Armored Saint (1982-1992, 1999-present): a Heavy Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA.
ounded with John Bush (vocals), Phil E. Sandoval (guitar), brother Gonzo Sandoval (drums), Dave Prichard (guitar) and Joey Vera (bass), they signed to 'Chrysalis' on the strength of their inclusion of Lesson Well Learned on the Metal Massacre II compilation but not before the release band's self-titled EP on 'Metal Blade Records' in 1983 that featured three tracks they had recorded for their earlier demo.
Their debut, March Of The Saint EP (1984), soon followed; the album featured what was best described as "proto-thrash", a primitive thrash metal sound that was quickly followed-up with two equally influential albums, Delirious Nomad (1985) and Rising Fear (1987). These albums received more interest from fans. They also featured better production and a more dynamic Thrash sound. Sundoval, however, had split during the recording of the latter to form Megattack.
They continued as a four piece until Jeff Duncan (ex-Odin) was recruited. Both albums hovered just over the US 100 marker when their label suddenly dropped them claiming sales were insufficient to renew their contract. Many critics, however, believed the sales were low because the label didn't know how to promote them properly. Nonetheless the band was unhappy all the same so they signed to 'Enigma/heavy metal Blade' shortly later and released a live act, Saints Will Conquer - Live (1988).
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It would be three years before a new studio effort came in the form of Symbol Of Salvation (1991). The album proved to be their most acclaimed piece but the celebration would be short, with Bush leaving to Anthrax. The album was also launched without Prichard due to his death from Leukemia the year previous; Phil Sandoval returned to replace Prichard. Alan Barlam then replaced Duncan.
In 1992, Armored Saint contributed the song Hanging Judge to the Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth soundtrack, as well as made a brief appearance in the film. However, the band split shortly after.
After Armored Saint disbanded, Joey Vera kept busy playing with such bands as Fates Warning, Lizzy Borden and Chroma Key. He released a solo album in 1994 and started a successful second career as a producer and engineer. The Sandoval brothers formed Life After Death, who have since split up, and Jeff Duncan formed DC4 with brothers Shawn and Matt, and former Dio guitarist Rowan Robertson.
In 1999, with Anthrax on temporary hiatus, Bush and Vera decided to reform Armored Saint with the Symbol of Salvation.
Revelation (2000) and The 2-CD compilation "best of..." featuring their early demos and some new stuff, Nod To The Old School, popped out in early 2001 under the line-up John Bush (vocals), Jeff Duncan (guitar), Phil Sandoval (guitar), Joey Vera (of Fates Warning/ex-Engine; bass), Gonzo Sandoval (drums), many of whom continued in their new outfits while employed in Armored Saint.
Soon after, John Bush returned to the studio with Anthrax, and Armored Saint was once again placed on indefinite hiatus, but not officially split.
As part of the band's 20th anniversary, 'Metal Blade' released a special edition of Symbol of Salvation. Also reissued was the band's long out of print live video A Trip Thru Red Times.
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