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Armored Saint Enshrined in Metal Hall of Fame

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

By Brett Hoag Photography: Claudia Hoag


Metal Hall of Fame Logo from web


Since its inception in 2015, the Metal Hall of Fame, behind the leadership of C.E.O. Pat Gesualdo and in support of the non-profit charity D.A.D. (Drums and Disabilities), has grown in leaps and bounds and established itself as the only Hall of Fame (rock-n-roll wise) true to its roots. Don't even get me started on the "Rock-N-Roll" Hall of Fame. I mean, I love Dolly Parton as much as the next person, but if she's Rock-N-Roll, I'm Art Buchwald. Since the Freshman class including The Rainbow Bar & Grill, Metal Blade Records, Don Airey, Randy Rhodes, Lemmy and Ronnie to name a few, Pat has ensured that only those who have significantly contributed to the Heavy Metal community are present. This past Thursday, July 13 2023 at the world-famous Whisky A-Go-Go was no exception.


Formed right here in Los Angeles and honing their skills on the famed Sunset Strip, Armored Saint has been making people bang their heads and pump their fists since 1982. Brothers Felipe "Phil" (guitar) and Gonzalo "Gonzo" (drums) Sandoval got together with high school friends John Bush (vocals) and Joey Vera (bass) along with Dave Prichard from nearby Pasadena and started rockin'. Since then they have released a ground-breaking Eponymous EP, 7 full-length studio albums, 2 live albums and have appeared on many heavy metal compilations as well as having survived the untimely passing of Dave, and the hiatus caused by John leaving to join Anthrax in 1992.



Grup photo of Armored Saint being inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame.
Pat Gesualdo and Marci Wiser present Armored Saint for induction into the Metal Hall of Fame.


Anthrax went on hiatus in 1999 and the door was opened for an Armored Saint reunion. Since then they have once again been taking the Heavy Metal World by storm. The night's event was hosted by Marci Wiser from 95.5 KLOS fame and backed by an all-star jam of metal monsters including Oni Logan and Sean McNabb of Lynch Mob, Marq Torien of Bullet Boys, Keith St. John of Montrose, Robbie Lochner and Dicki Fliszar of Jack's Great White, Steve Ferlazzo of Avril Lavigne, the Screamin' Demon of Metal himself, Neil Turbin of Anthrax, Eddie Feliz of Kyng and as luck would have it, Dave's replacement in Armored Saint and most recent MHOF inductee, Jeff Duncan, was found wandering around upstairs at the Whisky with guitar in hand and quickly pointed towards the stage. I assure you the roof was respectfully blown sky-high.



In addition to the stellar house band with rotating vocalists, the bill included Tampa Bay heavy metal band Weapons of Anew (Vox-Dunté Mason, Lead Guitar-Freddy Ordine, bass-Reno, Guitar- Nick Farahvashi, drums-Julius Mendoza. and joining them onstage for a few tunes was their former guitarist and current L.A. resident, Kevin Hicklin), Sacramento's own Post-Apocalyptic Metal Ambassadors from 2057 Deconstruct (Vox- Ash Hades, Guitar-Joe 667, bass-BMFR, and drums-Frost) making their Southern California debuts. And New Jersy transplant and frequent performer at the Whiskey Sergio Michel (sans his band). All the bands have new music available, Weapons of Anew drop their newest offering, "Angel Has Fallen" across all streaming platforms Friday, July 21st, Deconstruct's latest post-apocalyptic metal masterpiece, Ashen Empire is available now and Sergio's latest showpiece a much anticipated double album, Tropical Depression is available wherever you get kick-ass music. I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule a future interview with Deconstruct and am lining one up with Weapons of Anew and Sergio Michel as well, so look for those to come! However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention at this time how incredibly kick-ass these bands were. They all put on excellent sets and did their part in pumping up the crowd and turning the Whiskey into a slobber knocker of Heavy Metal insanity.



Once again, a hearty and well-deserved congratulations to Los Angeles' own legends, Armored Saint for their rightful place in the upper echelons of Heavy Metal greatness. Well done, Lads. And kudos to Pat Gesualdo, The Hall of Heavy Metal, KLOS, the all-star band, the entire staff at the Whisky A-Go-Go, Weapons of Anew, Deconstruct and Sergio Michel for an unforgettable evening of brain-scrambling metal. Until next time, Metal Heads. Horns up! \m/


Armored Saint Guitarist Jeff
Jeff Duncan outside the Whiskey A-Go-Go

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