On October 23rd, Armored Saint will release its eighth full-length album, Punching The Sky, through Metal Blade Records. For a first preview of the album, a video for the new single End Of The Attention Span, directed by Robert Graves, can be seen below.

Bassist Joey Vera comments, “We’ve teamed up with video director Robert Graves for our first single, End Of The Attention Span. Robert got the lyrical content right away and together we delved into society’s ongoing fascination with electronic devices and the insidious disconnect it creates. The irony is that most of us feel connected together through our phone and computer screens, but the reality is that we have created a wedge between ourselves. Our human interactions have been infected with an intense need for information. We’re always ‘looking’ for more. The end result is a very damaged attention span.”

Leaders and stalwarts of the American heavy metal scene since the early 1980s, Armored Saint’s Punching The Sky sees them returning hard. A diverse, attitude-drenched collection, it’s everything the band’s faithful have come to expect from them while pushing their signature sound forward.

“The goal is to write really good music. I know I’m stating the obvious here but that’s about the size of our agenda,” says Vera. “We’ve been able to shed a lot of expectations that sometimes plague a band like ours that has been around a long time, and we’ve recently moved into a comfort zone with just being ourselves. We have this kind of freedom now that we didn’t really have early in our career, and we can take some chances and make the kind of music that we want to hear. This record is a reflection of where we are at, right now.”

Exploding to life with the crunchy, rousing Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants and not letting up until the closing ruthless riff of Never You Fret, the record is possessed of an urgency and vigor which very much places it in the right now, but could only be the work of Vera, guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan, drummer Gonzo Sandoval and vocalist John Bush.

“When you’re a band that began four decades ago, you really have to push yourself harder than ever when it comes to making a new record,” states Bush. “The last thing you ever want is for it to appear as though you were going through the motions or that you’re just putting a product out to do some touring. The records are immortal. They’ll be here long after us. Every one needs to count in its own individual way.”

Punching The Sky features a few guest musicians further expanding its sonic palette, the whole thing kicking off with the sound of Uilleann Pipes, Vera finding player Patrick D’Arcy in Los Angeles and recruiting him to the cause. Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed also contributes, Vera giving both him and D’Arcy some general directions and letting them loose, both of them delivering strong performances. The band’s own Gonzo Sandoval plays an American Indian flute on Never You Fret — a first for Armored Saint and their drummer. Also Jacob Ayala, the son of a childhood friend who is a drum major in high school, added some marching snare on one of the tracks, which really stands out.

With the band’s place in the metal scene firmly re-established with Punching The Sky, they are staring down their four decade anniversary, which Vera reflects on.

“Part of me feels like I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for that long. It’s kind of incredible,” Vera says. “So I feel pretty damn lucky really, that we’ve been able to have the support from fans and our record company for all these years. Without this support, we really couldn’t do any of this. So this is the big part of what has kept us going, and when I stop and look around, I am humbled that we’ve had this opportunity to make music and tour for such a long time. That’s what our initial goal was back when we were just 18 years old.”

Punching The Sky track listing:

1.  Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants 
2. End Of The Attention Span 
3. Bubble 
4. My Jurisdiction 
5. Do Wrong To None 
6. Lone Wolf 
7. Missile To Gun 
8. Fly In The Ointment 
9. Bark, No Bite 
10. Unfair 
11. Never You Fret 

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  • D.J.H on

    I’ve never listened to Armored Saint before; I knew the name but not the music. Having just listened to this song, I have to say that it’s great that at least one band is talking about this subject.

    I of course have a mobile phone (I know those in the US call them cell phones – but I’m from England so I call it a mobile phone) I hardly ever use it for anything! Sometimes I don’t even switch it on for days; yet I know / work with people who just can’t put the damn things down!

    I actually see this as an addiction like drugs and alcohol. When I see couples out on a date and they’re sitting there messing with their phones and not talking to each other……ARGGGH!!! And then, even worse, they sit texting each other rather than talking…. what the f***!

