Released March 16, 2010 (Metal Blade)
01. Loose Cannon
02. Head On
03. Left Hook From Right Field
04. Get Off The Fence
06. La Raza
07. Black Feet
08. Little Monkey
10. Bandit Country
John Bush – vocals
Jeff Duncan – guitar
Phil Sandoval – guitar
Joey Vera – bass
Gonzo Sandoval – drums
Eddie Rouse – congas (6)
Steve Zukowsky – theremin (6)
Jon Saxon – additional percussion
Produced by Joey Vera. Engineered by Bryan Carlstrom.
It has been roughly nine years since the last Armored Saint album Nod To The Old School, but we finally have a follow up. The new album is La Raza, and once again at the helm handling the production is bassist Joey Vera. If you’re expecting an all out metal assault with this album, you’ll be disappointed. In my opinion La Raza picks right up where the band left off on Symbol Of Salvation.
As a rock record this album is king. The drums are pumping, the guitars are in your face and at the forefront, but the real MVP of this album is the mighty John Bush, who has never sounded better. In fact this album will make you wonder why he reunited with Anthrax. Armored Saint still has a lot of left in the tank and La Raza is evidence of this. I know I’m not alone when I say I’d love to see Armored Saint as a full-time band. Can you imagine? They’d be immovable.
Which brings us to this album, it’s a solid 10 tracks with no filler. Each song could stand alone as an individual but when put together and sequenced the flow is impeccable. From the opener “Loose Cannon” to the album closer “Bandit Country” this CD is solid from beginning to end. La Raza is a tribute to three things; a band writing great songs, good musicianship, and chemistry — all of which are found on this album in spades. The standouts tracks for me are “Loose Cannon,” “Left Hood From Right Field,” “Black Feet,” and “Blues”. La Raza is no frills and no gimmicks, just a great band knocking out some excellent tunes.
Nine years is a long time in between records, which leads me to this question. Can you imagine what a band like Armored Saint could have done with the time and budget allotted to an Axl Rose? The sky is the limit, for The Saint.
www.myspace.com/armoredsaint1 – www.metalblade.com
Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, March 2010.