Inner Sanctum were, so to speak, one of England's unsung Metal heroes. Before their untimely demise, they played a brand of Thrash that had one foot firmly in the Prog Metal genre - musically it was something not far off from Psychotic Waltz. The demos Inner Sanctum recorded are hard to find but a few moons ago, Divebomb Records neatly gathered the lot of into this 2-CD release.
The demos are presented in reverse chronological order and each demo has its own (slight) variation in the balance of heaviness, melody, progressiveness and rawness. In "Shine", for instance, the band had a particularly daring technical stance. All demos suffer from weak production values, which is perhaps understandable given the nature their source. Nevertheless, the skills of all the band members are patently clear wherever you care the look/hear. John Knight's screams, for instance, sound incredible.....just check out 'Of Profit To The Wise' or 'Shine' to see what I mean.
Sometimes the songs lack a bit of cohesion with the band members appearing to go in different directions. Yet nothing distracts from the intensity and musicality of the compositions. 'Excellence Of Stagnation', from the "Sensorium" demo of 1992, sounds like Faith No More on steroids. The guitar melodies and tempo changes, particularly in "Questions?", seem to have strong influences from Atheist (this is a positive inference in case you're wondering).
As much as I lamented the demise of Inner Sanctum, the band's vocalist, guitarist and bassist (respectively John Knight, Ian Knight and Kev Jackson) went on to form Synaptik, where they remain to this day and which I consider to be a musically more mature version of Inner Sanctum.
To my mind, there's no doubt that Inner Sanctum deserve to be acknowledged and remembered in the annals of English Metal and "Knowledge At Hand - The Anthology" is probably the best way to do this.