Armored Saint
A classic power metal band who are one of the most underrated bands in the history of metal. Despite their overwhelming popularity in California in the early
80's, they never were able to gain mainstream success and will probably be more remembered as the band that John Bush was in before Anthrax. Guitarist
Dave Prichard past away in February 28, 1990 of leukemia. Current guitarist Jeff Duncan was formerly of Odin.

Armored Saint Armored Saint (Metal Blade) 1983

SIDE ONE
1. "Lesson Well Learned" (2:52)
2. "False Alarm" (4:03)
SIDE TWO
3. "On the Way" (4:43)

This EP is what started it all for Armored Saint. Heavy as a frieght train full of steel, all three songs on this album are simply fantastic, heavy metal. Prichard's was a riff master and vocalist John Bush had a voice that was nothing like the hordes of bands coming out of California. His raspy howl gave Saint a unique sound. Armored Saint should have been one of the biggest bands on the planet.

The tracks here are included on the "Nod to the Old School" compilation. There also exists a version with the following tracklisting (which is basically their original demo).

Saints Will Conquer Armored Saint - March of the Saint (Metal Blade) 1984

1."March of the Saint" (4:11)
2."Can U Deliver" (3:34)
3."Mad House" (3:53)
4."Take a Turn" (3:50)
5."Seducer" (3:49)
6."Mutiny on the World" (3:29)
7."Glory Hunter" (5:09)
8."Stricken by Fate" (3:30)
9."Envy" (2:56)
10."False Alarm" (4:14)

I love this album. I mean it's just 100% nostalgia here! 100%, balls-to-the-wall heavy metal and I really dig John Bush's vocals.

Armored Saint | Delerious Nomad Armored Saint - Delirious Nomad (Metal Blade) 1985

1. "Long Before I Die" (2:48)
2. "Nervous Man" (3:59)
3. "Over the Edge" (4:49)
4. "The Laugh" (4:19)
5. "Conqueror" (4:26)
6. "For the Sake" (4:21)
7. "Aftermath" (5:30)
8. "In the Hole" (3:50)
9. "You're Never Alone" (4:37)
10."Released" (3:04)

"Delirious Nomad" is power metal! Armored Saint's production improved 10x over their debut. John Bush's vocals are stronger and more powerful. This cd is a superb follow-up to their excellent debut. This album was originally issue on Chrysalis but has since been re-issued on Metal Blade.

Armored Saint - Saints Will Conquer (Metal Blade) 1988

1. "Raising Fear" (3:32)
2. "Nervous Man" (3:33)
3. "Chemical Euphoria" (4:10)
4. "Book of Blood" (4:45)
5. "Can U Deliver" (4:32)
6. "Long Before I Die" (2:42)
7. "Madhouse" (4:21)
8. "No Reason to Live"[studio track] (4:01)

A short live album that showcased one of America's finest heavy metal bands at their prime. The album manages to capture the live energy from a Saint show that the band has failed to capture on their studio albums. Songs like "Madhouse" and "Can U Deliver" come to life on this EP. "Saints Will Conquer" also features an early studio demo song titled "No Reason to Live."

Raising Fear Armored Saint - Raising Fear (Chrysalis) 1988

1. "Raising Fear" (3:50)
2. "Saturday Night Special" (4:23)
3. "Out on a Limb" (3:33)
4. "Isolation" (6:00)
5. "Chemical Euphoria" (4:45)
6. "Crisis of Life" (4:05)
7. "Frozen Will/Legacy" (6:00)
8. "Human Vulture" (5:26)
9. "Book of Blood" (4:41)
10. "Terror" (4:44)
11. "Underdogs" (4:18)

This would be the last Armored Saint album for guitarist Dave Pritchard who died of leukemia a few years after it's release. His last album was also one of his best. "Raising Fear" is one heavy album. Features an excellent Skynyrd cover "Saturday Night Special."

Armored Saint - Symbol of Salvation (Metal Blade) 1991

1."Reign of Fire" (3:57)
2."Dropping Like Flies" (4:39)
3."Last Train Home" (5:18)
4."Tribal Dance" (4:07)
5."The Truth Always Hurts" (4:19)
6."Half Drawn Bridge" [instrumental] (1:27)
7."Another Day" (5:32)
8."Symbol of Salvation" (4:35)
9."Hanging Judge" (3:45)
10."Warzone" (3:38)
11."Burning Question" (4:18)
12."Tainted Past" (7:04)
13."Spineless" (4:16)

"Symbol of Salvation" is Armored Saint finest effort to date. This one came out shortly after the death of original guitarist Dave Prichard. Prichard, who the band named the King of the Riff, wrote most of the material on this disc shortly before his death. On "Tainted Past" the band even dubs in one of Prichard's solos from a 1984 4-track demo. It was painfully obvious how much the other members of Armored Saint missed him. In any case, this is a classic metal platter. Songs like the smokin' album opener ""Reign of Fire" and the infectious "Tribal Dance" are some of my all time favorites by the band. John Bush never sounded as powerful as he did on this disc. It's a shame that shortly after it's release the band broke up. Not long after that John Bush was snapped up by Anthrax. Joey Vera went on to be with Fates Warning and release a solo CD.

