ARMORED SAINT - Punching The Sky

October 19, 2020, a year ago

(Metal Blade)

Rich Catino

Rating: 8.5

review heavy metal armored saint

ARMORED SAINT - Punching The Sky

Armored Saint are one of those tried and true traditional heavy metal bands with over 30 years of experience and ten albums; the Saint are still armored with great music. Original members, singer John Bush, bassist Joey Vera, guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan, and drummer Gonzo (Sandoval) carry on the many classic elements of Saints past mixed with new ideas and variety for Punching The Sky.

"Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants" is a bold title to kick off an album, the soft clean build up to the arrangement segueing in to a classic Saint groove, melody and hook. The ride out gives it a current vibe, already the album feels like a merging of Symbol Of Salvation and 2000's Revelation album. And talk about settling into a groove, damn, if "End Of the Attention Span" instantly doesn't grab you to bang your head and sing, well then maybe you are losing your metal ear. Lots of great solo work too in this one. Drums begin "Bubble", the music more of a modern rock radio interplay between the rhythmic riffs, bass, and drum patterns. Again, more well phrased lead work. Vera takes the helm for the moody "My Jurisdiction", while drums build up the punch (of the sky) for "Do Wrong To None", and wow how this one settles in the catchy, riffy, crunchy rhythm. Really enjoy how this flows between variety in the tempo, riffs, and delivery. "Missile To Gun", "Never You Fret" are the only two that have that direct old school ‘80s Saint feel. "Bark, No Bite" creates a counter balance with the melodic verses and angrier chorus. Bush singing really smooth and clean, grit-less for "Unfair", his moment in the spotlight.   

Punching The Sky is another balanced album that should please fans and land on journalists best of the year lists.

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