Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Iron Giants ... But I Wouldn't Call Them Maidens ...

Iron Savior is the brainchild of Piet Sielck who acquired the help of Kai Hanson of Helloween and Thomas Stauch of Blind Guardian to flesh out his idea. Iron Savior play standard power speed metal common in Europe. I note a huge Blind Guardian sound (Piet was their sound engineer and Stauch's new project Savage Circus is a Blind Guardian clone so his influence must be strong). I should note here that Thomas Stauch stepped down after their first album and Dan Zimmerman of Gamma Ray played drums on the release I'll be reviewing today. Thomas Nack also of Gamma Ray stepped for future releases. That said, I feel their is a Gamma Ray influence as well, though I have heard no Gamma Ray albums I can only assume there is.

The album I'll be reviewing today is "Unification". This is the first album I bought of Iron Savior's and I think it's safe to say it's my favourite. This is their second release and is a concept album. I believe "Iron Savior" itself is the concept and has been carried through a number of albums. Think of Voivod's "Lost Machine" concept and stretch it out over a few albums and that's the story behind Iron Savior. As I said these guys are power/speed metal and serve up a fine album of hooky anthemic songs, blistering solo work and sing a long chorus's. The songs feature melodic guitar leads throughout most songs (ala Blind Guardian style) and the drums have a powerful space age heaviness to them (think Metalium). Piet Sielck's vocals are gruff at times and wailing at others. A fine mix.

Though this album should be taken as a whole package, I found stand out songs like "Starborn" and "Forces Of Rage" with their darker edge by means of keyboards and such and "Captain's Log" is creepy in its mechanical orchestralness. And I love the flat out rockers like "Eye To Eye" and "Unchained". "Unchained" I say is the most sing a long song and is rebellious in its anthemic style. "Forevermore" is the power ballad track and it is majestic with a touch of Pink Floyd.

My favourite Iron Savior track on "Unification" has to be the album opener "Coming Home". It's a blistering assault, with head pounding drum work (almost industrial at times) and ends with a fist pounding outro and chant like vocals. It really sets the mood for the album. They also do a couple covers, an energetic hard hitting version of Black Sabbath's "Neon Knights" and an updated version of Helloween's "Gorgar" called "Gorgar '98" which is wickedly dark and heavy and features a badass snipit of Edvard Grieg's "Hall of The Mountain King". Makes me want to check out Helloween. I haven't yet, but I really want to. Iron Savior later albums are good, but they lack a little something, different from "Unification". I'll try and pin point it on future reviews of their follow up albums.

Now you may think it odd that I would be so specific with my favourite track mention. Well that's because my favourite track is actually by a band called Excelsis and is featured as a bonus track for winning a battle of the bands contest. The song is "Dragonslayer" off their "Kurt of Koppigen" album. That's coming up next ....

1 Comments:

Blogger Chana said...

hope you had a wonderful long wknd...

8:31 PM  

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