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Friday, June 17, 2011

REVIEW: Armored Saint - A Trip Thru Red Times 1982-1990 DVD

a trip thru red times

Armored Saint is a heavy metal band from US Los Angeles. They were created under name Armored Saint at 1982 and remained pretty much semi-known band that never made it to real fame (many of the best metal bands never did, because in most cases fame means mainstream in style). Armored Saint played classic US heavy metal and you could perhaps hear slight glam influences in their sound also. When things looked allright for them, their guitarist (may he rest in peace) Dave Prichard died of leukemia in 1990 with Saint having 3 full-lenghts under their belt at that time. Their fourth studio album was just on the way to be recorded and released before Dave died. He took part on composing songs to the 4th full lenght called Symbol of Salvation, but never recorded the songs to the album except demo-versions. Instead Jeff Duncan from Odin took the 2nd guitarist job to the album. As I understand this DVD is dedication for Saint's early years and Dave. A Trip Thru Red Times was originally released in 1991 on VHS, but was later re-released on DVD with more extras added in 2003. This review is about DVD version.

So, enought about history.
A Trip Thru Red Times is pretty much value for money. I haven't seen that many history-style dvd's from different bands but this one is definetely my favourite so far along with Story of Anvil (Anvil UK). Ok, so menus might not look the best but they are ok and have certain theme that fits to Armored Saint. But who cares really, material is quite gold.

First of all, theres loads of extras that are quite worthy. Extra videos have two official music videos (Reign of Fire and Last Train Home from '91) and four extra live clips. Then theres a "Interview + slide show" clip which is over an hour long interview with band from early 2000's where they talk about how it all started and about their friendship, development of the band from early times to nowadays. Interview is enchanted with slide shows. Pretty damn interesting interview at least in the eyes of a fan. Almost as worthy as the actual main video itself. Theres also actual slideshow photo-gallery which is always plus. Last but not least theres a small bonus CD with five songs recorded live in 1984. Pretty much moneys worth of bonus material I'd say!

Now to the actual main video which is the original '91 release from A Trip Thru Red Times VHS. It runs slightly less than hour. Its nicely compiled from live-clips in chronological order consisting of 11 songs played live. They are taken from different shows but it doesn't really matter cause the way the video is compiled. After each clip there's an interview or other video with the band members hosting the video and leading watcher to the next live clip. This kinda compiles band's live performances and short interviews with humorous commentary of the band members. It works really well and whole 52minutes manages to keep at least a fan interested. Main video is not only live pieces set together, with band members commentary it succeeds to be a more like documentary about band's history.

The quality in live pieces vary but its mostly fine considering the time of the recording. Video quality is slighly on worse side on live songs and I can see how someone could complain about it a bit. The sound quality manages to be pretty good in my opinion. Nothing so bad in quality that it would had bothered myself.

So what we have here is nice history documentary about Armored Saint with humorous commentary by the band, alongside with quite nice bonus material. Have to give the points especially for the long interesting interview with the band spiced up with slideshow picture material. If you find this somewhere and don't mind slightly dated video quality and are interested about history documentary-style DVD then get this. Highly recommended! 88/100 (Great)

A Trip Thru Red Times VHS:
-Main video running time 52min
-Interview running time 1h 5min
-Extra videos - Two music videos + four live clips
-Four songs extra live-cd '84
-Photo gallery

  • John Bush - Vocals
  • Jeff Duncan - Guitars
  • Dave Prichard (R.I.P. 1990) - Guitars
  • Phil Sandoval - Guitars
  • Joey Vera - Bass
  • Gonzo Sandoval - Drums


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