Armored Saint Biography

This Los Angeles, California, USA-based heavy metal quintet was formed in 1981. The band originally comprised John Bush (24 August 1963, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals), Dave Prichard (guitar), Phil E. Sandoval (guitar), Joey Vera (bass), and Gonzo Sandoval (drums). Their incessant gigging around the Los Angeles bar and club circuit led to them contributing a track to the Metal Massacre II compilation album. This, in turn, attracted the attention of Chrysalis Records, who signed them in 1984. March Of The Saint appeared the same year to widespread apathy. Poor production resulted in the band’s dynamic energy being totally dissipated in a muddy wall of noise. They moved away from the one-dimensional thrash approach on their next two albums, with Bush’s powerful vocal style giving them a strong identity. With no commercial success after three albums, their contract with Chrysalis ended. The band returned with an excellent live album on Metal Blade Records. Sadly, Dave Prichard died of leukaemia on 27 February 1990. The remaining members, with the addition of touring guitarist Jeff Duncan, elected to complete Symbol Of Salvation, their most accomplished work to date.

In 1992, Bush left to replace Joey Belladonna in Anthrax and the rest of the band dispersed (though Vera and Duncan reunited with Bush in his side-project, Ho Cake). Vera released his solo debut, A Thousand Faces, for Metal Blade in 1994, and later recorded as Chroma Key for Massacre, and with Ray Alder (ex-Fates Warning) as Engine. The band reconvened in late 1998 to record the well-received Revelation.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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