Armored Saint – Punching The Sky
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 23/10/2020
Running Time: 53:29
Review by Chris Galea
There has been a notable consistency in the line-up of Armored Saint and apart from original guitarist Dave Pritchard, who passed away in 1990 (and whose shoes were filled by Jeff Duncan), “Punching The Sky” features the same guys that appeared on the band’s 1984 debut album “March Of The Saint”. This is not merely a bit of trivia but could account for Armored Saint as a songwriting unit and why “Punching The Sky” is one of the strongest releases from the band.
The sound is perfect too…not excessively polished, not too raw…and all tracks have their own temperament. For example, there’s ‘Bark, no Bite’ which has both bark and bite. Or ‘Fly in the Ointment’ with its soulful, Hard Rock moments. Or even ‘Never You Fret’ with its hard-hitting rhythm section and spot-on guitar solos. Or the pensive moments of ‘Unfair’….you get the idea.
Curiously, both album opener ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ and album closer ‘Never You Fret’ start with some sort of hypnotic New Age tunes. Perhaps to foster a sense of structure?
Overall, though, there has been no major departure in music style…despite the band members’ involvement with the Bay Area Thrash scene, Armored Saint still seem to keep a closer affinity with the NWOBHM.
John Bush is at the top of his game and amazingly his singing actually seems to have got better with age. Just check ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ or my favourite track ‘Missile To Gun’ to see what I’m on about
Compared to other album reviews on Ever Metal, this one has been relatively short. To be honest just 3 words would have been enough: “It kicks ass”. So, if the ongoing pandemic has restricted your mobility, “Punching The Sky” could be a great way to raise your spirits.
01. Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants
02. End Of The Attention Span
04. My Jurisdiction
05. Do Wrong To None
06. Lone Wolf
07. Missile To Gun
08. Fly In The Ointment
09. Bark, No Bite
11. Never You Fret
John Bush – Vocals
Phil Sandoval – Guitars
Jeff Duncan – Guitars
Joey Vera – Bass
Gonzo Sandoval – Drums
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