Earlier this week, Warrel Dane, frontman of Sanctuary and Nevermore, unexpectedly died of a suspected heart attack. For over 30 years, Dane had been one of the strongest singers in heavy metal, giving voice to a wide tapestry of different genres and forms using his incredible falsetto and precise harmonies. In his memory, we're looking back at his time in Nevermore, Sanctuary and his various solo pursuits.

Dane saw his beginnings in thrash metal band Sanctuary. Their debut album "Refuge Denied" featured songs that would go onto be thrash essentials, such as "Battle Angels" and their cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." They would follow it up with their epic Into the Mirror Black, progressing their sound with cuts like "Future Tense and "Eden Lies Obscured." The group would break up and pick up where they left off 18 years later on The Year the Sun Died. 

Nevermore were a long running prog-metal band based in Seattle, Wash. that helped combined elements of power metal and straight-up hard rock to give a fresh take in the genre. They debuted in 1995 with their self-titled album, which showed a lot of great promise. In addition to charging riff work, Dane's vocals were frenzied and unafraid to get theatrical. Songs like "C.B.F." showed his range and force in full motion, bringing an ability to almost sound like completely different people in one song. In Memory and The Politics of Ecstasy both helped to evolve the band's sound, hitting a peak with Dead Heart in a Dead World. Dane's voice had to be heard in person to be believed, and as such we've included live takes of "Enemies of Reality" and "I, Voyager."

Dane also released an excellent solo album in 2008, Praises to the War Machine. It's a good middle point between the two bands, fusing together thrash and prog for a tight sound. "Lucretia My Reflection" represents the heavier side, "Your Chosen Misery" exemplifying his melodic abilities.

No matter if you're a diehard fan of Warrel Dane's work, or someone who wasn't familiar and wants to sink their teeth in, the playlist has something to satisfy any fan of metal. Check it out below.

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