Written by GE 138.
Metal... you know I love it.
Actually, no I don't. Not a lot of it anyways. So knowing that fact begs the question to be asked, which is, why am I giving the new Armored Saint release, Win Hands Down, a write up on this here website?
Well, I like Anthrax as much as the next Metal dude. Maybe more so, I dunno, but I liked it when John Bush was singing for them. His gruff, passionate vocal work made Anthrax songs like Hy Pro Glo and Only really pop and shine, making them sound fresh and not dated. John Bush left Anthrax for Armored Saint, and there had to be a good reason why, and after giving this album a few listens, I can see why he was so quick to jump ship. Armored Saint are a much more classic Metal band, with more diversity and musical exploration allowed than he ever would of gotten in Anthrax. The story of Armored Saint is a tragic one, haunted by Death, but yet they carry on, making music for mutts who truly like Metal, and on this album Win Hands Down, they deliver the goods tenfold. Guitar work on here is great, with longtime members Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan (Odin! hahaha) noodling and riffing all over the place, mixing bone crushing riffs with intricate, almost classical music sounding lead runs, all nicely punctuated with guitar squeals and soars and divebombs galore. Check out In An Instant for examples of their varied guitar work.
I remember that all the times I've seen Armored Saint, I'd be watching their drummer Gonzo just pound the shit out of his kit, and the man hasn't lost a thing, laying down some kick ass groovy drum work, like he does on the song An Exercise In Debauchery. Cool stuff. Original bass player Joey Vera does what bass players do, which is to provide the deep bottom end and thump and boom along to the songs, and punctuate things every now and then. He's no John Entwistle, but he gets the job done. And again, John Bush on vocals brings it all together, shining on songs like Muscle Memory and That Was Then, Way Back When. Yeah, I probably wasn't the best guy to review this release, but as far as Metal bands or albums go, I don't have a problem with Armored Saint or their latest album, Win Hands Down. It's Metal, dude. Either you Love it or Hate it. If you love it, you'll dig this. Definitely.
Released by Metal Blade Records, if you can believe that. CD available from them by clicking here. Also available on iTunes by clicking here. I'm sure this release is available wherever Music is sold as the commodity that it is. To keep up on all things Armored Saint related, just "Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here.