Sa-Sanctuary is a thrash band from San Antonio, Texas. Formed in late 80's, they would not see any payoff till 2000, when they signed a drummer from New England.
In 1987, Orlando (Orrie) Velasques and drummer Dino Duncan started a high school jam band, and students at Harlandale ISD started to take notice. After all, metal music in the 1980's was very en vogue. Eventually other friends joined the band, and before you could yell SLAYER, they were playing around the scene. Backyard parties and keggers were their main stage in the early days. The line-up was less than stable in those days - in fact, so many member changes took place that it seemed they had a different line-up each practice!
It wasn't until years later, in 1996, that the band found a third member who was a keeper. Angel Fuentes (of Mercenary and IBM fame) was at a standstill in his band Devoured Existence. Since Orrie and Angel had worked together in the past (Orrie had actually written Nails, one of Devoured's most popular tunes), Angel and Orrie decided that the two of them together would be a good base for a aggressive band, something the previous members did not bring to the table. Angel, a accomplished lead guitarist and vocalist, was initially just a singer in the band. This would change in 2000.
New Drummers and More Line Up Changes
Raul, a drummer who was better known as Stixx, was brought in from a past heavy metal band of Orrie's, called Redzer. Raul was not quite the style Sa Sanctuary was needing, but being a great drummer and friend, he got the job. Orrie would also recruited Jerry Casterlano from Redzer as the lead guitarist of Sa Sanctuary. A few months later, Overdrive keyboardist Eddie C. joined the project. It would not be till 1998 that Tony Ramirez would fill the longtime vacant bassist spot. They composed several tunes, including Force of Darkness, Sacrificial Lamb, The Elite, and The Battle.
The band's first release was certainly nothing highly produced - it was just a home recording job. However, it was this first tape that earned the band some notoriety. Fans, mainly teens and 20-something metal heads, would copy the tape and hand it around amongst their friends. The tape started to surface in places far flung from the SW United States.
New England Thrasher
It was around this time 1998 that a drummer from New England would get a copy of this EP from Texas. Coincidently, this drummer had a contact in San Antonio, hometown of Sa-Sanctuary. Mykill Aresco , relocated to Texas in 2000 and just happened to move to the exact neighborhood that Orrie Velasques was in - coincidentally only one block away! In May 2000, Mykill auditioned and got the full-time drummer slot. He replaced Stixx, whose style was beginning to become a problem for the band.
Bassists Come and Bassists Go
By mid 2000, bassits Tony R decided to leave the band; he had been feeling for some time that the musical style of the band didn't match his tastes and playing style. After his departure, a revolving cast of bassists played with the band, including:
* Jerry Casterlano
* Rick Florers
* Danny Jamimenz
* Ted Waryzniack
* Romeo Vallejo
Eventually since it was so hard for Orrie to find a good bassist that could keep up, the bassist spot in the band was dropped.
Guitarist Final Note
Jerry Casterlano decided to leave the band, thanks to tensions over the departure of Stixx, sparking a change in direction for the band. After much shifting around of band members, the final line up became:
* Angel Fuentes - Vocals / Lead Guitar
* Romeo Vallejo - Keyboards
* Orlando Velasquez - Guitar
* Mike (Mykill) Aresco - Drums
* 1987 4 song self-titled EP
* Abandon In Place 2001 demo
* Promises (2002 CD single)
* 4 song mini CD Sampler (2002)
* Abandon In Place Re-release