Since starting out in the LA club scene back in the early 80s(!), Armored Saint have systematically put out a string of incredibly strong albums over the years and now, five years after the well received Win Hands Down, they return to the fray with their latest offering, Punching The Sky.
A band that never lets you down while also never receiving the kudos they so richly deserve, Armored Saint are like an old friend you haven’t seen in years. It doesn’t matter how long you spend apart, a reunion with John Bush and the boys is always warm, welcome and a shit-tonne of fun.
Kicking off with “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” it quickly becomes apparent that Armored Saint’s knack for a catchy chorus remains firmly intact and you’ll be humming it for days on end. That’s a promise! This is quickly followed by album highlight “End Of The Attention Span” which contains another killer chorus and it’s a pleasure to say that Armored Saint have lost none of their fire. The hits just keep on comin’ as the Saint embrace their diversity while remaining resolutely ‘them’. The album continues in this vein until it gets to “Unfair”, a moody slow burner with a great vocal from John Bush (the man couldn’t deliver a bad vocal if he tried) who has clearly looked after his voice over the years and sounds as strong now as he ever has.
When compared to their back catalogue, it’s fair to say that Punching The Sky can stand toe to toe with the majesty of Symbol Of Salvation, which is no mean feat and speaks volumes for the quality of the Saint’s 10th album of original material.
It has already been said numerous times just how strong 2020 has been for heavy metal, and its assorted genres, and we can now add Punching The Sky to the list of must hear albums of 2020. Utterly bereft of flab or filler, Punching The Sky proves it will take more than a global pandemic to keep these saints from matching on. 9/10
Armored Saint’s Punching The Sky is due for release on October 23rd 2020 via Metal Blade Records.