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Armored Saint | Nod to the Old School | review | metal | Lollipop

Armored Saint

Nod to the Old School (Metal Blade)
by Scott Hefflon

Armored Saint were one of my first underground metal bands, so they hold a special place in my heart and nothing can ever match that first "Holy Shit!" (or "OMG!," for you chat geeks, lol) when I realized there was a whole world beneath the Shout at the Devil surface I'd so reveled in until that moment. That eye-opening moment, that lightening-bolt realization that everything you thought you knew is simply the bulky obviousness which blocks sight of layer after layer of other cool shit, that loss of virginity, basically - that's a feeling never to be regained, yet a moment to be cherished forever. And I like to delude myself that I've devoted my life, through this magazine, to offering people The Red Pill that shows them how deep the rabbit hole goes...

Nod to the Old School is a double-disc filled with demos (including the much sought after three-song EP from 19-fuckin'-83 and an unreleased demo of "Stricken by Fate" from those early days) and '00/'01 versions of what come-latelies probably called hits (and includes a couple live videos to boot). Aside from the title track of the first record, March of the Saint, it's all kinda foggy to me. But seeing as that first record changed my entire perspective, I don't feel bad brushing off everything else as far secondary. Hell, I still listen to that record cuz it was early metal with dusty rock roots showing. Loud, a little flat-sounding, yet with young, idealistic enthusiasm ya can't fake... When they wore chainmail and talked of "brawling with the brave," "raise your beer to the mess" and all that booze'n'broads'n'brawlin' bullshit, I bought it. Maybe that's cuz I was 14 (that explains Limp Bizkit's appeal in one easy stroke), but I think there was a purity there, a kinda clueless "What, we're wearing armor and armbands and look dirty and unshaven and shit... Haven't you ever watched Conan movies, dude?" straight-forwardness that market analysts like Durst just can't match. So yeah, Nod to the Old School is right on... It gave me stuff that's even older than what I already had, decent-sounding revamps of material I liked dirty (but these are cool too), and oughtta provide even diehard fans with between-the-cracks stuff. And for everyone else, well, get a couple others first, then this to tie it all together. Lots of photos and painfully-detailed liner notes make this a worthy overview of a twenty-year career.
(2828 Cochran St. PMB #302 Simi Valley, CA 93065)


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