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La Raza

Armored Saint

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Album Review

This is Armored Saint's first album in a decade, but it doesn't sound that way. The L.A.-based hard rock/metal quintet, whose lineup has remained remarkably consistent since 1982, have written ten songs that hold their own with the best from their five previous albums. They're not trying to out-heavy younger bands; they're doing what they've always done, but they're also willing to acknowledge their age and the knowledge and awareness time has brought them. The bluesy guitar solo on the lyrically mature "Chilled" picks up where their cover of Robin Trower's "Day of the Eagle," on the demos-and-leftovers compilation Nod to the Old School, left off. There's also a tinge of Latin music, acknowledging the background of the Sandoval brothers, who play guitar and drums in the group — from the "Low Rider"-like cowbell that opens the album, to the percussion and almost Santana-esque bassline of the stretched-out, near-seven-minute title track. On that song as well as "Bandit Country," the guitar solos are heavily psychedelic in a way that's reminiscent of Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro. There are some retro touches here and there on La Raza, including Mellotron on "Head On" and a female chorus on the title track, but this is, for the most part, a somewhat classicist metal record. There are no concessions made to listeners who don't like cranked guitars, thundering drums, and raw-throated, soulful vocals. The one thing this album does best is make the case that John Bush should never have wasted his time fronting Anthrax when he could have been making killer metal with his first — and vastly superior — band.

Customer Reviews

New Armored Saint rocks!!!

Great to see Armored Saint back with a new release, and they do not disappoint. Armored Saint is one of those bands that never really got the credit they deserved back in the day, and never quite broke as big like some of their contemporaries. This new release is great - some of the intro's are a little drawn out, but this doesn't really take away from the appeal of the tracks. Great production, solid riffs and amazing vocals (as always) from John Bush, one of the best talents out there.

Standout tracks? They're all good, but "Left Hook From Right Field" and "Little Monkey" rip along pretty well.

Anthrax really dropped the ball, as some of their best stuff featured John Bush on vocals.

one af my all time favorites

one of the best albums in the last 10 years, great comeback, hope to see another.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although many associate hard rock from Los Angeles in the early '80s as all glossed up and pop-based (Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Quiet Riot, etc.), there were a select few true metal bands to emerge from the same locale, such as Armored Saint. Formed in 1982 and originally comprised of members John Bush (vocals), David Pritchard (guitar), Phil Sandoval (guitar), Joey Vera (bass), and Gonzo (drums, brother of Phil Sandoval), the group specialized in a style of straight-ahead metal that was compared to such...
Full bio
La Raza, Armored Saint
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Mar 16, 2010

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