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Armored Saint | Symbol of Salvation | review | metal | Lollipop

Armored Saint

Symbol of Salvation (Metal Blade)
By Martin Popoff

Now this is a re-friggin'-issue, Symbol of Salvation getting a three-CD treatment, no doubt due to Metal Blade president Brian Slagel's deep appreciation for this record, and his first-hand experience of all the tragedy in and around it with guitarist Dave Prichard's death due to cancer. Disc one is the album proper, with two video tracks added. The album is perhaps the band's best, with the melodic and seductive "Last Train Home" and raging NWOBHM riffster "Warzone" standing out. Disc two comprises demos of the album tracks, presented in the same order, recorded over a four year span... and man, the curse of Armored Saint continues, because I think many of these present better than the final album, which, as usual, sounds fence-straddling with its frequencies. On the demos, Bush is wilder, the guitars sizzle, and there's a general live vibing echo; it sounds like an expensive collectible to covet. Top-notch throughout (no boombox stuff here), this is the way I think I'll listen to the album forever on. Sick, ain't it? Def Leppard, take note. What you guys do in the first couple weeks of those two years recording... that's the guts of the record. As for the rest, it's arguable as to whether you're making it better or ruining it. You got a $5000 stereo at home? All the bass and treble and clarity and power you need is in the first $1200. The rest is all ego, a toy, a 30-second twist of the knob to impress your friends. Mr. Oliva, you spend "more time on the high hat now than you spent on the entire recording of Sirens"? Guess what, that's your best-sounding record, chump. Wake of Magellan sounds like a wet bag of hammers in comparison. Enough ranting, however.

On to disc three, and what you get is Slagel interviewing the band about every last detail on the record. The whole thing: The cardboard oversleeve, the lyrics, first-rate layout, liner notes by early 'Blader Jon Sutherland - making this the ultimate reissue, perhaps the way and wave of the future. Congrats.
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