Armored Saint - Delirious Nomad
Chrysalis
Heavy Metal
10 songs (41:54)
Release year: 1985
Armored Saint
Reviewed by Stefan
Archive review
Who would have thought a band with a good but ultimately unoriginal debut album (March of the Saint) could transform itself in a classy, world class Heavy Metal act and release one of the best albums of 1985? That’s exactly what happened to Armored Saint when, given the budget and surroundings to do the work properly, they released their second album on the Chrysalis label who obviously thought they did something good with their first opus though it sold poorly.

And, wow, were they rewarded of their investment! Simply put, Delirious Nomad is almost flawless and doesn’t have to go all guns blazing to make its point. Actually, by modern standards it sounds almost mellow, not exactly soft but polished (produced) to a point where one can doubt the band’s ability to replicate such a performance in a live setting (On the Edge with its almost jazzy rhythm guitar part, for example). That said, this sophisticated version of the NWOBHM (something which compares and rivals with the best of Diamond Head…that’s a compliment!) probably needed a little bit of Max Norman’s magic to come together and the then up and coming sound-maker did do a terrific job at it, let him be thanked.

Of course, without songs, good studio craftsmanship would have been at a loss, it’s not as the five Angelenos came up with some divine fire which, undeniably, reaches its goal. From the mid-tempo opener (Long Before I Die, where John Bush truly became the singer we’ve all came to know and love) to the energetic closer (Release) there’s not much to leave aside. In fact there’s nothing even though some tracks shine a little brighter than others: Over the Edge where both axemen deliver and exquisite and extraordinary performance (both lead and rhythm) that’s only surpassed by that of their vocalist, or Aftermath which, from its instrumental intro to its slow-paced development and powerful finish could easily be seen as some sort of avant-garde of what was to become Progressive Metal. Actually, the whole album has a prog-feel (and many little surprises along the way to validate such assessment) which successfully sets it apart from most of the others release of its time. And yet it remains some of the truest, honest to god demonstration of classic Heavy Metal brilliance…At its most refined, that is.

Shortly after the album was released, guitarist Phil Sandoval decided to leaveArmored Saint, nothing will ever be the same again as showcased on the still recommended but a tad “run of the mill” album, Raising Fear. As it happens, Delirious Nomad would remain Armored Saint’s magnum opus, one as savory today as it was on its release day…Even better, maybe.
Killing Songs :
All but Nervous Man, On the Edge and Aftermarth are the finest.
Stefan quoted 96 / 100
Other albums by Armored Saint that we have reviewed:
Armored Saint - Win Hands Down reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Armored Saint - La Raza reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Armored Saint - Symbol Of Salvation reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 89 / 100
Armored Saint - Nod To The Old School reviewed by Danny and quoted no quote
Armored Saint - Revelation reviewed by Danny and quoted 90 / 100
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