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Symbol Of Salvation - Armored Saint

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Armored Saint / Enhanced / Audio CD released 2003-05-19 at Metal Blade

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      28.01.2008 11:17
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      Armored Saint's fourth album (1991).

      Although they were never a particularly prominent band (with good reason), 'Symbol of Salvation' is Armored Saint's answer to Metallica's black album, Megadeth's 'Countdown to Extinction,' Testament's 'The Ritual,' Anthrax's 'Sound of White Noise' and all the other releases of the early nineties that saw established heavy metal bands jumping ship to follow a blander and more commercially viable hard rock direction due to the declining popularity of metal. Like those aforementioned albums, it has its bright moments, but is fundamentally a trite blasphemy from heavy metal's self-appointed armed defenders.

      These thirteen songs are all as repetitive and samey as those on previous Armored Saint albums, but the difference here is that the powerful guitars and fast drums have been traded in for a thinner, more radio-friendly sound confined to an irritating medium-speed plod. John Bush's vocals are about the only thing left from the band of old, and even the album's best moments, such as the more intricate and moody 'Tainted Past' and the guitar-dominated 'Reign of Fire' pale in comparison to offerings from its predecessor 'Raising Fear.' This is essentially a hard rock album that takes very few risks, where some stereotypical tribal percussion at the beginning of 'Tribal Dance' is about the most eccentric thing you're going to find.

      Once disappointed metal fans are able to get past this initial disappointment, further compounded by the oddly tame and passion-free 'Warzone,' there are a few enjoyable mellow rock songs in the form of 'The Truth Always Hurts' and 'Hanging Judge,' the latter of which features some good incorporation of guitar leads into the vocal lines and would be a really good song if it was a lot heavier. 'Reign of Fire' and 'Spineless' bookend the album with hard and comparatively energetic offerings that are still lacking in speed and any true aggression that would have worked a treat (repeating "you spineless son of a bitch" isn't enough to convince me), and the majority of the album consists of watered down versions of this same style.

      The three that stand out, and not necessarily for good reason, are 'Last Train Home,' 'Another Day' and the aforementioned 'Tainted Past,' for being the necessary slower offerings - here increased to three compared to one on each of the previous albums - all of which are tediously overlong, but at least chronicle a sort of internal evolution from the slow rock of the first to the soft singing of the second and the full-on acoustic of the latter, which eventually gives way in the face of electric riffs. You evidently can't repress heavy metal forever, but you can impose a temporary abstinence from its practitioners by waving money in their fickle faces and telling them that it won't be for long; soon it will be the twenty-first century and daft metal will be popular again, and they'll be able to shift some more repetitive heavy metal garbage in the name of being old-school. It's just a shame they caved in to trends back when they were at the top of their game.

      1. Reign of Fire
      2. Dropping Like Flies
      3. Last Train Home
      4. Tribal Dance
      5. The Truth Always Hurts
      6. Half Drawn Bridge
      7. Another Day
      8. Symbol of Salvation
      9. Hanging Judge
      10. Warzone
      11. Burning Question
      12. Tainted Past
      13. Spineless

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Reign Of Fire
    2 Dropping Like Flies
    3 Last Train Home
    4 Tribal Dance
    5 Truth Always Hurts
    6 Half Drawn Bridge
    7 Another Day
    8 Symbol Of Salvation
    9 Hanging Judge
    10 Warzone
    11 Burning Question
    12 Tainted Past
    13 Spineless

    Disc #2 Tracklisting
    1 Reign Of Fire
    2 Dropping Like Flies
    3 Last Train Home
    4 Tribal Dance
    5 Truth Always Hurts
    6 Half Drawn Bridge
    7 Another Day
    8 Symbol Of Salvation
    9 Hanging Judge
    10 Warzone
    11 Burning Question
    12 Tainted Past
    13 Spineless
    14 Interview

    Disc #3 Tracklisting
    1 Interview