Piet Sielck’s IRON SAVIOR have been belting out Power Metal albums since way back in 1997 and with “The Landing” they have already arrived at album number seven (plus two EPs and four singles), so they’ve been pretty productive. Now their standing within the community is kind of twofold. People who know them, will attest that they have managed to keep the same very high level of quality throughout the years, while the people who don’t know them will claim that if they haven’t heard of them despite all those releases, they can’t be that good.
Ever since the appeared on the scene, I’ve been a staunch follower of their Heavy Metal infused Power Metal that is epic in nature, but never steps over into bombast (don’t get me wrong, I love RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) and other extremely bombastic bands as well), instead having found their very own niche, which obviously also strongly benefits from Piet’s trademark voice that will make any song of theirs stand out among the crowd, something that is worth a lot these days, no matter what the quality of the music is and that, thankfully, is another trademark of IRON SAVIOR – they have yet to release a weak album!
And despite having been lost in space for four years, IRON SAVIOR continue this streak with “The Landing”, which is no different, they still have the pretty much same high level of quality, even if musical progression and evolution may not be the top entry in the Germans’ notebook, but as I always say “I rather have a great copy than a crappy original” and while IRON SAVIOR do not necessarily copy anyone (including themselves), they just stick to their guns and stay true to what they know they do best and that is memorable Power Metal. Once we get over the spacy intro “Descending”, “The Savior” dives right in with strong mid-tempo double-bass, an overall epic atmosphere and, of course, Piet’s characteristic voice, which is kicked up a notch or two for double-bass cracker “Starlight”, where the chorus is also a little bigger and really sucks you in.
While mostly operating between furious double-bass bangers (add to the above the very aptly titled “Faster Than All” and “Moment In Time”) and stomping mid-tempo Metal hymns, “The Landing” doesn’t get boring, because the melodies, while catchy as hell, never get sticky (with the exception of a few moments of the ballad “Before The Pain”, but hey, it’s a ballad and it’s epic, so no reason to complain there), and there is enough variety between the two benchmarks to keep things interesting, with one exception: “Heavy Metal Never Dies”. It is not a blowout and the message conveyed is something to wholeheartedly agree with, but it just seems a little too pedestrian to really catch the attention and leave a lasting mark, but that is a minor complaint.
Overall “The Landing” once more cements IRON SAVIOR’s position as one of not only Germany’s, but the world’s leading Power Metal acts, that has a formula that works on a very high level and enough characteristics (see Piet’s voice) to stand the test of time, if you like your Power Metal epic, but without bombast weighing it down, and with a traditional Heavy Metal influence, then IRON SAVIOR is yours to discover (unless you already love them, then this is just another gemstone to add to your library).
(Online December 9, 2011)