Vintage Video: Armored Saint’s “Reign Of Fire”

Tuesday, 13th May 2014

Question: Who is the only singer to receive a formal invitation to front Metallica? That be one Mr. John Bush, best known for his stint in Anthrax, but also remembered for his time in the still-active Armored Saint. The background on the matter is simple: Armored Saint and Metallica were regular touring partners in the early 80’s, as well as located within an earshot of one another on the California coast. With James Hetfield unsure of his abilities as a singer, the band propositioned to Bush to front the band heading into the Ride the Lightning album cycle. Bush declined, claiming he wanted to remain loyal to his bandmates, many of whom were childhood friends. Oh how history would have been different…

Bush is an infinitely better vocalist than Hetfield (and a lot of other singers), which is why certain Armored Saint albums (i.e. 1991’s Symbol of Salvation) are bonafide gems. The album’s lead-off cut is “Reign of Fire,” a roaring, meat-metal number, emboldened by Bush’s convincing snarl. Unfortunately, the band was never able to capitalize on the strength of Symbol of Salvation. Within two years, the band became dormant, and Bush jumped ship to Anthrax…