Angry Metal Primer – Armored Saint

Over 40 years of metal’s biological urge (and a hefty lack of restraint) has resulted in some incomprehensibly large catalogs. No one should have to listen to anywhere from 13 to 15 [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire] albums just to get caught up for a new release. So whenever the fancy strikes us, we’re offering a selection of prime(r)(er) cuts to get you up to speed. Without further ado, welcome to…

Armored Saint is the ultimate blue-collar, work-a-day metal band. Despite having a major label deal dropped in their laps at the start of their career, they’ve somehow remained perpetual underdogs. They ditched the cheesy plastic stage armor by the time their well-regarded sophomore outing Delirious Nomad dropped, and they suffered the tragic loss of founding guitarist Dave Prichard to leukemia in 1990. Through it all and in defiance of every trend, their core sound remained unchanged, borrowing from hard rock and blues as much as from metal. Though they never made it to big league levels of mainstream popularity, individual members had their flirtations with fame. John Bush was famously courted by Metallica to take over vocals prior to recording Ride the Lightning so James Hetfield could focus full-time on guitar. Having no way of knowing just how big Metallica was destined to become, no one can blame Bush for balking at the thought of abandoning his long-time friends and bandmates. From there, history took the acts in starkly different directions. Bush would eventually jump ship to sing for Anthrax, and bassist Joey Vera would go on to join Fates Warning.

The boys never gave up their armored-plated dream though. The band comes back together to record when schedules allow. Despite the long stretches between releases, the output has remained solid and enjoyable, benefitting from mature perspectives and the sage wisdom of middle age. With a new album poised to drop and a documentary about their career in the works, it’s clear you just can’t keep a good Saint down, and so the march goes on.



  • March of the Saints, 1984
    – “March of the Saint”
    – “Can U Deliver”
    – “Glory Hunter
  • Delirious Nomad, 1985
    – “Long Before I Die”
    – “Nervous Man”
    – “For the Sake of Heaviness”
  • Raising Fear, 1987
    – “Chemical Euphoria”
    – “Isolation”
    – “Frozen Will/Legacy”
    – “Book of Blood”
  • Symbol of Salvation, 1991
    – “Reign of Fire”
    – “Last Train Home”
    – “Hanging Judge”
    – “Burning Question”
  • Revelation, 2000
    – “Pay Dirt”
    – “After Me, the Flood”
    – “Creepy Feelings”
  • La Raza, 2010
    – “Loose Cannon”
    – “Left Hook from Right Field”
  • Win Hands Down, 2015
    – “Win Hands Down”
    – “Mess”
    – “Muscle Memory”

Armored Saint’s eighth album Punching the Sky will be released on October 23rd worldwide via Metal Blade Records.

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