Album Review: Armored Saint – Punching the Sky (Metal Blade Records)

Leaders and stalwarts of the American heavy metal scene since the early 80s, Armored Saint’s eighth full-length Punching The Sky sees them returning hard. Metal Blade Records will release their new album on October 23rd 2020.

No one can deny that Armored Saint have shed blood, sweat and tears to reach the status they have. Since 1982 they have been steadfastly plying their metal trade but few would have expected them to still be going strong in 2020. However, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. You can see that yourself by checking out recent interview with vocalist John Bush here.

Armored Saint are back and they’re Punching the Sky with the biggest and strongest metal fist.

Eleven tracks long, the bagpipes at the start of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants gets the blood pumping but also tells you that Armored Saint have a few tricks up their sleeves here. When it does properly get going, it’s a classic head-banger with a huge chorus to boot. John Bush in particular is on fire with his vocals.

If it’s something with a bit more thrashing groove that you’re after though, look no further than the frenetic End of the Attention Span. Whereas the following Bubble has a really rich depth to the percussion and has these momentary bursts of pace in the chorus that just sits so right.

It just gets better too as the heavyweights look to the rock and roll playbook with my Jurisdiction while also dropping the best guitar solo on the album. Do Wrong To None is a thumping combination of drums and razor sharp chuggy guitars. Lone Wolf is all about the guitar groove and Missile to Gun is a no-nonsense head-banger. An ode to the classic days of Armored Saint while still sounding delectably modern.

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Which is a fine summation of the album as whole. One foot in the past and one foot in the present. Punching the Sky will please long-term fans while potentially winning the metallers some new fans too.

Who couldn’t find themselves reflecting with the powerful metal ballad that is Fly in the Ointment or head-banging along to the meaty defiance of Bark, No Bite? Or pleasantly surprised by the mellow moodiness of Unfair?

Armored Saint then end their 8th album in spectacular heavy style. With Bush spitting venom, the guitars driving forward at a frantic pace and the drums sounding out a bludgeoning beat. It’s a horns in the air kind of finale.

Armored Saint – Punching the Sky Full Track Listing:

1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
2. End of the Attention Span
3. Bubble
4. My Jurisdiction
5. Do Wrong to None
6. Lone Wolf
7. Missile to Gun
8. Fly in the Ointment
9. Bark, No Bite
10. Unfair
11. Never You Fret


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Armored Saint - Punching the Sky (Metal Blade Records)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
User Review
9.5/10 (1 vote)
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