I had absolutely no interest in the new Armored Saint album until I saw a commercial on VH1 Classic that featured a thirty second snippet of the the title track, WIN HANDS DOWN. What happened next was a mad scramble to my local record shop (Music Outlet) to pick up the disc and....
In the 1980's Armored Saint was a metal band that looked like most 80's metal bands but had a slightly more aggressive sound and it never quite clicked with me. In the 1990's, vocalist John Bush joined Anthrax and gave the to me, a more appealing sound. In 2010, Armored Saint reformed, released an album and toured but now... 2015, we get the release that has left me speechless... WIN HANDS DOWN.
Produced and co-written by bassist Joey Vera, WIN HANDS DOWN is a 50 minute juggernaut of heavy, chugging metal with nice hooks, great melody and some cool lyrics! There are a few moments of progressive rock that make me hearken back to Iron Maiden's NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING and FEAR OF THE DARK!
Every track on this disc is solid with standouts being the title track, Mess, Muscle Memory, Up Yours, An Exercise In Debauchery, That Was Then Way Back When, With A Full head Of Steam, In An Instant, Dive and Up Yours.... ok, that is all the songs on this disc. This is by far one of the most enjoyable metal albums i have ever listened too.
Joining vocalist John Bush and bassist Joey Vera is guitarists Phil Sandoval & Jeff Duncan and drummer Gonzo Sandoval The five play as an incredibly tight unit, providing some amazing and original sounds. Lyrically the songs touch close to home; never wanting to give up, remembering better days and loyalty to what you believe.
I now believe in Armored Saint!
Matman rating: 5 out of 5 smooth grooves!