Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Video Review: ARMORED SAINT March Of The Saint by Dave Wolff

March Of The Saint
From the live album "Carpe Noctum" (Metal Blade Records)
Filmed live in Aschaffenburg, Germany
Directed by Oliver Barth
Armored Saint needs no formal introduction, having formed as one of the first American heavy metal bands in 1982. They had more in common with old Iron Maiden, Saxon and Riot, untouched by the commerciality that surfaced in the genre a few years later. Armored Saint were part of that exclusive but vital school filling the slot between commercial metal and thrash. This school included the likes of Virgin Steele, Helloween, Flotsam And Jetsam and Obsession, all skillful bands that kept the spirit alive. Though overshadowed by hair bands of that era, Armored Saint had a solid career and their work received critical success. John Bush was widely known with Anthrax after leaving the band in 1992, but they stuck things out until 1998. Bush helped reform the band with bassist Joey Vera and the revitalized Armored Saint has remained active to this day. In support of their latest full length Carpe Noctum they released a total of two live videos, Aftermath in November 2016 and March Of The Saint this month. Both promos were directed by Oliver Barth and showcased tracks appearing on the album. Recorded at a recent headlining slot of theirs in Germany, the video is a straightforward example of their continued ability to deliver a good show and handle their earliest material many years after it first saw the light of day. Bush still has an impeccable vocal expression, even without the traditional images usually associated with metal, as he is backed by Vera, guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan and drummer Gonzo Sandoval. The entire band seems comfortable playing this classic, considering it must have been played countless times by now. They channel into it the vitality we remember from the first album, with the brief intro from the studio version omitted to move things forward. Gonzo comes across as the most seasoned musician, pushing the song onward with rigorous, concentrated percussion. The live videos for March Of The Saint and Aftermath can be viewed at the above Youtube profile. Preorder information for Carpe Noctum is at Armored Saint’s Metal Blade like along with tour news and information about the band’s PledgeMusic campaign. -Dave Wolff

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