Recorded during the band’s performances in Aschaffenburg in Germany and at Wacken Open Air last year, Carpe Noctem is an all-too-brief snapshot of a band still at the top of its game even after thirty-odd years of blood sweat and tears. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you – Armored Saint.
Eight tracks are featured – and quite frankly that’s nowhere near like enough for this particular ‘Saint devotee – and each one is a corker. Opening with a pummeling take on the title track of their most recent album Win Hands Down, the band quite clearly took no prisoners in a live setting last year. Vocalist John Bush is in full flow throughout – it really is remarkable how much power and vitality the man retains in his leather-lunged bellow, even after all this time – hitting all the notes he needs to and leading the band through rousing renditions of such long term crowd faves as March of the Saint and Stricken by Fate
Newer material fares just as well, with a thoroughly demolishing rendition of Right Hook From Left Field from 2010’s La Raza making it’s presence felt in no uncertain terms, whilst a masterful version of Mess (also from Win Hands Down) also goes down well with the delirious faithful (who are audible between all the songs). However perhaps the best track on offer on this short but sweet little release is an epic run through of Aftermath; First released thirty two years ago on the Delirious Nomad album, this track just never gets old and the respectful, joyous reception it gets on this performance is utterly deserved. Like I said, the band are still at the top of their game even after all this time, and it’s a joy to hear songs of the vintage of Aftermath still being performed with fire in the belly and song in the heart.
A brief interlude in the grand scheme of things, and probably not something anyone other than true ‘Saint devotees will really be interested in, but a nice release nonetheless.