Iron Savior- The Landing

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, April 14, 2012

Over the years I’ve learned that great power metal is much harder to find than good power metal, and that there are a ton of long-running German bands that I’ve never come across. This is exactly what happened when I was sent Iron Savior’s The Landing, which came out last year in Europe and a few months ago in North America. As it turns out these guys have been around since 1996 and The Landing is their seventh studio album so they clearly have a lot of experience, and based on the quality of the material on this disc Iron Savior definitely seems to land closer to the great category.

So many bands of this type go for the highest pitched vocals possible, with one singer trying to out falsetto everyone else. Thankfully Piet Sielck has a grittier singing voice that has the perfect amount of energy and grabs the listener almost immediately. Although his pitch may be a lot lower than the majority of the power metal singers out there, Sielck still has an impressive amount of range which gives the songs the right amount of diversity and keeps the vocals from becoming repetitive over the course of the album. Considering that The Landing has a 51 minute running time, this is definitely a good thing and listeners will notice that there are standout performances throughout. Iron Savior has utilized science fiction themes throughout their career instead of the traditional fantasy ideas, but this time around there seems to be a few more songs focused on heavy metal and a little less of the sci-fi storyline.

The Landing covers the entire spectrum of what one would expect from a power metal album, as every song has a melodic lead with just the right amount of backing intensity and there are the required slower ballads mixed in with fast paced scorchers. What makes Iron Savior stand out more in my mind is the fact that they only use ballads sparingly, and the majority of the tracks go for speed and make it count. Even though there may not be anything outside of the genre norms, the quality of the riffs help quite a bit as there are a number of songs where the technicality and songwriting ability of the instrumentalists really set the group apart. There is also just enough variation between the fast songs to keep them from blending together, and it’s safe to say that if you like this genre this material will keep you coming back for quite some time.

My first exposure to Iron Savior has been an extremely positive one, and it looks like I have another extensive back catalog to investigate over the months to come. The Landing has some great riffs that don’t necessarily go outside of the established power/heavy metal mold, but when the writing is so good it’s hard to complain about that. I’m pretty picky when it comes to this genre, but these guys have my support and this is one of the better examples of how to do the style right if you’re going to follow the existing sound.

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