Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dusting Off a Cassette Pt. 5: Armored Saint: Symbol of Salvation

John Bush was one of my first favorite singers in metal. I first heard him on The Sound of White Noise, Anthrax's attempt to stay relevant in the mainstream. The band had shed a lot of their thrash sounds and went for a more modern, streamlined sound. They also brought in Bush to replace Joey Belladonna. Bush had a more serious, less playful voice than Belladonna and he matched the new sound well. Of course the new sound was a slap in the face of old fans. Bush would record a few more albums with Anthrax, however the band never sounded quite right with Bush. I always believed Bush was better suited for a more melodic, traditional heavy metal band, much like Armored Saint, his band before joining Anthrax.

Armored Saint has much more in common with American power metal than thrash and John Bush's voice perfectly complements the sound. His soaring vocals are the best part of the album, even though the guitar work is very impressive in its own right. The songs for the most part are catchy. "Hanging Judge" is a great song with an extremely catchy chorus. I first heard this song on Hellraiser 3, in which Armored Saint had a brief cameo.

Unfortunately not all of the songs are great. It starts to drag a little toward the halfway point, but that's where "Hanging Judge" kicks in.

Armored Saint broke up when Bush left for Anthrax but recently got back together. Let's hope they have some more of this style of metal in them.

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