Armored Saint-Symbol of salvation, 1991
In the summer of 1991 many critics were raving about Metallica's black album and it was selling like crazy. A lot of people seemed to think it was a "real" heavy metal album that was just very accessible. While all of this was going, the best album of 1991 had been released by a band who had been through the wringer. Armored Saint had lost their major label and then lost guitarist Dave Pritchard to leukemia in early 1990. Phil Sandoval who had left after the debut rejoined and they hired former Odin guitarist Jeff Duncan so now they had two guitarists. It takes maybe thirty seconds of the opening track Reign of fire to realize that this was a special album. Saint had spent their other three albums building off of each previous release and by Symbol of salvation they had reached their pinnacle. This album contains 13 tracks and all of them are either great or very good so it has quantity and quality, what more can you ask for? Hanging Judge, Another Day and Tainted Past are just a few of the killers on this album. John Bush has long been one of my favorite singers and he was completely on with this entire album. By 1991 not a lot of bands were playing the classic style metal that had been so prevalent in the early to mid-80's but Armored Saint were doing it and doing it better than it had been done in several years. This one is a Metal Mark must have.