Revelation Armored Saint - Revelation (Metal Blade) 1999

1. "Pay Dirt" (4:12)
2. "Pillar" (4:58)
3. "After Me, the Flood" (5:07)
4. "Tension" (5:23)
5. "Creepy Feelings" (5:24)
6. "Damaged" (6:30)
7. "Den of Thieves" (6:03)
8. "Control Issues" (6:22)
9. "No Me Digas" (5:05)
10. "Deep Rooted Anger" (5:19)
11. "What's Your Pleasure" (3:06)
12. "Upon My Departure" (4:40)

With Anthrax's Scott Ian and Charlie Benante off running around performing with S.O.D., John Bush had some time to get together with bassist Joey Vera (Fates Warning) to reconvene the Saint's "Symbol of Salvation" line-up and record a new album. "Revelation" is the band's fifth full-length studio album and is their second without guitarist Dave Prichard. Much like "Symbol of Salvation", Prichard's presence can still be felt in the songwriting. In fact, "Creepy Feelings" and "What's Your Pleasure" were original written and demoed with Prichard during the writing sessions for what would become "Symbol of Salvation". "Creepy Feelings" especially has that classic Armored Saint sound. "Revelation" really does sound like the natural follow-up to "Symbol" despite the years between releases. It's packed full of straight-forward, American heavy metal with commander-in-chief John Bush bellowing over top with his raspy howl. Thankfully, in a time when heavy metal was considered a dirty word, Saint didn't go for the "modern" 1990's sound. Instead they stuck to their brand of tried-and-true, traditional heavy metal with only the slightest hints of speed and thrash metal.

The song "The Pillar" was originally written for the 1992 movie "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth". In that movie the band makes a cameo appearance performing the song "Hanging Judge" at the 'Boiler Room' club.

Nod to the Old School Armored Saint - Nod to the Old School (Metal Blade) 2001

1. "Real Swagger" (4:20)
2. "Unstable" (4:48)
3. "March of the Saint" [2001 version] (3:55)
4. "Day of the Eagle" (5:32)
5. "Never Satisfied" (4:35)
6. "Tainted Past" [2001 version] (3:13)
7. "After Me, the Flood" [live] (5:13)
8. "Creepy Feelings" [live] (4:55)
9. "Lesson Well Learned" (2:52)
10. "False Alarm" (4:02)
11. "On the Way" (4:43)
12. "Stricken by Fate " (3:28)
13. "You Can Run But You Can't Hide" (4:14)
14. "Betty '79" (:54)
15. "People" (4:07)
16. "Get Lost" (3:41)
17. "Tongue and Cheek" (4:27)
18. "Pirates" (3:09)

Well it certainly can't be said that Armored Saint ever were 'new school' nor have they really ridden any trends, but one bandwagon they did jump on is the current trend to release compilations of rare material, a trend that I like, being a collector of rare metal. 'Nod to the Old School' is a very nice odds and sods disc for their fans, as it compiles new studio tracks, live songs from their 2000 tour, all tracks from the original 1983 EP, soundtrack inclusions, old demo recordings with original guitarist Dave Prichard, who passed away from leukemia and a few other rarities. Among the new studio tracks is a remake of "March of the Saint" as well as three new songs recorded in 2001, an acoustic version of Symbol of Salvation's "Tainted Past", and 'Never Satisfied,' a song apparently recorded during the 'Revelation' sessions. All these songs are superb. I especially enjoyed the re-recorded version of 'March of the Saint.' The production being so much heavier that the 80's version, I think I actually like this new version better. There are a few very cool cover songs on this disc as well. It's about time some metal band payed homage to Robin Trower, one of the innovators of the heavy guitar sound. Armored Saint do a fine metallic version of 'Day of the Eagle.' And what metal band could release a cd like this without paying homage to the mighty Priest? Armored Saint's inclusion is "Never Satisfied" from the tribute 'Tributo a Judas Priest: Metal Gods'. The inclusion of their original EP is nice, and even the demo tracks aren't bad for four track recordings. Nice packaging as well with photos old and new and sufficient liner notes. Overall, one of the better odds and sods cds to be released.

