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La Raza

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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


I hate to be writing a less than stellar blurb about this record, I really do. I've loved AS since I discovered them with "March of the Saint," and firmly believe that John Bush is the best thing that ever happened to Anthrax.

After listening to this cd for a couple days, I can narrow my disappointment down to 2 things at fault here. No hooks and poor lyrics. There is honestly not one song on here that I immediately went, "oh man, I have to hear that again," nor anything that stuck with me after repeated listenings. Theres a lot of widdly-widdly guitar work and some good riffs, but nothing memorable or "classic." The lyric issue is harder to describe and just felt very forced to me. I don't think lines have to rhyme all the time, but if you're going to rhyme them, be at least a little creative! Yes guys, "more" rhymes with "score," very good. There's a lot of lyrical choices that just don't fit and certainly don't flow right with the songs. It's like they jammed pre-written lyrics into unrelated songs in some cases. John Bush sounds as good as ever, but they've drowned his voice in 80's echo and chorus to the point where it negatively affects overall production.

Don't get me wrong here, it's not a horrible record or anything, but these guys are capable of so much better. I look very forward to a new record with Anthrax and John, where they've locked in on the secret of heavy AND catchy without even trying too hard. \m/

Killer L. A. Swag

Crushing, confrontational new slab from the legendary but underappreciated metal stalwarts. Savvy lyrics, terse riffs, resonant vocals . . . all underscored with the heavy-blues-meets-Latin-street-rhythm flavor that has been the Saint's secret weapon since the early 80s. Pricelss stuff.


I've been a fan since the first EP. I love that they recorded this on analog gear and stayed away from triggers and all of the digital trappings that have really squeezed the life out of recorded music over the last 2 decades. This band still has a soul! John Bush's vocals are always on fire!!! ARMORED SAINT RULES!!!! What a great band to grow up on and grow old with!!


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 comprising John Bush (vocals), David Pritchard (guitar), Phil Sandoval (guitar), Joey Vera (bass), and Gonzo Sandoval (drums, brother of Phil), the group specialized in a style of straight-ahead metal that was compared to such New Wave...
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La Raza, Armored Saint
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal
  • Released: Mar 16, 2010

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