If you know your power metal then you obviously know the Hamburg outfit Iron Savior, whose prolific release rate is matched only by their ability to record heads down purist metal albums. Over their twenty year history the band has knocked out solid release after solid release that culminates in this 12th album that sees the band slightly change direction but only conceptually as main guy and founder Piet Sielck states that he was heavily inspired by a sci-fi novel titled ‘The Star Of Pandora’ whose author I am unsure about. Also the cover art is different with an alien like creature brandishing a weapon menacingly on the front amidst a saturated red background that potentially hints at a darker more sinister album from the band, but fear not the traits and hallmarks that we love about Iron Savior are fully intact, from the blistering solos, to the dazzling vocals and high powered anthemic momentum.
The title track explodes the start of the album, its title may be ominous but the music is prime Iron Savior as blazing guitar work funnels in like a tornado at the start of the song. The powerhouse drumming is laced with double bass as the songs choral break is infectious. “Roaring Thunder” is pure crystalline heavy metal worship with a gritty riff relenting for a bass run and vocal duet of sorts. The switch into the chorus is total power metal by numbers in a good way as the “Eternal Quest” follows with a borderline speed metal riff. The pumping double kick adds so much vibrancy as again we get a singular bass line and vocal isolation, with lyrics you can sing your heart out to as the track veers from double kick infusions via the harmonious choral break. The song is a standout due to its overtly catchy nature and whilst this album is packed with catchy numbers some are more so than others.
This album is all about balance, an equilibrium between all out power metal bluster and heavy metal prowess as a song like “Sinner Or Saint” proves. Its upbeat tempo has a slight density to it, a kind of moodiness too as the song increases the pulsing bass work hugely here with great effect. The songs punchy vocals are pristinely delivered, would you expect anything less, as the song delves into what I’d call unadulterated heavy metal purity as the soaring chorus will have you exercising those lungs again. What would you say about a song titled “Stand Up And Fight”, and how many songs do you think have been called that over the years, I’d hazard a guess at over 50 bands have a song with that title, as you all go and check now. The songs anthemically driven vocal line is sumptuous, backed by a formidable backing vocal chant that leads into more scorching solo work as this one really is emblazoned onto the song.
The escalation in speed for “Heroes Ascending” works superbly, sending the song back into traditional power metal realms as “Never Stop Believing” returns to anthemic heavy metal that is likely to feature in the live set. “Until We Meet Again” is the albums epic number, a composition opening with fade in of guitar before introducing as slower thrusting beat. The song has a progressive nature as the bass, drums and vocals lay the foundation for the song. The vocals have a slight drifting echo creating a dreamy feel as the guitar muscles in momentarily. There is a tension to the song, that feeling of building towards something enlightening even though the song has a darkened texture overall. The vocals here are the best on the album for me, possessing charisma, power and passion as the song develops and unfurls its various layers that leaves “Legends Of Glory” to close the release in true Iron Savior fashion. The opening riff is a gas guzzling beast, fuelled by the drumming which is double kick loaded and even if the lyrics are somewhat predictable it serves its purpose in cementing the fact that Iron Savior are one of the premier power metal bands in the world and they continue to forge on with yet another consummate display.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)