Symbol of Salvation Box Symbol of Salvation Box Armored Saint - Symbol of Salvation [Box Set] (Metal Blade) 2003

DISC ONE
1."Reign of Fire" (3:57)
2."Dropping Like Flies" (4:39)
3."Last Train Home" (5:18)
4."Tribal Dance" (4:07)
5."The Truth Always Hurts" (4:19)
6."Half Drawn Bridge" [instrumental] (1:27)
7."Another Day" (5:32)
8."Symbol of Salvation" (4:35)
9."Hanging Judge" (3:45)
10."Warzone" (3:38)
11."Burning Question" (4:18)
12."Tainted Past" (7:04)
13."Spineless" (4:16)
DISC TWO
Symbol of Salvation [demos]
1."Reign of Fire" (4:34)
2."Dropping Like Flies" (5:10)
3."Last Train Home" (5:18)
4."Tribal Dance" (3:52)
5."The Truth Always Hurts" (4:24)
6."Another Day" (5:44)
7."Symbol of Salvation" (4:21)
8."Hanging Judge" (3:44)
9."Warzone" (3:44)
10."Burning Question" (4:21)
11."Tainted Past" (7:39)
12."Spineless" (4:26)
Interview with Brian Slagel Pt. 1
13. Intro
14. The writing process begins
15. Illness hits home
16. Now what?
DISC THREE
Interview with Brian Slagel Pt. 2
1. Now what?
2. Pick up the pieces
3. Dave Jerdan
4. Choosing the songs
5. The songs: Reign of Fire
6. Dropping Like Flies
7. Last Train Home
8. Tribal Dance
9. The Truth Always Hurts
10. Half Drawn Bridge
11. Another Dau
12. Symbol of Salvation
13. Hanging Judge
14. Warzone
15. Burning Question
16. Tainted Past
17. Spineless
18. Mixing
19. Cover art
20. Looking back
21. Goodbye and thank you

If you are going to remaster and re-release a classic metal album, this is the way to do it. Metal Blade's release of Symbol of Salvation is three disc box set that not only contains a vastly superior sound on the album, but also a disc full of demo recordings and another with interviews regarding the recording process. I still stand by my original review that Symbol of Salvation is Armored Saint's finest moment despite having been recorded after the tragic death of guitarist/songwriter Dave Prichard. The demo CD contains what is suppose to be four track recordings, but to be quite honest, I have heard albums that were recorded way worse than these tracks. The recording quality here is actually pretty darn good. Of course, these tracks were recorded before Dave's death, so it is his leads that are contained herein. The demo versions are at times quite different from the final versions. Besides the differences in the lead work, some of the choruses are different, as are some of the song arrangements. The interview disc is a nice addition but not something I would probably ever listen to more than once. The cover art, while resembling the original, has been changed and the original Armored Saint logo restored. All the original liner notes, lyrics, etc. are still in place but some new photos have been added to the package as well. The entire three disc set is wrapped in a cardboard slipcase.

La Raza Armored Saint - La Raza (Metal Blade) 2010

1. Loose Cannon (5:46)
2. Head On (5:06)
3. Left Hook From Right Field (5:31)
4. Get Off The Fence (4:48)
5. Chilled (5:02)
6. La Raza (6:41)
7. Black Feet (5:07)
8. Little Monkey (4:45)
9. Blues (3:32)
10. Bandit Country (5:16)

New Armored Saint! Over ten years since "Revelation" the "Symbol of Salvation" line-up picks up where it left off. Armored Saint have their own sound, style and a definite charisma. However, part of that charisma died when the master of riffs, Dave Prichard passed away. Still, the remaining members still have a vibe together, even if they will never sound exactly like the classic line-up. The band manages to continue to forge ahead, progressing in their sound with each new album, without really repeating themselves. While nothing on "La Raza" is going to be mistaken for material from "March or Die", there is still no mistaking this band for anyone else. "La Raza" is heavy metal made by the one and only Armored Saint.

I also feel that Saint took a slight step ahead with "La Raza" over "Revelation". Several tracks stick out in my mind after only a couple listens. "Head On" and the title track immediately come to mind. "Head On" has a ton of groove. The title track is a nearly seven minute track that experiments with percussion and heavy grooves as well. Purists may roar in outrage at the term groove, but frankly, Armored Saint have always had a bit of groove to their sound. Tracks like "Loose Cannon" and "Left Hook from Right Field" have all the attitude and charisma of any Armored Saint album. I was sort of shocked to read reviews on this album claiming that the band was no longer playing heavy metal but "just hard rock". Frankly, I think people have forgotten what real heavy metal sounds like. Perhaps songs like "Chilled" are a bit more melodic than classic tracks like "Can U Deliver" or "Mad House", but this is still heavy metal. This is still Armored Saint!

John Bush still sounds as great as he always has. His raspy howl is like no other. He sings with all the attitude, passion and fire that he always has. The album is chock full of tasty guitar licks as well. Prichard may be gone, but his successors do a great job of filling his hard to fill shoes. The production isn't overly modern. Many modern albums are just loud for loud sake. "La Raza" is a bit softer and slightly flat, but it's certainly not bad at all. In fact, I found nothing wrong with it at all as I had it cranked through my car system. "La Raza" may not top every fan's list as their favorite from Armored Saint. After all, any band with a history as long as Armored Saint will always have to fight with the nostalgia factor. Fans will always hold those classic albums in higher regard than the newer ones. However, "La Raza" is still a great album. In fact, Armored Saint can still deliver!

Related Collections:
Anthrax | Joey Vera | Fates Warning

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