Iron Savior - The Landing
Germany's Iron Savior has a fairly long and extremely rich history, having been co-founded by one Kai Hansen, a man whom some consider to be the most prominent voice in the subgenre of power metal. And although he's been gone for 10+ years, the band continues to set a high mark for itself with each consecutive release. The Landing is their latest and the results are quite satisfying to be sure. The problem one may run into with a release of this particular sound is that it can be easily categorized as "cheesy", "corny" and "behind the times" in it's lyrical nature and songwriting angles. But if that doesn't bother you like it doesn't bother me, then you've got a heavy dose of the good old stuff right here.
While intro "Descending" isn't really necessary, it is a foregone conclusion that most power metal albums have to have some sort of instrumental introduction. It's just one of those things you don't question. "The Savior" gets things going in fine fashion, with some excellently-done riffs, solid work from the rhyhtm section and competent and fitting vocals from frontman Piet Sielck. His voice is very much the spice that gives many of these songs life, able to make his voice soar in the mid-upper ranges without ever getting too operatic, overblown or reaching for lengths it cannot attain. The band seems to revel in the higher-tempo, speed-metal zone on tracks like "Starlight", "March of Doom" and "Moment In Time", all of which are early highlights. When the band slows things down and gets into ballad territory, the results are mixed but honestly done and commendable to an extent. This is truly where the "cheese" factor comes into play. A sample of lyrics from one such song, "Heavy Metal Never Dies":
"Raise your head up to the sky
and let the music take you high.
May your inner warrior
ride again in pride."
Yeah, I'm aware. But it somehow works, if only for the track history of the band and the experienced wisdom and cliched "warriors of metal" approach they've always taken up. Besides, if you're asking me, metal will always have room for those who take up the banner of it's causes, however obscure and undefinable those causes may infact be.
The Landing delivers on all counts, only slightly dogging itself down with a little bit of an overdose of the cheese. For those who can't get enough of that nostalgic history lesson of metal should already be aware of Iron Savior's ability to bring it in buckets. Otherwise, those wondering where to find their next fix should look no further.
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