Released: 2002, Noise Records
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
Iron Savior’s fourth release, CONDITION RED comes as a bit of a surprise to me. Following Gamma Ray guitarist Kai Hansen’s departure, I was a bit skeptical about how this album would sound without his guitar. This may sound a bit silly because Piet Sielck has always been the main creative force behind the entire band, but Kai has always been one of my metal heroes. Thankfully, and doubts that I had about this album were quickly pushed aside by the opening track. This album is a fine example of melodic power-traditional metal, and one of Iron Savior’s strongest works to date.
Iron Savior is the band/project of Piet Sielck, soundman and engineer for many power metal bands, including Blind Guardian and Grave Digger. As one can expect, this album is filled with all the power-metal workings: melodic guitar duels, epic and sing-along choruses, and fast double-kick drums. CONDITION RED leads off with “Titans Of Our Time,” a high-speed track with a very catchy chourus. The rest of the album is precisely the type of metal that Iron Savior is known for. “Condition Red,” and “Tales Of The Bold” also are great tracks. The album ends with “Thunderbird,” a semi-epic track inspired by the Star Trek mantra, “To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before.” This one is easily the best Iron Savior track ever. I did notice Kai’s absence from songwriting on this album, however. On the previous albums, Kai’s tracks almost always stood out as my favourites from the album. Like previous albums, the bass playing of Jan Eckert is prominent, which is good news to people like me who enjoy metal with plenty of bass.
This album is, of course, the fourth chapter in the Iron Savior saga, a space-opera about the Iron Savior, an interstellar battlestation built 300,000 years ago to defend the mythical continent of Atlantis. CONDITION RED is the story of the Dark Savior, a counterpart to the Iron Savior built by the original Savior’s creator after he was spurned by the Atlantean High Council. Using the biounit to become one with the Dark Savior, the scientist who created it became “The Protector” and ravaged many civilizations throughout the galaxy. After years in space, The Protector returns to seek revenge on the survivors of Atlantis. This album brings the saga to an uncertain close, and there is plenty of room for a fifth album in the series.
Iron Savior fans should not hesitate to pick up this album, and newcomers to the Iron Savior saga would do well to pick up this album, or any of their previous three releases. I am already hoping for the fifth album by this band (a record for most concept albums in a row?).
Check out their page, still under construction, at http://www.iron-savior.com