Hammerfest is just around the corner. One of the stand-out names on that line-up is Armored Saint who will headline the Thursday (party!) night of the festival. To wet our appetites for that show, Armored Saint have just dropped a brand spanking new live album via the ever-trusty Metal Blade Records.
Recorded at a couple of shows in Germany, including their performance at the mighty Wacken festival, this sees the touring line-up from the ’Symbol of Salvation’ reunited and reeling out the hits. We caught their short show at Bloodstock in 2015 which was around the time this was recorded and the band were in fine form. That is confirmed by this album, for sure…
Opening up with the brilliant title track to the 2015 album; ‘Win Hands Down’ gets things going in a galloping fashion.
John Bush’s voice leaps out from this record as he puts in some strong performances, in particular the ‘Last Train Home’ followed by ‘Mess’ double punch which shows off the vocal range at the height of their powers. He sounds very much at home back in the Armored Saint camp. Anthrax with Joey and Armored Saint with John is nothing but good value for us metal fans, as both bands are still at the top of their games on both record and (as demonstrated here) in the live arena too.
Indeed, this record captures the whole band in fine fettle. The guitar led intro to ‘The Aftermath’ is up there with the best in the Armored Saint catalogue and of course the song gives the band a more mellow string to their bow. Lighters in the air stuff!
The festival setting gives the album a big sound and while it’s by no means an over-polished production, it certainly captures the band recreating their material clearly and meticulously. Nothing is lost in the live dirge that cripples some live albums.
Carpe Noctum (live) captures Armored Saint at a great time together as a band and this is a great document of the 2015 live show. Listening to this is getting us a little excited about their upcoming UK tour and especially seeing them over at Hammerfest.
This one will be getting several more spins before then, no doubt.