Armored Saint’s Punching The Sky: metal’s great nearly-men remain as exhilarating as ever

Veteran headbangers Armored Saint show the youngsters how it’s done on new album Punching The Sky

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As the missing link between thrash and hard rock during the 80s, Armored Saint were nicknamed “the headbangingest band in LA”. They’re the group from which Anthrax prised John Bush after he turned down Metallica. On those grounds, this eighth album carries big expectations, and Punching The Sky matches such a billing. While the Bush roar remains unmistakable as ever, Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, End Of The Attention Span and the riff-tastic Do Wrong To None are big, meaty, powerful, hook-laden and as rambunctious as any long- term fan will have hoped. Dizzy Reed from Guns N’ Roses adds some keyboard colour, though it’s a minor distraction amid tidal waves of guitar-driven raunch.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.