Armored Saint

Armored Saint

Infobox musical artist
Name = Armored Saint
Img_capt =
Img_size =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California,
United States
Genre = Heavy metal
Years_active = 1982-1992
Label = Metal Blade Records (Current Label)
Chrysalis Records
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = John Bush
Phil Sandoval
Joey Vera
Jeff Duncan
Gonzo Sandoval
Past_members = Dave Pritchard

Armored Saint is a Los Angeles, United States, based heavy metal band.


Early career

The band was formed in 1982 by brothers Gonzo Sandoval and Phil Sandoval (check out Sandoval Brothers on iTunes worldwide), and David Prichard. Next to join was singer John Bush and bassist Joey Vera joined later. Gonzo Sandoval came up with the name after getting stoned with the band members and going to the movie Excalibur at a theater in Monterey Park. Armored Saint recorded a five song demo that landed a song on Metal Massacre II and later turned into a three-song EP on Metal Blade Records in 1983 before signing with Chrysalis Records in 1984.

Armored Saint released three albums with Chrysalis, 1984's full length debut "March of the Saint", 1985's "Delirious Nomad" and 1987's "Raising Fear". Phil Sandoval played on "Delirious Nomad", but then left the band, and "Raising Fear" was recorded by the remaining four members of the band. Armored Saint never achieved much success with Chrysalis and in 1989 returned to the Metal Blade stable. The debut album yielded a minor MTV hit with "Can U Deliver?"

Soon after the release of Armored Saint's first live album "Saints Will Conquer" in 1989, the band decided to replace Phil Sandoval, recruiting Jeff Duncan formerly of the L.A. club band Odin as second guitarist. The band had begun writing and recording rough four-track demos for their next album when guitarist Dave Prichard was diagnosed with the leukemia that would end his life before the recording sessions of "Symbol of Salvation". After a brief hiatus, Phil Sandoval returned to the band to replace Pritchard, and Armored Saint returned to the recording studio. The following year "Symbol of Salvation" was released to widespread critical and commercial success. It was dedicated to the spirit and memory of Dave Prichard, whose solo performance on the four-track demo recording of the song 'Tainted Past' was used on the studio recording.During the early days of both bands, John Bush was invited to audition for Metallica, who also courted Joey Vera after the death of their bassist Cliff Burton. Following the successful "Symbol of Salvation" tour, John Bush was offered the lead singer position in the thrash metal band Anthrax. Unsure of Armored Saint's future, Bush accepted the job. The remaining members decided to call it quits and Armored Saint was officially disbanded.

After Armored Saint disbanded, Joey Vera kept busy playing with such bands as Fates Warning, Lizzy Borden and Chroma Key. He released a solo album in 1994 and started a successful second career as a producer and engineer.

Reunion and Future

In 1999, while Anthrax was temporarily on hiatus due to various issues, John Bush got together with Joey Vera and together they decided to reform Armored Saint. The entire "Symbol of Salvation" lineup returned to the studio and in 2000, "Revelation" was released. A small club tour opening for Dio followed. The album was a resurrection of the classic sound of Armored Saint. It features the band's first song with Spanish lyrics, "No Me Digas," originally conceived by Gonzo Sandoval and John Bush, and then revamped by Joey Vera.

The following year, the band released "Nod to the Old School", a collection of rarities, demos and outtakes (many from the Pritchard years), plus a few new tracks were released. Soon after, John Bush returned to the studio with Anthrax and Armored Saint was once again placed on hiatus.

In 2004 Joey Vera joined Anthrax as a temporary member to replace Frank Bello. Early in 2005, Anthrax's Scott Ian announced that their most famous lineup was reformed leaving the membership of Vera and Bush somewhat undetermined. Bush has stated his involvement with Anthrax is over, although Ian does not appear to be sure. This move gave hope to many that Armored Saint would once again start recording. A one-off show with the "Revelation" lineup took place in 2005, and in 2006 the band embarked upon a new tour.

As part of their 20th anniversary and continuing celebrations, Metal Blade released a special edition of "Symbol of Salvation" plus reissued the band's long out of print live video "A Trip Thru Red Times".


It was revealed in an outtake from the documentary film "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" that in 1982 Armored Saint and Metallica were at a party and Phil Sandoval got into an altercation with Lars Ulrich. Phil pushed Lars to the ground, after which Dave Mustaine, who was still a member of Metallica at that time, got involved and ended up breaking Phil's ankle. Dave recounts that to this day when he sees Phil he feels bad for the incident, but that he just had Lars' back. Mustaine later made amends by apologizing and giving Phil Sandoval an ESP guitar as closure.

In 1992, Armored Saint appeared in the film "." They are performing the song "Hanging Judge" in the club that Terry Farrel's character visits.




External links

* [ Armored Saint Official Website]
* []

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