Here’s one L.A band that should’ve been huge, but for some reason, Armored Saint missed their boarding call on the voyage to success.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Armored Saint
ALBUM: March Of The Saint
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: John Bush – vocals * Dave Pritchard – guitars * Phil E Sandoval – guitars * Joey Vera – bass * Gonzo – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 March Of The Saint * 02 Can U Deliver * 03 Mad House * 04 Take A Turn * 05 Seducer * 06 Mutiny On The World * 07 Glory Hunter * 08 Stricken By Fate * 09 Envy * 10 False Alarm
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Here’s one L.A band that should’ve been huge, but for some reason, Armored Saint missed their boarding call on the voyage to success. Their place was taken up at the departure lounge by the likes of Motley Crue who as it turns out, went onto bigger and better things without a modicum of talent that others of the same era had.
Coming from that infamous era in Los Angeles music called the ‘NWLAHM’, we saw bands churned out by the thousands, some very good, others mostly crap. Of the good, we saw Dokken, Ratt, Malice and Quiet Riot. Of the not so good, we saw the likes of Cirith Ungol, Wizard (I liked these guys.. many others didn’t) and arguably Motley Crue, who if I’m pushed to describe, as the most overrated and over-hyped band of the 80’s.
We can fortunately add Armored Saint into the ‘good’ Category. ‘March Of The Saint’ was their full album offering, following on from their acclaimed EP ‘Lesson Well Learned’ at the start of the 1984 year. Despite the band originating from L.A, their sound was a complete mirror image of the British pairing of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
The galloping twin-guitar attack, and medieval ‘swords and sorcery’ approach admirable for its time, but as we look back years later, the image was pretty silly to be honest. The front cover displayed knights in shining armour, while the reverse cover had the band members resplendent in leather and chains on top of motorcycles – in true Mad Max style.
The music of Armored Saint however, retains much of the power and intensity left as an imprint from 1984. I slap the LP on, and remember this album with the same initial enthusiasm I had back then. I cannot say the same about all albums from that era, but this one definitely hangs about.
The title track ‘March Of The Saint’ kicks off in true Iron Maiden fashion. Rampant as would an invading army of soldiers into enemy territory. Second up is the excellent ‘Can U Deliver’, the video of which appears on the very first Kerrang video compilation. This is mainly American metal, with an emphasis on melodic elements.
‘Mad House’ follows, taking up a Priest like perspective on precedings. When the band slow things down to power-ballad mode, they sound great. ‘Take A Turn’ is one such track. An acoustic intro that works its way up to a tempered metal crescendo. ‘Seducer’ ends side one as a slab of commercial metal, meeting at the crossroads of power and melody.
Side two is a continuation of their brand of galloping HM. ‘Mutiny On The World’ and ‘Glory Hunter’ take up the challenge to the invading British Metal hordes that American metal is not to be underestimated. ‘Stricken By Fate’ is less of an all-out assault this time around. The track is mid-tempo and works its way around some aggressive riffs without the metronome going into overtim
‘Envy’ could very well be ‘Can U Deliver’ Part II, while the last track ‘False Alarm’ is fast and furious, again Iron Maiden is a reference point. This is the only track which had appeared previously on the ‘Lesson Well Learned’ EP, so they did well to include it at the end of the album, so as to focus on new material first. The bass work of Joey Vera on this one reminding us so much of Steve Harris’ full-on relentless style.
The album was received favourably everywhere, but as it turned out, did not break the band in the areas where it counted most – the bank balance. Armored Saint released the excellent but totally ignored ‘Delirious Nomad’ album the following year, and hung about through the hair metal era up until the early 90’s.
Armored Saint broke up and reformed later in the 90’s, but the initial spark was gone. John Bush went on to join Anthrax, while guitarist Dave Pritchard died of cancer in the early 90’s. A good band, and it’s great that they continue to write and record new music into the 21st century, and as a reward, Rock Candy Records released this in 2006 with all the trimmings as a reissue.
Can U Deliver
Entire Album (Select Tracks)