Armored Saint's confidence and resolve had begun to fade by the time of their third release, 1987's Raising Fear. Dissatisfied with the band's initial demo submissions for the album, label Chrysalis ordered them to head back to the drawing board in search of that elusive hit, resulting in a staggered, confused recording process, which stretched over six months. Such stress and scrutiny from on high only served to stifle the already frustrated group, and having Chrysalis impose upon them to record an uncomfortable cover of Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special" was just the most glaring insult on hand. Rare highlights, including "Chemical Euphoria," "Book of Blood," and "Frozen Will/Legacy" (the latter providing a wonderful showcase for John Bush's remarkable voice) do constant battle with seriously mediocre material like "Crisis of Life" (see its going-nowhere plod and inexplicably jazzy bass solo); and even the excellent "Isolation" occasionally sounds a bit too similar to Metal Church's "Watch the Children Play" for comfort. And in the end, all was for naught, since Chrysalis went ahead and dropped the band soon after the album's release anyway. Tragically, Armored Saint's seemingly cursed luck was only starting to unfold, and their bad streak would conclude with the tragic death of guitarist Dave Prichard from leukemia a few years down the road.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia