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Make me feel...I'm not alone - 98%

Tony Denis, December 10th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2011, CD, Rock Candy Records (Collector's edition, Remastered)

Ya think it’s over just yet? Not quite. The Saints were still at it. Following the release of March of the Saint, a second album was made, Delirious Nomad. This album, in my own little opinion, is probably one of the huger gold nuggets in the AS catalog. The album is more metal, edgier, lyrically mature and expresses a lot of anxiety about the Cold War at the time, which I’ll point out a lot here as the review goes on. Doom and gloom dominate this album, making it the Saint’s darker albums yet, even in the face of sheer brilliance.

The album begins with Long Before I Die, a perfect song to kick off what comes eventually, slamming you into a nearby wall and keeping you glued on it. Then, the anxious and pessimistic Nervous Man kicks in, with some wicked solos and riffs, complete with John Bush’s worried, but ever-growling vocals. Over the Edge goes in with enough momentum to give you the creeps, The Laugh taunts you with a sense of musical mockery, then the triumphant and prideful Conqueror barges in, and is the sadly most overlooked track on the album. For the Sake then goes back to the doom and gloom, which is then met with the semi-emotional ballad that is Aftermath. In the Hole is the most worrying and scared song of the bunch, You’re Never Alone is a sinister testament with groovy melodies and lastly, Released lets you go (pun intended) with some quasi-thrash riffs and solos, closing off this album with a bang. This is a diverse album through and through, and each song sounds very different than the last. John Bush’s vocals lower or get higher depending on the mood of the songs.

I’ll say it again; the album was released during the peak of the Cold War. Nuclear war to the eyes of many was a very real possibility, and this album reflects much of that, with songs like Nervous Man, Aftermath and In the Hole, to even the cover art itself. These provide more depth in the songs (plus I’m a Cold War history nut to boot), showing nuclear anxiety from the perspective of the Saints. These three tracks stand out as some of the best on the album, though of course everything else is also oozing with excellent composition.

As for this Rock Candy rerelease, a demo for The Laugh and a rough mix for You’re Never Alone are very welcome additions, especially the latter, which has very catchy solo, and more in-depth history revolving on the making of the album (did you know, the album was going to use a mushroom cloud as it’s cover art to really reflect the anxiety of the Cold War at the time?). Regardless, Delirious Nomad is one of the Saint’s best offerings when it comes to classic albums, and even as a heavy metal album in general. It’s pumpy, it’s gritty, and it's catchy. Go listen to this immediately, you won’t regret it.

A Successful old school material of the 80's... - 75%

Prowler_84, March 31st, 2010

After launching their career with a promising album callad March of the Saint, U.S.A. based band Armored Saint put another heavy brick on their album catalogue.

This effort was called Delirious Nomad and proved their songwriting talents including some good melodies, thrashy riffs and effective vocals. So musicians are the most important point to consider. Every song is very well played by all the musicians involved. Bassist Joey Vera is one of the most remarkable factor to mention. His talents take attention during the whole record. You can admirably hear his bass solo on the last track "Released".

On Delirious Nomad, music is raw heavy metal in U.S. sytle and consist of 10 tracks mostly in mid tempo. Tracks are riff-oriented, in raw old school style. If you are looking for great choruses, or orchestral arrangements you should look elsewhere. Production is another successful issue on the album. I think good production had given the band enough chance to introduce themselves.

Delirious Nomad consists many catchy and thrashy songs like "Long Before I Die" or "Nervous Man", some bluesy groove moments like "Over The Edge",
ballad-like epic "Aftermath", fast-paced moments like the energetic song "Released". Most songs are similar in terms of quality. There is no filler track in it but there is nothing to consider as a metal masterpiece too.

With a rating of 75%, Delirious Nomad is a pretty good album that I enjoy. Any higher rating would be an emotional evaluation. Even though a person enjoys an album sooo much, it doesn't always mean it deserves a range of 90%-99% rating. These rates should not be given easily.

Not a definite classic but Delirious Nomad was a successful old school heavy/power metal effort which had already appreciated by many fans.

Highlights: Long before I die, Nervous man, Aftermath, For the sake of heaviness, You 're never alone

Underrated & Under Appreciated Gem - 98%

drewnm156, June 23rd, 2007

Armored Saint has long been a bit underappreciated in the metal realm. Well no album from the 80’s is more underrated than this gem from 1985. Although they gained some fleeting popularity in the 90’s with Symbol of Salvation, Armored Saint is probably best known as the former band of John Bush who spent time in Anthrax. Although SOS is a very good album, this is the classic Armored Saint recording. Their first album had some great songs but poor production, while third album Raising Fear lacked classic songs and had way too much filler. Delirious Nomad however contains the best Armored Saint songs backed with a clear and heavy production.

