Live records are a tough sell, for sure. Think about Cheap Trick’s Live at Budokan or Ted Nugent’s Double Live Gonzo, both albums are legendary. We’ll add Armored Saint to that prestigious club with their new record Symbol of Salvation Live, set to drop October 22 via Metal Blade Records. Sure, they released 2016’s Carpe Noctum (Live), but the difference is, we get Symbol of Salvation played start to finish with John Bush doing a little storytelling between songs, and you know what? It’s great!
Armored Saint take us back to July 13, 2018, at the Gramercy Theater in New York City when they were doing a handful of shows prepping for their upcoming Symbol of Salvation tour. As John Bush tells the story, the band was dropped from Chrysalis Records, and it was three long years until Brian Slagel signed them to the Metal Blade roster, eventually releasing Symbol of Salvation. However, in 1990, before going into the studio, they lost founding guitarist Dave Prichard to leukemia. That’s a tough haul for any band and it became that much more important to make this an epic, cornerstone release, which it was.
Decades later, Armored Saint are still in top fighting shape. When most bands are slowing down, Armored Saint have the pedal to metal. Symbol of Salvation Live sound tight, fresh, and heavier than ever. It’s hard to believe this disc was made 30 years ago, Armored Saint make it sound like its brand new. The four stand out tracks are “Symbol of Salvation,” “Reign of Fire,” “Spineless,” and the never played live, “Hanging Judge.” Here’s some trivia metal fans: If you’re a fan of the Hellraiser movie franchise, you’ll remember the Saint rocking JP Monroe’s cursed Boiler Room with “Hanging Judge” in the beginning of Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, but you already knew that, right?
The sound on this disc is spectacular. The audio mix, which will either make or break a live album, is spot on perfect. The postproduction and audio was basically handled by Joey Vera and key members of their live team, so it’s already going to be great, which it is. As an extra bonus, the vinyl version of the record contains five demo tracks from the Symbol Of Salvation writing sessions with Dave Prichard, which have never been released on that format. I can’t say enough good things about Symbol of Salvation Live. It’s the best live album I’ve heard in years. Preorder it. Buy it. And if you rock a battle vest, patch the Saint on.
Preorder Symbol of Salvation Live here.
Visit Armored Saint’s official website here.