Armoured Saint were a really powerful sounding and energetic US metal formed in Los Angeles in 1981. The band originally comprised Dave Pritchard on guitar, John Bush on vocals, Phil Sandoval on on guitar, Joey Vera on bass and Gonzo on d rums. They were one of the last LA bands to be signed in the wake of success from Quiet Riot and Motley Crue. They started out as a thrash metal band, but this changed on signing to Chrysalis Records, for whom they recorded their debut album, "March of the Saint", in 1984. This was actually a really good album, but it was spoiled by poor production and the music suffered as a result. This second album, also on Chrysalis, was far better and became one of their best albums. A third and final album for the label, "Raising Fear", was released in 1987. Moving on to Metal Blade/Enigma Records, they released their sole live album, "Saints will Conquer - Live" in 1988 and their final album, "Symbol of Salvation" in 1991. Pritchard sadly died of leukemia on February 27th, 1990. Bush later left to replace Joey Belladonna in Anthrax. The band dissolved in 1992, although Vera and new guitarist Jeff Duncan reunited with Bush in his side project, "Ho Cake", although they reformed recently and released an absolute killer of an album, "Revelation".
  

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Biography by Greg Prato
Although many associate hard rock from Los Angeles in the early '80s as all glossed up and pop-based (Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Quiet Riot, etc.), there were a select few true metal bands to emerge from the same locale, such as Armored Saint. Formed in 1982 and originally comprised of members John Bush (vocals), David Pritchard (guitar), Phil Sandoval (guitar), Joey Vera (bass), and Gonzo (drums, brother of Phil Sandoval), the group specialized in a style of straight-ahead metal that was compared to such New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Saxon, among others. The quintet issued a three-track self-titled EP on the Metal Blade label in 1983, before signing on with Chrysalis. They put out such underappreciated releases as 1984's March of the Saint, 1985's Delirious Nomad, and 1987's Raising Fear and built a fanatical following in their native region, but failed to break through to the big time elsewhere.

Shortly after a switch back to the Metal Blade label in the late '80s, Armored Saint issued their first live recording, 1989's Saints Will Conquer, but bad news was lurking right around the corner. Founding guitarist Pritchard was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in 1990. The group pressed on (with newcomer Jeff Duncan taking Pritchard's spot in the lineup), issuing Symbol of Salvation in 1991. But the band decided to call it a day a year later when Bush accepted an invitation to join New York thrash metallists Anthrax. By the late '90s, Armored Saint decided to reunite once more and Bush remained a member of Anthrax and Armored Saint simultaneously (Vera was also doing double duty, as he'd become a member of prog-metallists Fates Warning). The newly re-formed outfit issued an all-new recording in 2000, Revelation, while a double-disc anthology, Nod to the Old School, surfaced a year later.

 

Joey Vera
John Bush
Gonzo
Phil Sandoval
Dave Prichard

Blessed Death
Accept
Labyrinth
In Extremo
Hirax
Brocas Helm
Metal Church
Flotsam & Jetsam
Cancer
Anus the Menace
Krokus
Bruce Dickinson
Celtic Frost
Candlemass
Bitch
Motörhead
Iron Maiden
Judas Priest

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Armored Saint - 1983 - Armored Saint - 2/5

Armored Saint - 1984 - March of the Saint - 4/5

Armored Saint - 1985 - Delirious Nomad - 1985 - 4/5

Armored Saint - 1987 - Raising Fear - 2.5/5

Armored Saint - 1988 - Saints Will Conquer - 2.5/5

Armored Saint - 1991 - Symbol of Salvation - 4.5/5

Armored Saint - 2000 - Revelation - 3/5

Armored Saint - 2001 - Nod to the Old School - 3/5

Rating

 

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