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Armored Saint - La Raza

Armored Saint
La Raza
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 18 March 2010, 2:03 PM

ARMORED SAINT did a really good impression in 'Keep It True' festival last year and to top things off they presented the brand new track "Loose Cannon". This track was well received and raised the metalheads' expectations for the successor of "Nod To Old School" from the year of 2001. Personally, I am kind of afraid of this comebacks since most of times reunions turn to be a bad good idea having little to do with the band's prime days. Actually, this is why it took me so long to write this review; because I wanted to be sure about my sayings without being carried away by my emotions as a fan.

In the accompanying promo sheet Joey Vera says that this album was created because the band felt like writing new music. Now, if you think a little bit then you will discover this is the best way to do an album; when a band gets into the grinding machine of release album-tour-release album - tour and so on, it -most of the times- loses the initial passion and eventually the spirit of making music for the shake of making music. Now, after the album has matured in my mind I can say that this is not the case for ARMORED SAINTS. So, let's get down with the album itself…

The nice intro introduces "Loose Cannon" that as discovered in 'KIT' festival breathes some of the "Revelation" air. Mid tempo guitars, Bush's distinct vocals and the addictive groove welcomes ARMORED SAINT back. "Head On" continues in this mid paced tempo where Bush proves once again that this is his home and that little has to do with ANTHRAX. I dare to say that ARMORED SAINT still carry part of their 80s character under the nowadays' looking glass and -as always- great guitar work. It is pretty obvious that ARMORED SAINT did not try to re-invent the "March Of The Saint" atmosphere and hence, this album has an up-to-date sound and modern finishing touches.

But, who can say no to Bush's traditional vocals Sandoval's signature guitar playing and Vera's composing skills? No one is the answer and songs like "La Raza" with the addictive groove and the Spanish embed sounds or the funky-esque "Bandit Country" with the killer chorus will simply underline this response. The icing on the cake is "Black Feet" that follows the "No Me Digas" (from "Revelations") recipe introducing the Latin character (found almost everywhere) among the excellent bass doodle and a solid rhythm. It is also pretty obvious the band's intentions to sound modern without following recipes by adding funky guitar phrases and in points stepping on Hard Rock territories.

It seems the Saint is back with renewed forces although he is not wearing the shining Heavy Metal armor from the "March Of The Days" era. This band comprises excellent musicians who decided to produce an album because they like doing so. I hope that he album will take ARMORED SAINT on the road where they can deliver.

3 Star Rating

  1. Loose Cannon
  2. Head On
  3. Left Hook from Right Field
  4. Get Off the Fence
  5. Chilled
  6. La Raza
  7. Black Feet
  8. Little Monkey
  9. Blues
  10. Bandit Country
John Bush - Vocals
Joey Vera - Bass
Jeff Duncan - Guitar
Phil Sandoval - Guitar
Gonzo Sandoval - Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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