Here we have the 8th album by American Metal Blade institution Armored Saint and like the album title suggests, this troop is not satisfied with status the world is currently in but they rather opt to go against all odds. Push through the limit, punch sky, show the middle finger to overall depressive state… hey, isn’t that what good metal is all about? The album starts somewhat strange for Armored Saint, the sound of Uilleann Pipes and tender sounds makes you think that Punching the Sky will be mixed affair but very soon Standing on the Shoulders of Giants develops into trademark sound you come to expect from them. Energetic tempo, infectious energy and John Bush singing his ass off: hell yeah, this is the Armored Saint in their proper shape! Mentioned song is the longest one on the entire album, it should be noted, but the rest of the album is just as strong and while inspecting the song structures one will easily see that the bend went for simpler yet catchier approach comparing to the previous album. The great addition to it is John Bush, I am not telling you anything new when I say that he sounds fantastic and it is small miracle how he has preserved his voice so well over all these years. Like I have already stated, Punching the Sky is pure Armored Saint you have come to love ages ago but for this occasion the band has strengthened the songs themselves for the best outcome. I have to admit that I was not a big fan of La Raza album since it has suffered from a lot of filler songs, but already the previous one Win Hands Down bettered the situation in that department. The first few listens of Punching the Sky shows even greater enthusiasm, I will let the time be the judge will this album be the best one since their golden 80s era. For now the final verdict is that Punching the Sky is the album that sees this band of brothers still going strong, neglecting all the laws of logic that they should end it already and proving that classic US metal is still alive in the hands of masters.
Metal Blade Records CD
Slobodan Trifunovic (8)