|Armored Saint - La Raza|
|1. Loose Cannon||7. Black Feet|
|2. Head On||8. Little Monkey|
|3. Left Hook From Right Field||9. Blues|
|4. Get Off The Fence||10. Bandit Country|
|6. La Raza|
It is a real shame that John Bush has over the recent years been more famed for the farce that has become, “he / isn’t he Anthrax’s lead vocalist” than his undoubted vocal talents and the news that after a decade on hiatus Armored Saint have recorded a new album. It may well come as a surprise to those who’s metal knowledge doesn’t extend further back than the release of “Sound Of White Noise” that Bush had a life before Anthrax, and that life was in Armored Saint. So if you are reading this in an attempt to find a comparison between the Bush era of Anthrax verses Armored Saint then look away now, as no such comparison is to be found here.
Armored Saint always walked the fine line between being considered out and out Heavy Metal and more mainstream Hard Rock and “La Raza” continues in much the same vein. Dependant upon the track there appears to be a variety of influences and styles on display. Album opener “Loose Cannon” packs a hell of a punch with it’s uncompromising uba-metal riffing, akin to anything that could be found on “March Of The Saint” or “Symbol Of Salvation”. The next two tracks, "Head On" and "Left Hook from Right Field" follow the same blue print and at this point you all looks rosy in the Armored Saint garden.
The albums mid-point is where Vera and Bush flex their writing, calling on an array of influences that to a large extent works but aren’t necessarily in the traditional Armored Saint vein. Bush’s vocals shine through out and have enough familiarity about them to know that this is Armored Saint album, just Armored Saint 2010 not 1990, and who can argue with a little progression? Tinges of Van Halen emanate through tracks such as “Little Monkey” and “Chilled” which does come a little out of left field but in the overall context of the album seem to work.
Overall “La Raza” is a welcome return of one of Metal’s (now) elder statesman and is proof positive that class is permanent and a must have if any band is to enjoy the sort of longevity Armored Saint have enjoyed. Still very much a Metal band in the truest sense of the word and the crown jewel still remains Mr John Bush, whose vocals alone could and should be entered into the Metal Hall of Fame. An album certainly for the Armored Saint purists but can be enjoyed by the casual observer to the Metal world.
© 2005-11 Metal Chaos