ARMORED Saint have been on something of a resurgence in recent years as those old enough to remember the 1980s thrash are joined with newer fans of the thrash heyday discovering that these older acts can still outdo many of the young pretenders.
At Bloodstock 2015 they wowed the audience with a tight set that energised an early afternoon crowd. With memories of the live album 'Saints Will Conquer' from 1988 it must have been with somewhat trepidation that the band decided to record their shows at Wacken 2015 and Ashaffenburg for posterity.
Released tomorrow (February 14th) 'Carpe Noctum; stands well with the '88 release, material from their two most recent releases standing strong with older material.
Indeed what is worth remarking upon is that 'Left Hook from Right Field', 'Mess' and 'Win Hands Down' sit well with older, so-called classic material such as 'Aftermath' and, of course 'March of the Saint' and 'Reign Of Fire'.
As an be expected from such a talented bunch of musos the playing is excellent: Gonzo still goes...well gonzo on his kit; Joey does what he does best laying a mean bass line; Jeff and Phil have the licks and riffs nailed on; and, John still has the pipes to carry all the songs.
But, most of all the feeling is that the band seem to have retained the passion for live performances, and each track resonates with that desire.
In this age of live DVD/CD/Blu-Ray packages what makes this somewhat retro - in a good way - is that it is a simple straightforward live album: something worth cherishing.
Review by Jonathan Traynor
Armored Saint play Voodoo Lounge, Dublin on March 20th, Belfast's Limelight the next night; HRH Hammerfest on March 23rd as well as selected UK and German dates before heading back to the US for a night in Chicago.