    Like everything there are good points and bad points, but from what I see the bad seems to be winning. The loss of attention span, especially amongst the younger generation is disappearing like the song says. Kids today can’t sit and watch something for more than a couple of minutes before getting bored and wanting to move on to the next thing before they get bored of that.

    I’ll be 42 in November and I’m glad that I had my childhood (although destroyed by school bullies) when I did and not today. Because of the technology and all the different ways that people are constantly connected, if what happened to me 30+ years ago would now be a million times worse.

    Maybe more kids should be made to listen to Metal music and then they might wake up and learn something.

    Just saying…. :()

    • Dana on


      I am quite a bit older than you (going to be 51 on 8/22), but Armored Saint’s big debut hit in America, was a song called Can U Deliver, which I love. The video was also over MTV, and if you are interested, you can see it here:

      D 🙂

    • Michael Minutaglio on

      My issue with “Can U Deliver” was the video. when i was 12 or 13 i saw this and automatically thought they were some European Medieval Band, and it turned me off. I liked the song but didn’t think they were “cool” enough for my 12 year old self. Of course, years later I realized they were an American Metal band and they have some really good songs. Jon Bush is another amazing singer and I loved his albums with Anthrax.

      I originally saw this video almost nightly on U-68, a UHF channel in the NY area. Please someone else remember this awesome channel but me! Every night for an hour at 11 they would play metal videos. That is where I first saw Queensrhyche, AC/DC (with the Fly on the Wall videos), Ratt, Grim Reaper Keel and countless others. I LOVED that channel!!

    • Dana on


      I do. I watched U68 all the time and listened to WSOU college radio, out of Seton Hall university in South Orange, NJ. I also lived at L’Amour in Brooklyn (where I was born and raised, until we moved to the UES of Manhattan when I was 24), those were great times.

      As for the Can U Deliver video, I thought it was a bit cheesy, but I was able to separate the video from the song.

      D 🙂

  • Rattlehead on

    Great song from great band with a great singer! And the album cover looks great, too! I already preordered my copy of this album…Special Edition Deluxe bundle, of course!

  • brad dawson on

    HUUUUUUGE Armored Saint Fan !!!!….I moved from Iowa to the Sunset Strip in March of 1984 to be IN the Scene…..and Saints became my favorite……..Hollywood Palladium Show in March of 1985….a Sunday Night…saw Metallica OPEN for Armored Saint…what a show !!…John Bush is one of metals best singers ever……..Saints Will Conquer !!!!

    • Rattlehead on

      Brad, the day before your Palladium show, I saw Armored Saint open for Metallica in San Diego at the Backdoor, 400 people max! I thought Armored Saint blew Metallica away! I was at the front of the stage singing the songs in unison with John Bush. John put the microphone in front on me and let me sing some lyrics to “Mutiny On The World”.

      Most recently, I saw them open for UFO in October 2019. John Bush still has his great voice!

  • D.J.H on

    Hi Dana

    I’ve had a listen to Can U Deliver. The main driving riff is very similar to the main riff in Megalomania by Black Sabbath (Sabotage Album). The tuning is different (Iommi was tuned in C-sharp, Can U Deliver sounds like standard E tuning) but it’s got the meat and potatoes of that.

    And being a Sabbath nut and Tony Iommi being the reason I picked up a guitar (as well as owning the Epiphone Tony Iommi model SG) it’s not a bad thing!!

    I think I might give some of their other stuff a listen too…. \m/

    • Dana on

      That’s great, I hope you may have stumbled upon something you will like. 🙂

      D 🙂

    • Rattlehead on

      D.J.H., check out Saint’s “Symbol of Salvation”, “Win Hands Down”, or “Revelation” albums. Actually, I think all their albums are great, not a clunker in the bunch.

      Armored Saint should have been huge. Being an LA based band, they were neither a glam or thrash band which were the “fads” at that time, so I think they fell into obscurity.

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