Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation review
|Album:||Symbol Of Salvation|
01. Reign Of Fire
02. Dropping Like Flies
03. Last Train Home
04. Tribal Dance
05. The Truth Always Hurts
06. Half Drawn Bridge
07. Another Day
08. Symbol Of Salvation
09. Hanging Judge
11. Burning Question
12. Tainted Past
"Symbol of Salvation" is considered by many to be Armored Saint's greatest album. The heavy metalhard rock band from California hit it big with this 1991 masterpiece, re-released in 1998 with bonus discs. It features vocalist John Bush, guitarists Jeff Duncan and Phil Sandoval, drummer Gonzo, and bassist Joey Vera. This is a great example of classic metal. I consider it 'classic' because it is in the vein of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, descended straight from the line of great heavy metal of the '70s and '80s, mixed in with a hint of glam and hair metal.
John Bush's excellent vocals are the high point of the album. He can hit some very high notes and has a great range. In my opinion, Bush is competent even with the great heavy metal singers such as Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, and Rob Halford. I even think Bush's voice is similar to that of Steven Tyler. The other instruments - guitars, bass, and drums - are all very well done. They seem to be placed very well within the song; they are able to both show off and fit within the context of the song at the same time. The songwriting is exceptional on this album.
Now for the actual songs. "Reign of Fire" is probably the best song on the album, being both very heavy and having an incredibly infectious chorus. "Dropping Like Flies" is also a very strong song, probably my favorite. It too has a very infectious chorus. I dislike "Last Train Home" because it reminds me too much of an '80s power ballad, like something Motley Crue would do. It is a single however, and also a good song at that. "Tribal Dance" has an interesting tribal percussion part at the beginning and turns out to be a decent heavy song. "The Truth Always Hurts" is a funky sort of song that has more of a loose feel to it. "Half Drawn Bridge" is a great atmospheric guitar solo played over a slow bassline. "Another Day" and "Tained Past" also show tendencies toward the power ballad style. The title track, "Symbol of Salvation" is an excellent metal song that picks up the slack where the mellowness of "Another Day" left off. It sports high-pitched vocals and Iron Maiden-style riffs. "Hanging Judge", "Warzone", and "Burning Question" keep the end of the album rocking hard. The final song "Spineless" is a fast and thrashy metal song that will please the fans of heavier genres.
The production on this album is exceptionally good, as is expected for this genre. The lyrical content mainly includes emotion, such as romantic attraction ("Burning Question"), cynicism ("The Truth Always Hurts"), and grudges ("Hanging Judge"). "Tribal Dance" has the oddball lyrics of the track, which talk about the war on drugs. The cover art is quite unusual, featuring a female suit of armor in a frame.
Overall, this is a well written and well executed album that shows a great example of classic metal and hard rock. This album will appeal to a variety of metal fans, including fans of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensryche, and others. Also fans of Dokken, Whitesnake, and other hard rock bands may appreciate this record. I highly recommend this album and rate it as a 9.
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