I’ve given this new IRON SAVIOR album quite a few spins, and I can say I’m very pleased for the most part. It does have its ups and downs though, but luckily it’s mostly ups. Rise of the Hero, out now via AFM Records has some of the stuff you would expect from these guys, with GAMMA RAY and HELLOWEEN influences galore. And as with anything associated with vocalist/guitarist Piet Sielck the production is outstanding. It is crisp and clean, and the guitars churn and burn on every track. But once again, you ALSO hear the bass loud and clear, too. That is a rarity for this type of power metal. Another thing you don’t normally see is the use of such a rough and in-your-face vocal like the one employed by Sielck, which works very well again, for the most part.
The one-two punch of “Last Hero” and “Revenge of the Bride” definitely had my immediate interest. In fact the solo on “Bride” is outstanding. “From Far Beyond Time” is another fast-paced affair, drummer Thomas Nack sounding very much like the late Ingo Schwichtenberg (R.I.P.) as he throttles his kit. The leadoff single “Burning Heart” is an absolute gem of a song with a great DIY video that pretty much just shows this band in the studio and goofing around. The chorus is anthemic, majestic, and any other good word with -ic at the end! I love it!
And “Thunder From the Mountains”, Holy Hell, what a tune! Sielck and fellow axe master Joachim “Piesel” Küstner damn near melt the necks on their guitars playing this one at such a frenetic pace. I pity poor bass player Jan-Sören Eckert having to play those thick strings keeping up. Surprised his hands didn’t catch fire. But he does lay down one hell of a backbone. This is a seriously tight fucking band, Jeezus. I didn’t know if I’d like “Iron Warrior” the first go ‘round just because it felt like something was missing, and several listens later I’m still not into it. Well, they can’t ALL be winners. The 80’s prove that they are alive and well on “Dragon King” from that electronic-sounding intro to the IRON MAIDEN “Stranger In a Strange Land” tempo. And let’s not forget the gang vocal on the hooks. Bravo!
Another one I wasn’t wild about was “The Demon”. It’s good, but not great. But that’s alright, the dueling leads and atmospheric guitar tones on “Firestorm” more than make up for it. I also quite enjoyed the cover I didn’t know was a cover “Dance With Somebody”. Apparently this was originally done by MANDO DIAO a group from Sweden. That’s nice; I’ll stick with this version, thanks. Official album closer “Fistraiser”, despite not having the greatest title, still manages to keep the level of ass-kicking power metal high and deliver one more number with a rousing sing-along chorus. I say official because the version I got included “I’ve Been to Hell” as a bonus track. It’s like a mini-encore right there on your stereo!
All told, this is a great IRON SAVIOR album. Twelve tracks, and out of those I didn’t like two. I’d say that’s pretty damn good, wouldn’t you? Rise of the Hero is available worldwide now. Be sure to comment and let us know what you think of it. You know I love to hear from you guys!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Thunder From the Mountains”, “Last Hero”, “Revenge of the Bride”, “Burning Heart”, “Dragon King”