For the un-initiated, I would describe their music as blue collar power metal. Similar in style to British Steel Judas Priest, yet with better song arrangements and a definitive American style all their own. Songs are mid tempo, riff oriented, backed with a solid rhythm section anchored by Joey Vera. John Bush one of the most underrated metal singer of the 80’s is the real star of the show. His gruff and bluesy voice never hits the stratosphere like contemporaries, Bruce Dickenson or Michael Kiske. However his voice adds a more muscular approach to the music and avoids all the clichés of a typical metal singer. It is Bush’s vocals over well thought out and interesting songs that make this album so special.

As great as this album is, it is a bit of a grower. There in may be the problem for some listeners. Apart from the great chorus in Conqueror I wouldn’t say the songs will instantly etch themselves in your brain after a few listens. The songs build upon one another after repeated listens. Those looking for the instant gratification of speed metal or catchy glam metal, will probably not give this album the time it deserves. Those with patience and attention to detail will find an album filled with great vocals, inventive riffing, unique melodies and classic songs. Lyrically the album also follows a conceptual theme of cold war paranoia, spies and nuclear destruction.

The band succeeded in taking basic song structures (verse, chorus, verse, etc.) while expanding and tweaking them just enough that each song comes across as unique. This allows the album remain fresh throughout even though many of the same ingredients are used in each song. A good example of this construction would be ‘For The Sake’. It features an eerie fade-in high register palm muted riff before the slamming riff that follows comes blasting in. The first verse is sung over a number of clean arpeggio guitars while using a siren like guitar line to separate the verses. The song ends with a chaotic abstract bit, not unlike the end of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ by Metallica. The version here is crazier and includes vocal vamping which makes the finale much more climactic.

The album starts off strong with songs such as the almost thrashy Long Before I Die and pounding Nervous Man. Both are aggressive yet accessible. However unlike most albums, the best songs on the album are actually the last five. From the aforementioned ‘For The Sake’ to frenetic closer ‘Released’ the album is simply flawless.

The three best songs on the album are the grouping of the ballad like ‘Aftermath’, ‘In The Hole’ and ‘You’re Never Alone’. On a separate note check out the live version of ‘Aftermath’ on the ‘A Trip Through Red Times’ video, as it is a fantastic version of the song. All three contain great riffs, solos, vocals and fantastic lyrics.

Younger listeners that grew up with death metal, black metal or the crazy abstract song structures employed by Dillenger Escape Plan and the like, might find this album a bit staid. Those who love traditional metal and a have some patience to let the songs evolve will realize a simple fact. Delirious Nomad is a masterpiece.

A Mixed Bag, Still Pretty Good Overall - 74%

lonerider, February 9th, 2006

Armored Saint’s second full-length studio recording offers ten tracks of decent American Power Metal – nothing more, nothing less. With my summary for this review already out of the way, let me explain briefly how I came to this conclusion.

“Delirious Nomad” is a bit of a mixed bag in that the individual songs never fail to reach a certain quality level, yet there just seems to be something missing. It’s difficult to pin down, but somehow the album never really hit the right nerve with me. I happen to dig it out of the vault occasionally, and I usually like what I hear, but never enough to make me listen to it on a more frequent basis.

What’s good about this record is that it contains classic riff-oriented American Power Metal. So for all you haters of the “flowery” brand of Power Metal played by the likes of Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, or (more recent) Blind Guardian, this may just be your cup of tea. There are no huge choruses, no over-the-top orchestral arrangements, not even keyboards – only stripped down, basic Power Metal emphasizing riffs instead of melodies (though singer John Bush has a rather melodic voice). And I might add that for a mid-eighties release, the production by Max Norman sounds surprisingly good, even for modern standards. Every instrument is clearly audible, including the bass.

Now to what’s not so good about this record: it contains generic riff-oriented American Power Metal. In fact, the actual thing that makes this album good is also the thing that drags it down, because the quality of riff-oriented music stands and falls with the quality of the riffs (quite a twist; bet you didn’t see that coming). And unfortunately, “Delirious Nomad” doesn’t have enough memorable kick-ass riffs to be considered a truly great record. Quite a few of the songs just happen to pass by without making any lasting impression.

Another deficit is the overall lack of fast songs. Except for “Conqueror” (featuring a really nice chorus) and “Released” (neat bass solo), which are at least a little faster than the rest, all the songs cover the range from slow to mid-tempo, making this yet another release marred by a lack of variation.

As this is a very homogeneous album, there’s no need for a detailed song-by-song discussion. However, there are a few tracks that stand out a little from the rest. These would be the opener “Long Before I Die,” the quasi-title track “Nervous Man,” the already mentioned “Conqueror,” and “For the Sake of Heaviness,” which has one of those memorable riffs this album could use a couple more of. There aren’t any particular highlights besides these, although “Aftermath” (a kind of semi-ballad) is not without its charm.

Once again, this is a decent record featuring some pretty enjoyable old-school Power Metal. You shouldn’t expect anything fancy, but it’s definitely fun to listen to. If you like Armored Saint, or any American Power Metal, it’s well worth checking out.