ARMORED SAINT – Punching The Sky

ARMORED SAINT - Punching the Sky
  • 8/10
    ARMORED SAINT - Punching the Sky - 8/10


Metal Blade Records
Release date: October 23, 2020

User Review
8.5/10 (1 vote)

The Backstory

Punching the Sky is the eighth full-length by Armored Saint.  Having burst onto the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in 1982, Armored Saint released their first album March of the Saint in 1984.  In 1991 Armored Saint released what most fans believe was their finest album Symbol of Salvation.  That album was in memory of their original guitarist Dave Prichard, who passed away in 1989 after his battle with  leukemia.

Armored Saint took a break shortly after.  Members moved on to other projects, yet came back together in 2000.  While members are still committed to other projects, they’ve been able to reunite for tours and new albums ever since.  Punching The Sky was put together through file sharing and produced by bassist Joey Vera.

[Read our interview with Joey Vera HERE]

The Album

“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” starts calm with Scottish bagpipes and faint clean guitars. Gonzo soon kicks in with a rhythmic beat, backed by distorted riffs. John Bush is as powerful as ever with his inspiring lyrics of overcoming life’s obstacles. Armored Saint kicks the energy up a notch on “End of the Attention Span.” Bush’s melodic bridge section stands out more than the chorus section. Sandoval and Duncan are on fire with their respective guitar work. Thematically they are right on target with how people consume their information through bits and pieces today.

Joey Vera’s bass dominates the intro to “My Jurisdiction.” Gonzo’s drum work cannot be ignored as the song progresses. Speaking of which, the high school marching band beat he lays down on “Do Wrong to None” is unique to say the least. It’s great how the guitar riffs are able to match it and drive the track. It is difficult to see where Armored Saint is going by comparing a loner to a battleship and a couple’s dance on “Lone Wolf.” “Missile to Gun” could have easily fit in with any classic Armored Saint album. The chorus is sure to stick with you all day.

“Fly in the Ointment” is a mid-tempo track that shows off the best of Bush’s high register and low register. The chorus is simple yet effective enough to get you to sing with it. Armored Saint slow things down on “Unfair.” Its dark tone is the perfect match for Bush’s emotional delivery. “Never You Fret” brings the energy back up to close out the album. The song is either and anthem for a dominant sports team or Armored Saint themselves.

The Verdict

Punching the Sky is exactly what fans would expect from an Armored Saint album.  No gimmicks, no distracting musical experiments, just consistent and powerful Heavy Metal.



  1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
  2. End of the Attention Span
  3. Bubble
  4. My Jurisdiction
  5. Do Wrong to None
  6. Lone Wolf
  7. Missile to Gun
  8. Fly in the Ointment
  9. Bark, No Bite
  10. Unfair
  11. Never You Fret

*Special Edition*

– Bonus Tracks –
12. For the Sake of Heaviness (Live at Bang Your Head Festival, Germany, 2019)
13. Underdogs (Live at Bang Your Head Festival, Germany, 2019)
14. Isolation (Live from Isolation)

– DVD – Live at Rock Hard Festival 2018
1. March of the Saint
2. Reign of Fire
3. Pay Dirt
4. Last Train Home
5. On the Way
6. Book of Blood
7. Spineless
8. Left Hook from Right Field
9. Chemical Euphoria
10. Win Hands Down
11. Can U Deliver

Armored Saint is:

John Bush – Vocals
Joey Vera – Bass
Phil Sandoval – Guitar
Jeff Duncan – Guitar
Gonzo Sandoval – Drums

Armored Saint


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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