Monday, March 22, 2010

Initial Impressions: Armored Saint: La Raza

This is Armored Saint's second reunion album. Originally the band was together from the early 1980's through the early 1990's. They split when singer John Bush replaced Joey Belladonna in Anthrax for a few albums. They then reunited to put out a new album in 2000 when Anthrax was on hiatus. This is the band's latest reunion since Bush is no longer in Anthrax (although that could change at any moment). Armored Saint were originally a power/thrash/traditional metal band, although that has changed for this album.

It's tough to say where on the metal genre spectrum this album fits in. It's probably more of a hard rock/traditional metal album than anything. It's definitely not much like their earlier material. The music has some hard rock and Southern rock influences meaning that fans of groups like Nickelback and their myriad copycats will find something enjoyable here, but it retains a lot of the metal influences as well. Older Armored Saint fans will probably not be thrilled with the album but it is by no means a bad album.

John Bush's vocals again lead the way here. I have said it before and will say it again: Bush has a great voice for traditional metal. Where Anthrax was unable to retain a high degree of popularity after Bush took over is due to the fact that he is not a thrash metal singer. He is just too melodic.

This is actually a very good album. It's upbeat and almost happy. Good driving music.

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