Album Reviews

Armored Saint – Win Hands Down Review

armoredsaint_winhandsdown_cover

Release date: 2nd June 2015

Released By: Metal Blade

Genre: Heavy Metal

 

Line up:

John Bush – vocals

Gonzo Sandoval – drums

Joey Vera – bass guitar

Phil Sandoval – guitar

Jeff Duncan – guitar

 

Tracklist:

Win Hands Down

Mess

An Exercise in Debauchery

Muscle Memory

That Was Then, Way Back When

With a Full Head of Steam

In an Instant

Dive

Up Yours

 

Playing music can be a cruel mistress and overlook the very best and get behind the mediocre. Armored Saint are one of those bands that just didn’t get the push they needed to make sure everyone knew about them and revel in the excellent heavy metal they have put out over the last 30 years. John Bush as you know sang with Anthrax for many years and has one of those voices that would sound good singing a takeaway menu, its unmistakable whether that be with Anthrax, Armored Saint or the collaboration with Long Distance Calling, he puts his stamp on it.

This is the first album from the band in 5 years and again they have delivered another world class album. Opening with the title track it is straight ahead chugging riffs with the solid backbone of Gonzo on drums and Joey Vera on bass who is one of the most versatile players about.  Bush soars over the track and it is very evident that the years have been kind to his voice and still has the power and gusto that he had back on “March of the Saint”. “Muscle Memory” on first listen has a structure that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with AS, it has a brooding intro with fleeting guitar lines with kick and hi hats that build before the pay off in the chorus, a real standout on the record.

The album marks the first time Bush shares a vocal with anyone and not just anyone but Pearl Aday his old Anthrax partner’s wife. She really adds colour to the track and the contrast between the voices works really well on what is probably the most aggressive song on the album. “Dive” features a piano as the lead instrument for the first time and is very different for the band and it slots in well with the overall feel of the record. The production on this one is punchy and loud and will appeal to all metal fans, they deserve more adulation and respect for their output. Get out there and buy this one!!

 

Written by Dave Mccallum

Ratings  Dave  8/10

 

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