Armored Saint have always been also-rans in the tale of 80s thrash and hard rock, despite vocalist John Bush knocking back Metallica early on and fronting Anthrax through their turbulent 90s early 2000s period (this writer’s personal favourite Anthrax era).
Despite all of this the band have always managed to release quality music reflective of the era in which it has been done while maintaining a distinct enough edge to poke its head high enough over the wall to be kicked. This album is no different.
Breaking out strongly with the catchy Standing on the Shoulders of Giants carrying a groove heavy enough to sink your battleship with a smile on your face and the welcoming rasp of John Bush once more showing rock vocalists how it is done. Quickly stomping in, End of the Attention Span shows more of the traditional metal scene that spawned the band in the early 80s, before loosening its grip into another energetic melodic stomp.
Such a strong opening would generally be cause for concern that the second half of the album might be all filler. If you walk in thinking like that after the opening salvo, perhaps you don’t know Armored Saint enough. Throughout all eight releases the band have done their best to put out great music across entire albums, why change that now?
In fact some of the best tracks are hidden from the middle of this album onwards. The 80s LA glammed up Lone Wolf is not usually my kind of thing but with that signature JB rasp and the groove laid down by bassist Joey Vera it’s hard to deny just how catchy it is, while Missile to Gun gives Bush era ‘thrax fans a good taste of the coulda beens ripped straight from the Sound Of White Noise playbook.
Never You Fret is sure to be a set closer whenever gigs become a thing again as the band leave you with one more reminder of just how good they are and how rock solid traditional 70s inspired metal can be. This album will leave a mark, put some frozen peas on it and get back into the messy pit.
1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
2. End of the Attention Span
4. My Jurisdiction
5. Do Wrong to None
6. Lone Wolf
7. Missile to Gun
8. Fly in the Ointment
9. Bark, No Bite
11. Never You Fret