Saturday 4 March 2017

Album Review: ARMORED SAINT - Carpe Noctum

01. Win Hands Down
02. March Of The Saint
03. Stricken By Fate
04. Last Train Home
05. Mess
06. Aftermath
07. Left Hook From Right Field
08. Reign Of Fire

I first discovered Armored Saint when lead singer John Bush joined Anthrax and released The Sound Of White Noise, which is one of my all time favourite albums ever. Naturally, I wanted to check out John's previous band Armored Saint, and took a punt on their Symbol Of Salvation album. After becoming borderline obsessed with it, I soon found out that Armored Saint was the band playing in the club in the movie Hellraiser III, and this pretty much cemented them in my mind as one of the coolest bands ever. It didn't take me long to hunt down the rest of their back catalogue, and since their reformation I've been keeping close tabs on them and getting their all too infrequent albums on release.

The first thing I noticed about this live album is that it only has eight songs on it. Admittedly it's an advancement on their previous live album, 1988's Saints Will Conquer which had seven live tracks and one studio track, but still! When an album is full price, you expect a little more 'bang for your buck' than eight songs. The good news is that they've picked most of my personal favourites within the eight!

The two tracks representing the excellent current studio album Win Hands Down are the title track which opens the live album with all the energy you need, and Mess which appears mid set. Left Hook From Right Field was my favourite song from their La Raza album, so again I'm very happy that it made the cut here. I'm also really pleased with the inclusion of incendiary versions of my favourite two tracks from Symbol Of Salvation, Last Train Home and Reign Of Fire.

There's nothing off the albums Revelations or Raising Fear, which will disappoint some fans, but considering that the album is so short, there was no way every era of the band could be represented here. Obviously I would have preferred a double album, considering Armored Saint have such a rich back catalogue and so many awesome tracks that deserve to make it to a live album. However, it's always better to appreciate what you do have than what you don't. What we do have here is a solid live album from a legendary band that still delivers the goods, and that's always a positive.


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