Album Review: Armored Saint – Carpe Noctum

By Jaide Alicia

Personally, I have never been a fan of live records. If it isn’t ‘Kiss Alive’, the odds of me listening to it is slim. However, between Accept’s live CD/DVD release ‘Restless and Live’ and Armored Saint’s ‘Carpe Noctum’, it’s safe to say they’re growing on me.

‘Carpe Noctum’ is a live compilation of two of Armored Saint’s German dates from 2015, one being the world-renowned Wacken Open Air. Through this relatively short 8-track, 39-minute live album, the vocals are excellent, the guitars are roaring, with searing solos and the drums radiate through the speakers. The classic Armored Saint is present through tunes such as ‘March of the Saint’, ‘Last Train Home’, ‘Aftermath’ and ‘Reign Of Fire’, and this having been recorded on the band’s touring cycle in support of their latest full-length studio album ‘Win Hands Down’, songs from that album also decorate the set. One might point out that some Armored Saint classics such as ‘Can U Deliver’, ‘Mad House’ and ‘Raising Fear’ are missing here, but that should not discourage you to give this album a listen, because it is still very solid from front to back, as all five members John Bush, Joey Vera, Phil Sandoval, Jeff Duncan and Gonzo Sandoval are at their absolute best.

Opening the album is ‘Win Hands Down’, the title track from the aforementioned 2015 release. Following such a powerful opening, there is a smooth transition into the crowd favorite ‘March of the Saint’- where some chorus duties were taken over by the audience. Throughout the record there is enough crowd participation – be it singing, applause, cheering – to give it the essence of being a truly live album without it being a distraction from the music. Halfway through the album, Armored Saint breaks out into ‘Mess’, another track from ‘Win Hands Down’, to create a powerful passage into the epic ‘Aftermath’. ‘Left Hook from Right Field’, a modern-era Saint hit from the ‘La Raza’ album, comes next, and the album ends strong with the unmatchable metal classic, ‘Reign Of Fire’.

‘Carpe Noctum’ is an accurate depiction of the high-energy performers that are Armored Saint, and comes as a highly recommended release in the realm of live albums.

Rating: 8/10

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Record Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: February 24th 2017

Track Listing:
1. Win Hands Down (5:11)
2. March of the Saint (3:31)
3. Stricken by Fate (3:19)
4. Last Train Home (5:31)
5. Mess (4:40)
6. Aftermath (6:09)
7. Left Hook from Right Field (5:05)
8. Reign of Fire (5:28)

Total Duration: 39:02

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