Next review: » Armory - Empyrean Realms
Released: 2000, Metal Blade
The Saint have returned!!! It seems like only yesterday that they released "Symbol of Salvation", a great CD that seemed to point to only bigger and better things from this perpetual underdog of a band. Armored Saint had made their mark at first on the L.A. metal scene with their energetic live show but then gained national and international attention with the release of the first full length CD "March of the Saint" in 1984 and its "hit" single and video, the fist pumping anthem "Can U Deliver". Saint toured with Judas Priest and Metallica and released three more discs, "Delirious Nomad" in 1985, "Raising Fear" in 1987 and "Saints Will Conquer" in 1988.
However they were dropped from their label Chrysalis because they could never reach the super star status that the label was hoping for. To make matters worse, original guitarist Dave Prichard was diagnosed with Leukemia and soon succumbed to the disease. After much soul searching the band finally carried on and released "Symbol of Salvation" in 1991. This CD generated two "hit" songs which garnered heavy airplay on music video stations. The band finished tours with Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies and had just settled in to write for the new CD when John Bush got the call to fill the vacant vocal position in Anthrax. Armored Saint disbanded.
Well this is 2000 and "Revelation" is the follow up to "Symbol of Salvation". It doesn’t seem like nine years since we last heard recorded material from the band. "Revelation" picks up right where "SOS" left off with more of the same straight forward metal that we have come to expect from Armored Saint. The CD opens with the up tempo rocker "Pay Dirt" which is followed by "The Pillar". This track is a classic Armored Saint song with strong riff that carries the song. "After Me, Comes the Flood" is up next with its infectious rhythm and swirling vocal bridge. Short but sweet. "Tension" is the first song that doesn’t grab you right away. Its not a crunchy, riff laden tune like the first four. "Creepy Feelings" continues with the classic Saint sound. Other stand out tracks include "Den of Thieves", "What’s Your Pleasure" and the sombre "Upon My Departure". "What’s Your Pleasure" gives a writing credit to former guitarist Dave Prichard. This song also happens to sound the most like old Saint of anything on the disc.
I have to give Joey Vera credit for the production on this CD. It is very sharp without giving up any of the heaviness. There are a few weak songs that are only filler. "Damaged" doesn’t do anything but slow down the CD and "No Me Digas" would still be a filler regardless of the language in which it was sung. Armored Saint have created a traditional heavy metal CD without straying far from their sound. They don’t break any new ground and that's the problem. After "Symbol of Salvation" it seemed as if the time had come for the band. They had just released a very powerful CD and seemed to be on the verge of becoming one of metal’s elite acts. "Revelation", while being a good CD, just doesn’t have the same power that their earlier work possessed. I was hoping for a continuation from "SOS" but just got more of the same. Oh well I shouldn’t complain. Its still a good CD.
Previous review: » Armored Saint - Revelation