Album Review — Armored Saint
Armored Saint — Punching The Sky
Armored Saint have been around a very long time. They formed in 1982 and released their first EP in 1983. In those nearly 40 years, the band has only released eight full length studio records, with “Punching The Sky” being the latest.
The band has stayed mostly in tact over the years. Original guitarist Dave Prichard passed away in 1990 and Bush left the band for a seven year run in Anthrax. Since Bush’s return, the band has stayed together despite long runs of inactivity.
Armored Saint always seem to fall in between musically. They weren’t as heavy as Metallica and Megadeth but they were heavier than many of the 80s hair bands. The more I listen to them the more they remind me of Iron Maiden. Twin guitars, soaring vocals, driving beat and plenty of melody.
Their musical style continues in that vein. John Bush sounds fantastic. His range is still impressive and more than ever he reminds me of Bruce Dickinson. That’s high praise but the man can simply sing.
There are some really strong tracks on “Punching The Sky”. “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” opens the album and clocks in at almost seven minutes. It’s aggressive and melodic and everything Armored Saint fans will love.
“Missile to Gun” sounds like it could have been on an 80s Maiden record. It’s driving with twin guitars and Bush sounds so good. Great track.
“Unfair” is a moodier song that slowly builds throughout the track. It’s not your typical Armored Saint track but it’s a good one.
“Bubble”, “My Jurisdiction”, “Lone Wolf” and “Fly In The Ointment” also stand out as high quality songs.
The rest of the album is very good. There are no bad tracks here and the band pretty much sticks to their sound.
Listening through “Punching The Sky” I had two prevailing thoughts. First, I need to give this record a few more listens. And second, I need to spend a little more time on their catalogue.
Fans of the band will be quite happy with “Punching The Sky” and will rekindle something in those that aren’t as familiar with their work. Definitely one to check out.
90 out of 100
01. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants *
02. End of the Attention Span
03. Bubble *
04. My Jurisdiction *
05. Do Wrong to None
06. Lone Wolf *
07. Missile to Gun *
08. Fly in the Ointment *
09. Bark, No Bite
10. Unfair *
11. Never You Fret