In my not so humble opinion Piet Sielck is metal royalty. With his connection to early Helloween to his producing/engineering talents being spread all over the German speed/power metal scene he has certainly left his mark. But it is Iron Savior that really shines for me. I’ve been a fan of this band since I picked up their Interlude EP back in ’99 and the one thing that stands out is the consistency of this band, no matter the line up…a line up that once included Kai Hansen (Ex-Helloween, Gamma Ray) and Thomen Stauch (Ex-Blind Guardian, Ex-Serious Black, Savage Circus). So with all of the line up changes and eight previous full length albums, the common denominator here is Mr. Sielck.
Their most recent full length, Titancraft, is Iron Savior doing what they do best…playing catchy, melodic speed/power metal with plenty of hooks and large choruses. After the intro the title track kicks things off with a great speed metal tempo and some killer melodies. The lead riffs and the dual leads add another element and do so in subtle way. The lead work on this album is top notch and holds a lot of weight with me. Then there is the typical melodies of the choruses that takes it to an even higher level. To me, this is everything that makes heavy metal great.”Sieze the Day” is another example of a song that is pure Iron Savior with it’s speedy tempo, catchy melodies, and great guitar work this can stand with any of the greats in their catalog.
“Gunsmoke” is a cool song that kinda caught me by surprise with it’s lyrical subject being the United States “wild west” era. Even if the lyrics seem cheesy this is actually a great song. It has some great metal riffs and a catchy chorus with great melodic vocal layers. It actually ends pretty cheesy too so as not to take the song too seriously. I think they did a great job. Then comes “Beyond the Horizon” with it’s great riffing and killer melodies this song has so many layers that just work. It’s almost an epic being that it’s almost six minutes long and the chorus is fucking huge. Then you have “Strike Down the Tyranny” which is another monster speed metal song. There is no shortage of killer songs on this album.
So with all of that said, this album is not perfect. There are a couple of moments here that are really not as great as the better parts of this album. The ballad, “I Surrender” is an instant skip and “Brother in Arms” just doesn’t add up to the other songs on the album. Maybe if the ballad was left off the album this song would not seem so out of place. The kick ass closer “Rebellious” ends the album in proper heavy metal fashion. Of course the overall sounds of this album is extremely well done and professionally done without sounding sterile or void of atmosphere. This has the Piet Sielck trademark sound that I can recognize immediately.
At the end of the day, this album does not live up to the band’s previous catalog. However, that does not take away from the overall greatness of this album. I think Iron Savior still have great things ahead and I’m not counting them out…not by a long shot. Piet and the guys will keep coming back to kick our asses with great metal because that’s what they do.