Saturday, 20 June 2015

Armored Saint - Win Hands Down

It's the March of the Saint! Finally all reviews I have seen mention the brilliance of this band and their complete lack  of recognition at a worldwide scale. I do remember that upon release of their debut album it was not all glory in the press with a new band getting such an expensive VideoClip for Can U Deliver and album artwork costing tons as well. Their second album Delirious Nomad convinced all that they were a name to reckon with. After playing WHD many times now, I can only conclude everyone is right. This album can stand proud among their best releases. The magic of Armored Saint for me always consisted of two items. First on vocals they have in John Bush one of the best voices in Heavy Metal and  second they swing and groove and make a very heavy form of (slam) dance music. It is impossible to sit still and listen to their songs, since the rhythm always makes at least your neck move back and forth. Win Hands Down has all the usual ingredients of a Classic Saint album. Starting with some heavy uptempo work, a semi ballad, some dancing songs and a true ballad (which for some reason appears in two versions on the album only minor complaint from my side). As I keep on repeating their groove Joey Vera should be mentioned. Known from Fates Warning, OSI, A Chinese Firedrill he is longtime bass player at Armored Saint, now main songwriter and producer as well. What a great job he did as the songs and sound are all at peak. Without passing all songs I woud recommend as starting points the title song (clip on YouTube) or my favorite An Exercise in Debauchery.

If anyone reading this decides to check out or purchase the album (which you should if you think you like Heavy Metal) please get the special edition. For a few Euro's extra you get a DVD with a full show of 2009's Keep it True Festival, some clips and the making of. This is real value for money as especially the KIT show is a must, as it basically is a best from the past for them. Watching it I remembered my all time favorite dance song in Last Train Home. This August Armored Saint shall tour Europe with Queensryche. A show to look forward to already as I haven't seen them playing live for 24 years now. In case they include the Last Train Home in their set, I am afraid Queensryche has to do without my vocal support, as I probably loose my voice on that train. Get this album, you won't regret it! 

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