A real underground stalwart of the US Metal scene for over twenty years now it took the rabid Metal riffing of 1987’s ‘’Raising Fear’’ to push ARMORED SAINT into the minds of the Metal masses. Having recorded two excellent albums in 1984’s ‘’March Of The Saint’’ featuring the quite ludicrous but insanely catchy ‘’Can U Deliver’’ and 85’s ‘’Delirious Nomad’’ The SAINT’S sought to produce one of Metal’s most uncelebrated releases.
It might all sound a bit tame nowadays but on their day ARMORED SAINT could rival the very best in world Metal. Fronted by the power house vocals of John Bush and the talents of guitarist Dave Prichard, ARMORED SAINT created simple riff heavy anthemic slab of pure pristine Heavy Metal. Although the image was a little to be desired – the poodle perm hair and macho posturing so beloved of US Metal bands in the 80’s - perhaps masked the true face of a work-hard-play-hard Metal band ARMORED SAINT could easily brew up a storm of cracking riffs, soaring vocals and beefed up choruses.
Honestly there’s not a duff track on offer here. From the classic opening riff of the title track destined to be one of the great Metal tracks to the dumb-ass basic Metal drive of ‘’Out On A Limb’’ to the CRIMSON GLORY/ SAVATAGE almost Proggy sounds of ‘’Isolation’’ to the sheer Metal bravado of ‘’Chemical Euphoria’’ even a raucous cover of ELTON JOHN’S ‘’Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting’’ does little to decrease the tempo and quality of the opening five tracks.
In 1989 Dave Prichard succumbed to leukaemia and thus depriving ARMORED SAINT and Metal a true talent. Although the band did record a critically acclaimed album in ‘’Symbol Of Salvation (1990)’’ it was their third a final offering for Chrysalis Records that to this day can still hold its head high above the water. Latterly John Bush and bassist Joey Vera went on to join ANTHRAX to varying degrees of success. However I’ll warrant that neither has recorded an album as special as this.
One of the true unheralded bands of 80’s US Metal ‘’Raising Fear’’ is a must in the CD collection.
(Online March 2, 2007)