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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Armored Saint - 1985 Delirious Nomad
Armored Saint - 1985 Delirious Nomad

ARTIST: Armored Saint
ALBUM: Delirious Nomad
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: FV-41516 (vinyl), VK 41516 (CD)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1993, EMI Japan, TOCP-8085 (Burrn Legendary Masters Series) * 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY115
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: John Bush - lead vocals, backing vocals * Dave Pritchard - guitars * Joey Vera - bass, backing vocals * Gonzo - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Long Before I Die * 02 Nervous Man * 03 Over The Edge * 04 The Laugh * 05 Conqueror * 06 For The Sake * 07 Aftermath * 08 In The Hole * 09 Your Never Alone * 10 Released * 11 The Laugh (bonus) * 12 You're Never Alone (bonus)

WEBLINKS: www.armoredsaint.com

One of the big shakers of 1984 were L.A metallers Armored Saint. Signed to a big label in Chrysalis, their debut 'March Of The Saint' was pretty damned good, judging by reviews across the globe. Even the small NZ fanzine I was writing for at the time (Kreshendo) gave it a 10/10. So all appeared well heading into the second season. Not so, according to the band. Originally a five-piece, guitarist Phil Sandoval was fired from the band due to a drinking issue, bringing the band down to four. That must've been tough as brother Gonzalo was in the band and agreed to the decision. Producer Michael James Jackson was also given a 'don't come Monday' award, despite having a list of credentials as long as your arm (click here). The band were far from happy with the final sound for MOTS, and wanted a heavier beefier approach, something they felt that only British producer Max Norman could deliver.

The Songs
Once the album landed, it was clear that the Saints v Norman combo was a good one. However, it was also clear that a lot of the rough edges were knocked off the raw sound heard previously. Heavier for sure, but balanced out in the studio mix. Hence, the new tracks weren't as hard hitting or as immediate as older material like 'Can U Deliver' or 'Envy'. No problems with the songs, though many will claim the band had taken their songwriting in a more serious direction, with less of the Priest/Maiden fare. In fact, on some songs, Armored Saint take on a decidedly similar approach to Floridians Savatage, who in 1985 were still a regional act, rather than a national act, so the similarity was perhaps coincidental. This is evident on 'Nervous Man', with its unusual arrangement and changeable tempo. The album title is taken from the lyrics of this song, in case you were wondering. Even 'Over The Edge' is vastly different in its approach, no such problem with the excellent 'The Laugh', which is a return to the band's earlier sound, and taking in some Metallica like influence by accident.. lol! 'Conqueror' is another track to impress, a thunderous track with a nod in the direction of mentors Judas Priest. Perhaps my favourite track on this album is the three part 'Aftermath'. The first section is a heavier instrumental, the second section a gorgeous acoustic piece provided by Pritchard, the third section is preceded by some Dokken like ('Seven Thunders') riffing, after which Pritchard leads the way out with a barrage of solos. 'In The Hole' is another powerful representation, segueing into the monstrous 'You're Never Alone'. The album ends in a dizzy maelstrom of metal called 'Released' which again, could be an Americanized Judas Priest.

In Summary
At the end of the day, the band were pretty happy with how the album turned out, but it didn't result in any overnight success. In fact, if anything, their profile went backwards, or overtaken by some of the bigger names in the business at the time. Armored Saint continued on into 1987 with Chrysalis still in tow. 'Raising Fear' was certainly a heavier album, but in 1987, the metal kingdom was ruled by Metallica, followed by Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer and Testament, and Saint weren't really in the same league - firepower wise. Beyond that, 1988 saw a new label (Metal Blade) and a fourth album 'Saints Will Conquer'. That would be the last album to feature Dave Pritchard, who sadly lost his battle with Leukaemia a few years later. The Saints would return in 1991 with 'Symbol Of Salvation', while singer John Bush would depart for Anthrax after that. Bush did return for 2000's 'Revelation' whilst still holding his position in Anthrax, and as we saw recently, the Saints are still there or thereabouts with the release of 2010's 'La Raza'. Now out on Rock Candy, the remastered sound is fantastic, making my earlier copies of the album (LP, cassette and mp3's) extremely redundant, plus there are two bonus tracks.

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#1 | rkbluez on November 20 2013 23:33:03
Great sounding album...Max Norman surely knows how to get a killer metal sound...I really like this record but I love 'Raising Fear' just a little bit better...and Symbol...is another killer album...to me real metal bands like Armored Saint, Icon and Malice never got their DUE...while poser bands like Poison made millions.
#2 | gdazegod on November 20 2013 23:53:35
Max Norman produced 220 Volt 'Eye To Eye'. Awesome drum sound.
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