Armored Saint – “Delirious Nomad” (1985)

Armored Saint displayed a polished and powerful American metal sound on the Delirious Nomad album.  They had a good singer in John Bush, a nice arsenal of riffs, and the wherewithal to mix light and shade dynamics into their songs.  Furthermore, Delirious Nomad benefited from top-shelf production at the hands of the great Max Norman.  That said, there’s something just a bit off about the Delirious Nomad album.  It seems to be missing a certain something to elevate it to greatness. While Delirious Nomad delivers a pair of hidden gems in Aftermath and Conqueror, there are also a fair amount of tunes that never get off the ground.  In general, I find Armored Saint’s songwriting to be a bit aimless on this album.  Some of the songs could have used a bit more structure.  For example, album opener Long Before I Die has only one verse, while Over The Edge lacks a true chorus (as does Released).  I also think that there are an overabundance of lead breaks on this album.  These guitar solos, serviceable as they were, weren’t spectacular enough to warrant so much tape space.

As for the album highlights, Aftermath is the most epic sounding track on the album (and easily my favorite).  A powerful intro gives way to a quiet and somber verse.  Here, John Bush’s raspy voice sounds great over the arpeggiated chords of the acoustic guitar.  I really like the harmonics they toss in there, too.  The drama builds until the electric guitar and drums return in full for the powerful finale.  I also think Conqueror is a great high-energy tune.  It has a cool lead riff and a nice hook.  My score: B


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