of my life.

Sanctuary 200 is Jed's debut from 2000. It's packed with crunchy alterna-chunks of grunge moving ballads, religious complainings and thrashy strappy stompiness. It's a bit typical, easing into the ranks of nu-metal rockers with nary a peep, but you can see between Sanctuary 200 and Synesthesia how Jed has moved along strongly and found that maturity of sound that makes their more recent work stand out. Historically speaking, Sanctuary 200 is a good CD to have just to see how a common band can become uncommonly good between releases.

On this release we have Mike Henninger (bass), Mike Peterson (drums), Mike Carr (guitars) and Erik Heimann (vocals). I'm not sure if this is the same crew on Synesthesia, I should check but I'm too lazy today. Erik's voice is interesting - it's got a sinister quality to it, but sometimes will get kind of an angsty-whine thing going. Other times it will take a more rap-centric spitting quality to it with an excellent control of rhythm during that. Peterson's drumming is competent but somewhat unimpressive.

Saint Betraidus starts us off, one of the faster tunes of the album as its gets slower and grunge-like later on. A bit thrashy, very catchy movements. Jed will mix in some 311 style vocals in the next track, Sanctum, even a bit Limp Bizkit[2] like.

Lincoln's Log is probably a favorite. It has straightforward catchy guitar work and moves easily into a grungier rhythm style while using Erik's rhythmic vocal quality to advantage. Palindrome is Jed's opus here on Sanctuary 200 - an eleven minute grunge dirge. I love Henninger's bass work of Minion. It's rumbling, simple yet powerful, adding a deep seated intensity to Minion that becomes a founding element to the song.

Lyrics of Sanctuary 200 are very well written. Sanctum and Dan the Six Billionth Drone are examples of well-written word play. This fact is probably Jed's main claim to fame, at least here on Sanctuary 200. While the music itself is a bit dated, the lyrics make up for whatever lack of musical ingenuity this first release may have.

Contact Information:
Carnelian Agency
Phone: (360) 752-9829
[1] Reviewed in Legends #160.
[2] Believe it or not, Dan reviewed Limp Bizkit’s Three Dollar Bill Y’all way back in Legends #87.

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