Released: 2007, Dockyard1
There's an old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." In Iron Savior's case, it's more like "the more things stay the same, the more they still rock like hell." After a successful tour of duty with Blin...er, sorry, I mean Savage Circus...guitarist / vocalist / producer extraordinaire Piet Sielck has returned with another sci-fi-themed album of pure, unadulterated power metal. MEGATROPOLIS is the sixth full-length from the German metal machine (I'm not counting the mostly-live INTERLUDE), and if you're expecting something vastly different from what you've heard from them on the past couple albums, you're in for a disappointment. If, however, you're a fan of the Iron Savior sound and style, you can rest assured they have not sold out, wimped out, or backed down an inch from their commitment to delivering the goods.
Things start off in high gear - no need for intros as "Running Riot" blasts right out of the gate with all of the classic Iron Savior elements: speedy headbanging riffs, powerful drumming, catchy sing-along chorus (I can already hear crowds shouting "RI-OT!" during this one), and some cool Priest/Gamma Ray-inspired melodic guitar leads. Things get even better on the slightly slower "The Omega Man," which tells the tale of the 1971 Charlton Heston movie of the same name (a remake of 1964's Vincent Price classic "The Last Man On Earth" - don't mind me, I'm a sci-fi / horror movie buff and I love this shit!) and features great lyrics, the album's best chorus, and some great classic-metal riffs. Not surprisingly for longtime Iron Savior fans, the Judas Priest influence is blatantly obvious here, but it doesn't feel like quite as much of a ripoff as some songs on previous releases have.
This album also managed to do one thing no prior IS release had done, which is to make me almost choke laughing. Personal favorite "Cyber Hero" is a great classic metal song about video games and people who immerse themselves into the game worlds in order to be 'heroes.' The song seems to take the whole idea really seriously with monster riffs, cool lead breaks, and an excellent multi-voiced over-the-top-dramatic chorus...until the end of the track, which switches to a recording of a computer voice informing some poor gamer his computer's just crashed before he could save the game...and the gamer's response. Despite the fact said response is in German, I had no trouble understanding the general gist of what the guy is saying, and it's hilarious.
Sorry to say for those of you who were hoping for a full conceptual album to continue the saga started on the first few albums, not only does that not happen on this disc, but "Farewell And Good Bye" appears to bring an end to the story. It's a great track that reminds me musically more than a little of a few tracks from the Savage Circus DREAMLAND MANOR disc and has a great chorus, some damn cool guitar work, and a superb outro section, but it may be a disappointment to those who had hoped the tale would continue. Of the remaining tracks, it's all killer and no filler in an excellent mix of fast and midtempo, though I could've done without the explosion effect in the choruses of "Flesh."
All around, it's another excellent release from Piet and his partners in steel. If you're already an IS fan, you know exactly what to expect. If you've somehow never heard them before and you enjoy well-produced, crunchy yet catchy and melodic power metal and were hoping to hear a good solid dose of it, the Savior has answered your prayer with this album.