Power of Metal.dk Review

Armored Saint
Win Hands Down
Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 29 May, 2015
Playing time: 51:00

Who would have thought that Armored Saint would strike back hard with this 'Win Hands Down' after the for me bit disappointing 2010 album 'La Raza'. The entire album sounds very fresh, open and the musicians play as if they were some youngsters ready to conquer the world.

Armored Saint rule in writing songs with catchy melodies, nice guitar riffs and always with a groovy rhythm. Joey Vera is responsible for the songwriting and John Bush for the lyrics and melodies. Who else can do it better than the man who needs to sing it? I always find it strange when someone else than the singer writes the lyrics and melodies. John Bush has an unique sound and although he is getting older, he still sings the same without any weak moment.

Besides some real heavy songs, there are a few moments to relax a bit like in "Muscle Memory" and "Dive". Perhaps this is the most heavy album the band wrote in their career, just listen to the heavy riff in "That Was Then, Way Back When" or the fast track "With a Head Full of Steam". With songs like "Win Hands Down" and "Up Yours," the band delivers the blue print for how real heavy metal should sound like. Heavy guitars, finger-licking solos and catchy refrains. For me this is an album that can be put in between 'Delirious Nomad' and 'Symbol of Salvation'. I still find it strange that a band with such quality albums never broke through in the eighties like a lot of others did. Armored Saint show that it is still possible to write a good album equal to the best in their anthology. Perhaps Metallica should listen to it and learn...

If you call yourself a heavy metal fan, you can't do without 'Win Hands Down'.

01. Win Hands Down
An Exercise In Debauchery
Muscle Memory
That Was Then, Way Back When
With a Head Full of Steam
In An Instant
Up Yours
Label: Metal Blade Records
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 25 May, 2015
Website: http://www.facebook.com/thearmoredsaint