Iron Savior – “Skycrest” (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
If you want to know what German power metal is all about, then Piet Sielck, vocalist and guitarist of Iron Savior, is probably your man. Born in Hamburg, the city regarded as the German power metal capital since the late 80s, Sielck, besides being well known as a multi -instrumentalist producer/engineer, formed Iron Savior with former Helloween bandmate (and old friend) Kai Hansen and then-drummer for Blind Guardian Thomen Stauch blending power metal with a science fiction concept. Over the course of ten studio albums and a live CD / DVD, the band has had many chart entries including “Titancraft” (2016) and “Kill Or Get Killed” (2019), and more than 7.5 million streams of the anthem ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies. Starting on the composing for “Skycrest” almost immediately after its predecessor and refusing to be depressed under lockdown, the 12 tracks show a determination more than ever before to remain positive and uplifting. Exploding in on ‘Our Time Has Come’, the twin guitars of Sielck and Joachim ‘Piesel’ Küstner scream with excitement and wail in ecstasy along to bountiful amounts of lush harmonies, adding a slight prog touch to the made-in-heaven chorus, topped off by Sielck’s excellent vocal style blending grittiness with highs. Deep and stirring, ‘There Can Be Only One’ is epic power metal at its best driven by Jan S. Eckert’s (Masterplan, Running Wild) ballsy bass and Patrick Klose’s (Dawn Of Destiny) pistoning double bass drums building to the monumental chorus delivered through Sielck’s vocal passion in lines like ‘…immortal one…can save, the power and the might…forever young…raise the sword…there can be only one…’, backed once again by those heavenly harmonies – superb. Closing with the swashbuckling ‘Ode To The Brave’, the fast-chugging riffs, futuristic melodies and beautiful chorus harmonies stylishly mix power metal and hard rock in bringing to a grand climax this exciting release that must rank alongside acclaimed albums like “Condition Red”, “The Landing” and of course, Iron Savior’s unforgettable self-titled debut in 1997!