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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review: Iron Savior – Skycrest

Label: AFM Records

Date: December 4th, 2020

Iron Savior plays the safe card. Led by Piet Seieck, German metallers have developed specific, recognizable style, but despite the quality and unique sound they constantly deliver over more than two decades, yet they did not reach the fame of their fellow citizens Gamma Ray or Helloween. 

As  a reminder, Iron Savior is a brainchild of Piet Sielck, Kai Hansen and Thomen Stauch who had an idea to create power metal with science fiction concept. Year by year, decade by decade, album by album and here we go…

Superstitious or not, Iron Savior delivers 13th album on December 4th (Jan’s birthday). So, what did they prepare for the fans after twelve successful chapters?

Following the band over the years/decades, after the first listening I could say: “Ok, this a classic Iron Savior.” The band has been established in the metal world a long time ago, but to stay in the safe zone… Sometimes you just need to take a risk, to push the boundaries, not to be so predictable. And that might be the biggest complaint I have.

Spin after spin, and my disappointment faded. I have to draw a parallel here. Piet said:

“Over the two years I sometimes lost my connection to the songs, I composed and approved them and then… I did something else first.” 

The same happened to me when I started writing this review. A month ago, when I got this album, I immediately started writing a review, then stopped, paused a day or two to finish some other already started scribbles and lost the whole concept. Deleted all and started all over again. Let’see in which direction I will go now…

“The Guardian” guides us through the safe zone of finest metal. The title song “Skycrest”, will for sure wake up and shake up all of you who might get lazy during this pandemic that changed, among other things, the course of metal, as well as Iron Savior’s plans.

“Our Time Has Come” might be pessimistic, but so possible and realistic script at the same time:

Our time has come,
This is the end of all,
No prayers and no sacrifice,
Will save us from demise,
Our time has come,
Farewell forevermore,
And may the world be a brighter place,
Another chance for the human race.

The beginning of the song is irresistibly reminiscent of Dio’s “We Rock”. From here, slowly marching, Iron Savior is breaking the hell for us. If you dive deeper to “Hellbreaker” lyrics, you might say it is a romantic piece that gives another dimension to Piet’s poetry.

It is obvious that our world will never be the same, and the next song gives the answer why this all is happening to us. Visionary, realistic, apocalyptic? Who cares? The song hits the target, and that matters. So, “Welcome to the New World”!

“There Be Can Only One” warrior, forever young… Midnight hour, empty streets, moon, deadly beast, claws… How to fight it if not with the “Silver Bullet”.

Lock the door and hide away,
The beast is unleashed,
Pray for the light,
Pray for survival tonight…

Add wolves howling and growling supported by magnificent guitar solo and pounding drums… That is why I love metal!

Udo Dirkschneider would proudly “Raise the Flag ” of heavy metal for sure after listening to this song, cause this song is clearly inspired by Udo’s Accept era. And if I ever hear again (and I surely will) the question: why metal, this will be my answer:

It’s a vibe you can’t describe if you know what I mean…

And if you ask me that question, you surely don’t know what I mean.

I’m on the journey to the end of the rainbow and I have found the gold on its end. The only way I know.

For me, the biggest surprise is Mr. Jan S. Eckert vocal performance that will “Ease Your Pain” with no doubt. You don’t need powerful drums or killer riffs to feel the power of metal, sometimes the ballads are stronger and more powerful weapon. And, hell yeah! That is the risk factor I was talking about. That is the experiment. That is how you push the boundaries. 

It seems the guys saved the best for last: “Ode to the Brave”. Hat down!  

As Piet said:

“’Skycrest’ got what it takes to become another milestone in the Iron Savior history. Time will tell.”

Remember when I started listening to this album a month ago I didn’t like it? Now I can say the same as Piet: “Skycrest” is a milestone in the Iron Savior history.” Already… And only a month passed… 

Back to the beginning when I wrote something about risks, rut, safe zone… You know what? Iron Savior is an institution. They don’t have to prove anything, they don’t have to change anything, so… Raise the flag of heavy metal at the end of the rainbow, ease the pain, cause there can be only one Iron Savior!