Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6860
Comments: 16620
Ratings: 4879
Forum Posts: 22005
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Armored Saint - 2010 La Raza
Armored Saint - 2010 La Raza

ARTIST: Armored Saint
ALBUM: La Raza
LABEL: Metal Blade
SERIAL: 398414891CD
YEAR: 2010


LINEUP: John Bush - vocals * Jeff Duncan - guitars * Phil Sandoval - guitars * Joey Vera - bass, production * Gonzalo (Gonzo) Sandoval - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Loose Canoon * 02 Head On * 03 Left Hook From Right Field * 04 Get Off The Fence * 05 Chilled * 06 La Raza * 07 Black Feet * 08 Little Monkey * 09 Blues * 10 Bandit Country



I'm sure most of you will have heard an Armored Saint album in your lifetime. But their latest 2010 effort 'La Raza' is kinda different in a number of ways. Though this is the L.A band's first album since 2001's 'Nod To The Old School', one would get the impression that this is nothing more than a token gesture. I bloody well hope not, as Armored Saint in 2010 sound far more relevant than many of their HM peers from yesteryear. Not that many of the L.A brigade are still up and running (exclude Ratt, Dokken, Keel and Motley Crue), but on what I've heard with 'La Raza', this is going to be one of my most often played albums of 2010 I would venture to suggest. Just what is up with John Bush? Is Anthrax on or off? I would hope that JB would put all his eggs in one basket, preferably a West Coast one with Saint rather than New Yorkers Anthrax. OK, now that that's off my chest, let me say a few words about 'La Raza'. Yes, it's different. It's gotta cool vibe, it's not totally HM in a Judas Priest kinda way, it has a modern touch to it without it being a sell out. I mean it's not 1984, with bandolier belts and all the HM kit you saw them wearing on their video 'Can U Deliver'. Everyone's grown up now, the band looking chic in 2010 as per their band photo. I should mention the main guy behind AS these days in Joey Vera, who not only provides most of the musical ideas, but handles production too!

The Songs
I will say one thing about this album, and there's bugger all filler to be found. Each track has its own attributes, and you'll also found that each is quite different in its own right. Morse Code taps broadcasts the beginning to 'Loose Cannon', and soon all subtleties are lost as Armored Saint beckon in 2010 with a full scale howitzer blast of guitars with drums belting out a solid back beat. What's with the Dr Phibes organ work at the start of 'Head On'? It soon disappears into a guitar layer not heard since AS's classic debut 'March Of The Saint'. Could this be 'Can U Deliver' redelivered in 2010? 'Left Hook From Right Field' has more bells ringing in the intro than Quasimodo can deal with, but soon the mix turns to a compelling growl of electric guitars while JB prowls the sound-scape like a pinch hitter trying to steal first base! 'Get Off The Fence' rekindles the AS style from yesteryear, with riffs and solos swirling in an ungodly mix of metal and mirth. I like the title 'Chilled', though it's not really AS styled metal as you might know it. It tends to shift around in a circle without hitting the HM bullseye. But that's ok, because the song covers all the bases nicely without damaging your eardrums. The opening to the title track 'La Raza' is very jungle like, and when Duncan and Phil Sandoval deliver with their six string ammunition, the song comes to life. Listening to the lyrics, one gets the impression that environmental issues are at the core of this song. At 6 minutes 41, what better way to get your point across? The southern sounding acoustic intro to 'Black Feet' belies the fury to follow. It has a cool vibe which doesn't lack for passion, guitars are belted out when required, and the storytelling capability of John Bush adds to the effect. 'Little Monkey' is quite a frantic track, with guitars flanging around in a swirly mix. 'Blues' is not some obligatory nod to the southern delta style that so many other bands dedicate themselves to. It's reasonably heavy, and despite the track-title, has very little in the way of blues style contained within. AS go all funky on the closer 'Bandit Country', though in a heavy handed way. It's more recognisable on the verses, the band changing style on the choruses and solos, letting everyone know that one dimensional HM went out with Noahs Ark!

In Summary
'La Raza' is a totally engaging album, and you needn't feel threatened that this is a HM extravaganza. It isn't. It's a cool sounding disc, with loads of different features. Sure, AS know how to rock, and they haven't lost their knack for kicking ass, but they sound so much more assured and mature, delivering a product that makes HM in 2010 sound totally James Bond like. Shaken not stirred!

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | gdazegod on April 08 2010 15:28:49
Some YouTube clips related to 'La Raza'.
Armored Saint - Cooking Segment part 1
YouTube Video:
#2 | MUSCLE on April 09 2010 19:53:16
top stuff from the saints. sounds in places like sound of white noise however that could be down to bush who as ever delivers the goods with his very distinctive and cool sounding set of pipes. this guy really adds another dimension to whatever band he is in. no wonder anthrax have turned to seed since he left. hard to replace his kind of talent. worthy
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

100% 100% 0% [No Votes]
95% 95% 0% [No Votes]
90% 90% 100% [1 Vote]
85% 85% 0% [No Votes]
80% 80% 0% [No Votes]
75% 75% 0% [No Votes]
70% 70% 0% [No Votes]
65% 65% 0% [No Votes]
60% 60% 0% [No Votes]
55% 55% 0% [No Votes]
50% 50% 0% [No Votes]
45% 45% 0% [No Votes]
40% 40% 0% [No Votes]
35% 35% 0% [No Votes]
30% 30% 0% [No Votes]
25% 25% 0% [No Votes]
20% 20% 0% [No Votes]
15% 15% 0% [No Votes]
10% 10% 0% [No Votes]
Search DDG