Iron Savior’s latest release, Condition Red, is probably the best album I’ve ever given a mediocre review to. It reminds me of the time I went to the Grand Canyon. Two days of driving, and when we finally got there, the only thing I said was, “it’s a hole”. And it was. A tremendous hole. A big hole. Probably the biggest hole on the Earth. One of the seven natural wonders of the world. And in two minutes, I was bored and ready to go to a mall.
In the power/speed metal genre, Iron Savior is definitely one of the best bands I have ever heard –maybe even on a Grand Canyon scale. “Titans Of Our Time”, the first track on the disc, kicks in with a rapid fire double bass attack that doesn’t stop until the song ends four minutes later. The guitarists employ every trick in the book, from amazingly complex and fast solos to sailing riffs and scales. The bass lies right where it’s supposed to and somehow manages to keep up with the frantic pace and hold this rocket ship together. The vocals are a “clean” style, but vocalist Sielck has just a hint of gravel in his voice to save it from sounding like an operatic performance.
The lyrics are … a cross between fantasy and sci-fi, and certainly goofy. There are songs about saving mankind from “something malicious”, the Protector, and of course the “battle cry being screamed on the way to the Galactic War”. Uh huh. Fans of the genre will probably not be surprised to hear songs about warriors, “Mindfeeders”, and “riding the wind on a thunderbird”, but outsiders will most likely just snicker (at least) at most of the lyrics.
Iron Savior is from Germany, and I hope there’s a bigger market over there for this kind of music than there is in the States. These guys should be given fuckin’ medals for how tight they perform, but even the best power metal band in the world is still only a power metal band. Make no mistake though, these guys could probably teach 99% of the bands out there something about their instruments. Except Lord K, of course.
Nu metal kids will be confused by the lack of a DJ. death metal and black metal fans may relate to the subject matter (ancient warriors) but will be repelled by the harmonies and musical talent. There’s no rapping — the disc containts a lot of what they used to call “singing”. As many of my reviews end, fans of 80s style Iron Maiden or Judas Priest will love this album. If you think wearing a leather vest with no shirt under it is “pretty cool” or wish that bullet belts and wristbands were back in style, you will probably build a friggin’ Iron Savior shrine in your house after hearing this disc. Even haters of the genre will not be able to dispute the sheer talent and musicianship of these guys.
01. Titans of Our Time
04. Condition Red
07. Walls of Fire
08. Tales of the Bold
09. I Will Be There
10. No Heros