Released: 1997, Noise Records
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards our 10,000th review and the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any website were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
1997 was such an incredibly huge year for Power Metal. Many observers, myself included, mark that point in time as the start of the global wave of Power Metal that still rages across the globe today. Debut albums by Rhapsody, Hammerfall, Nightwish, Domine, Narnia, Sacred Steel, Brainstorm, Children Of Bodom, Balance Of Power, all came out in 1997. Other highlights came from young bands on the second albums, bands like Edguy, Kamelot, Symphony X, Nocturnal Rites, Whiteskull, and Vanden Plas. We also had huge albums from veterans Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, U.D.O., Yngwie J. Malmsteen, the return of Omen, Jag Panzer and more. Many sub-sub genres have risen and fallen since then, but the key bands at the heart of real Metal still continue on today. Iron Savior is one of those bands that arrived on the scene in 1997.
As I write this review, 17 years later, it is hard to explain the level of excitement in the metal community for the debut album by Iron Savior. Here we had the reunion of Piet Sielck and Kai Hansen, working together for the first time in over 15 years in the earliest incarnation of Helloween. On drums, Thomas of Blind Guardian. On bass Dirk Schlachter, Kai’s new buddy in Gamma Ray. Guest vocals by Hansi Kursh. This line-up was a Power Metal fans wet-dream. They band had a cool name and cool logo. Lyrically the debut was a cool outer-space, Sci-Fi concept album. It was on the respected label Noise Records. There could not have been a more perfect alignment of star power and firepower, and the result was one of the most legendary debuts of 1997, rivalled perhaps only by Rhapsody or Hammerfall.
The result was magical. The band led by Piet found their style and sound in the beginning and have never wavered and never deviated. The 52-minute album went from high to high with a dozen raging Power Metal tunes that helped set the bar for speed and intensity. Piet showed us you did not have to sing in a high register, utilizing a rougher tone in a lower register that added grit and depth to an already formidable act. The guitar tone was a little darker to than Helloween or Gamma Ray for example, making the band just that much faster and heavier. It is as they stripped the sound down to all but the most gleaming of a Metal exo-skeleton and forced the unit into hyper-drive with fast simplistic catchy songs. Today cuts like ‘Brave New World’ and ‘Riding On Fire’ stand tall as genre classics. Even the cover (which was a bit of a novelty choice) still worked within the lyrical framework of the concept of the Iron Savior, the spaceship.
IRON SAVIOR stands the test of time and launched the career of a band still going strong today.