“New IRON SAVIOR album.” These four words always get my attention, and rightly so. IRON SAVIOR has been one of the most consistent bands in the German metal scene since their inception in 1996, and they’re never disappointed me. Not once – and their ninth album Titancraft (May 20 on AFM Records) is certainly no exception to that rule!
Started by such power metal luminaries as Kai Hansen (ex-HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY), Thomen Stauch (ex-BLIND GUARDIAN, SERIOUS BLACK), and band leader Piet Sielck, the lineup has fluctuated a bit over the years, but Piet has kept the standards for the band high over the years and produces quality albums, one after the other. Titancraft continues the tradition of excellent science fiction-themed power metal albums. The production is polished and second to none, and almost every track is a hard driving anthemic masterpiece, with the exception of “I Surrender”, the only ballad on the album. Ballads are not IRON SAVIOR’s strong suit, but they deliver on this one, which feels like a throwback to the origins of the genre in the mid-1980’s.
Songs like the title track, “Beyond the Horizon”, “Way of the Blade”, “Seize the Day”, and “The Sun Won’t Rise In Hell” are some of my personal favorites – driving riff fests packed full of vocal and musical hooks, excellent solos, and aggression. Piet’s voice has never sounded better to me – his gruff delivery, mixed occasionally with a bit of Hansi Kürsch-esque vocals, really puts the cap on some excellent songwriting. Longtime members Jan-Sören Eckert (bass) and Thomas Nack (drums) provide an excellent rhythm section, and Joachim Küstner’s guitar work complements that of Piet Sielck on every song – there’s really not a weak track on the entire disc, and that’s saying a lot. No filler here, and no wasted air.
The space in my personal top ten list for 2016 has quickly gotten very crowded just five months into the year, and IRON SAVIOR definitely have earned their spot with this excellent release. Wimps and poseurs, leave the hall. If you’re a fan of German power metal and you aren’t listening to Titancraft on the release date, you should have your head checked.
STANDOUT TRACKS: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM