• 8.5/10
    ARMORED SAINT - La Raza - 8.5/10


Metal Blade Records
Release date: March 16, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

A lot has happened to the saints since their ultimate classic album, Symbol Of Salvation. They ultimately broke up as John Bush came with the message of his leaving to Anthrax. Last decade, after almost ten years, the saints were up and running as they released a strong comeback album, which also served as a start for the new millennia, Revelation. After expecting a new kicking revival of the saints, they broke up again, leaving with a compilation, Nod To The Old School, and a couple of DVDs from their recent shows. Not such a good goodbye from a great band is it?

When it seemed to some that the story of the saints was all but lost forever, the last break lasted for seven years. 2008 marked the emergence of yet another comeback after a reunion at the Rocklahoma Festival. Afterwards, the saints were active again with the same lineup that brought Symbol Of Salvation. This year, as in 2000, the saints delivered another comeback album, La Raza. Get ready to hear Bush, Duncan, Vera and the Sandoval brothers as they have taken a different plan to find themselves again.

If anyone had a thought or craving that Armored Saint will make their new comeback piece harder, louder and faster, with regrets, you were dead wrong. La Raza is no Revelation. Armored Saint remained loyal to Traditional Heavy Metal, yet Metal wasn’t the only genre involved on this release. La Raza will show you a different side of Armored Saint. This side seemed like a way for the old band to search for an unusual direction. The majority of the selected tracks handed to you are largely more American based Hard Rock tunes than Metal.
Sporadically, the saints showed that they are still a Metal band, yet, after hearing the tracks and also, what to do, judging by the album’s cover, this is not the favored saints from the 80’s (and early 90’s). Certainly it is not the early 2000 version. It’s not that the saints were succumbed by the urge of the mainstream, because La Raza is not closer to that area. A fan that has been a strong fan of the band all these years, even when they were out of the game, maybe will take it a bit hard to adjust to the new reality.

Nevertheless, La Raza, with it’s rather Rockin’ figure, is a good release by the saints. It seems that the involvement of Jeff Duncan with his own Hard Rock (AC/DC like) DC 4 band, made a sort of positive impression on the saints. It is easy to understand that because the other guys in the band were in bands like Anthrax, Seven Witches, Jack Frost, Birds Of Prey and the Jack Frost project.

Overall, Hard Rock took the saints almost completely as new elements were involved on La Raza. The tracks’ image isn’t as powerful as before, even the heavier tracks. However, they showed Armored Saint’s talent to produce good songs of everyday life. There are soft to a bit louder turns all over the album, you can say not too sweet, yet not too dirty. The best part of the music’s sound is the production. Joey Vera, the band’s veteran bassist, handled the all-around production. He was able to remind the band’s fans of the fitting sound of the saints. In addition, perhaps to many fans’ surprise, the Hard Rockin’ approach sits pretty well with John Bush, who has more experience with Heavy and Thrash Metal.

In conclusion, La Raza is not what most people would expect from Armored Saint, however the result is more positive than negative – Saints Will Conquer!!!

Best highlights: “Loose Cannon”, “Chilled”, “Left Hook From The Right Field” (one of the few Metal tunes on this one), “Blues” and “Head On”.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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