Armored Saint-March of the saint
What do you think of when someone mentions the LA metal or hard rock scene in the 1980's? You probably think of Motley Crue, Ratt, Poison and the like. Yet between about 1981 and 1985 there were a number of classic, speed and doom metal bands that emerged from LA as well. Metallica started out there before relocating and we all know that Slayer and Megadeth were from there. However the likes of Dark Angel, Laaz Rockit, Savage Grace, Abattoir, Agent Steel, Warrior, Hirax, Saint Vitus, Cirith Ungol and Armored Saint also came from LA in the early to mid-1980's. Armored Saint are a band who I have liked since I first heard them twenty-some years ago. "March of the saint" was their debut lp and it's largely mid-tempo classic style metal with strong vocals and a straight forward approach. Certainly nothing fancy or ground breaking, but it doesn't have to be. However unlike many of their peers they don't sound a whole like anyone who came before them so that's a plus. John Bush is probably one of the best metal vocalists to come out of our country. The guitars are fine and keep things going and I always thought the band had a better than average rhythm section. I don't pretend that this is their best effort though because I think each of their next three efforts would see the band's music becoming more complex and they would eventually peak with their 1991 masterpiece "Symbol of salvation". Unfortunately for Armored Saint I think Chrysalis records wasn't sure how to market them. I also think that this band may have emerged a few years too late. They were merely debuting about the time classic mid-tempo style metal was peaking. By the late 80's when Armored Saint were coming into their own style-wise, this brand of music had been somewhat replaced by speed metal on one end and hair metal of the opposite side of the spectrum. Still I guess they will just have to settle for being one of the best American metal bands of their time. Not a bad label to have in my opinion though.
***Remember this is Trans-American Metal Monday so pop over to rock of ages and read what Bill has to say on this album.
****Also thanks to Bill for doing this four week long project with me as it has been challenging and fun.