Iron Savior – “Rise Of The Savior” (AFM Records)
Arise – the line-ups may come and go but Piet Sielck remains and as long as he does, the power metal majesty of Hamburg’s Iron Savior reigns supreme! Formed in the mid 90s with former Helloween bandmate Kai Hansen and then-drummer for Blind Guardian Thomen Stauch there’s more than a passing resemblance to both these bands in Iron Savior’s music with Sielck’s gravelly rock god vocals backed by heaps of high harmonies and tons of uplifting positive melodies in his guitar riffs and solos. Where there’s ‘iron’ is definitely in the hard, driving rhythm with its crunching bass and punchy, tight drumming amidst gloriously smashing cymbals giving a real kick to songs like ‘Burning Heart’, ‘Dragon King’ and the true to its name ‘Fistraiser’. Together, they make a formidable combination bringing an epic, yet passionate theme to the material that touches your heart and sets your spirit free. Despite this “Rise Of The Savior” is not a one speed machine and I commend the way Sielck has worked the song writing so that while retaining the overall Iron Savior sound, there are rockers mixed with heavy ballads and tracks that have commercial potential amidst traditional Teutonic metal. Without going into the ‘savior saga’ that continues the ancient / sci fi concept of the band on songs like ‘Last Hero’ – as it’s available on the band’s website in full – this is a high octane album oozing energy throughout that keeps the German power metal flag still shining high n proud!