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Armored Saint - Symbol of Salvation Live

Armored Saint
Symbol of Salvation Live
by Ian Yera at 05 December 2021, 5:03 PM

I want to be right up front with this, ARMORED SAINT, is not a band I’m overly familiar with. I know I’ve heard their last couple albums because I make it a point to listen to releases from any big name band over the course of a year. The big problem is that I’m more of a prog head, and traditional heavy metal just isn’t really my thing. Nothing against people who love the more traditional stuff, but I want the readers to know where I’m coming from in my review. However I can dig deep, embrace my inner KISS fan and really dig into this live album.

So first off I really enjoyed the mix, it sounds fairly raw, and not at all sterile which can hurt live albums. When it comes to live recordings, I prefer for it not to sound too sterile, otherwise it feels like I might as well listen to the studio versions. The instruments are well balanced, and the vocals are clearly audible above everything which is great. The whole band sounds pretty tight and well rehearsed and overall this was a performance the band can be proud of. John Bush is putting in a solid performance and everyone sounds like they are fully engaged.  I also really appreciate how different these versions sound from the studio versions. After a quick bit of listening to the studio versions of songs, here the production gives all the songs an energy that just translates really well live, but also gives listeners a real reason to seek out this live album rather than just going through the studio albums.

Now I have to admit, this didn't really affect my feelings towards ARMORED SAINT. As a prog fan this kind of hard rock/heavy metal just isn't very interesting and has difficulty holding my attention for long. I don't know the band well enough to know whether their whole discography is as mid tempo as most of these songs are, or if they just happened to pick their more rock oriented songs. I just find myself bored by the songs picked here. A lot of them have a very similar feel, and the hooks are just so predictable and uninteresting to me. I constantly found myself wanting more speed and more aggression in general, but oh well. Like I said I’m not really an Armored Saint fan, but I can certainly appreciate the energy and presence of the band live, I’m sure they put on an excellent live show. Otherwise I don’t have a lot to say, it’s ARMORED SAINT if you like them then I think this will be a fun live collection of their classic songs.

Songwriting: 7/10
Musicianship: 7/10
Memorability: 7/10
Production: 7/10

3 Star Rating

01. Reign of Fire
02. Dropping Like Flies
03. Last Train Home
04. Tribal Dance
05. The Truth Always Hurts
06. Half Drawn Bridge
07. Another Day
08. Symbol of Salvation
09. Hanging Judge
10. Warzone
11. Burning Question
12. Tainted Past
13. Spineless
Joey Vera - Bass
Gonzo Sandoval - Drums
Phil Sandoval - Guitars
John Bush - Vocals
Jeff Duncan - Guitars
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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