Armored Saint have returned, five years after ‘La Raza’. In my opinion, ‘Win Hands Down’ is better than its predecessor. It wins the listener over with its artistic integrity and manages to sound like Armored Saint without rehashing the past.

The Sandoval brothers, along with Joey Vera, create a solid base, upon which John Bush builds great melodies, elevating the compositions. His voice is in very good shape. There are a bunch of songs around six or seven minutes on the record. They obviously don’t have the straight-forward impact of something off ‘Symbol of Salvation’, but they are dense in ideas, giving the album a welcomed variety.

The second half of the record has a few less interesting stuff, but the ‘Win Hands Down’ remains, as a whole, a winner, as well as an opportunity for Armored Saint to become more active again.