Formed in 1996, Iron Savior have completed 25 years as one of Germany’s most popular and impressive components of Power Metal, the unique style of Heavy Metal that only certain countries can pull off with the panache and style that Germany appears to do with such ease.
Iron Savior – Reforged – Ironbound Vol 2 (AFM Records)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Paul Hutchings
Although the band has had a revolving door of musicians, the core engine of vocalist and guitarist Piet Sielck, accompanied by long-serving guitarist Joachim “Piesel” Küstner, have been together since 2000. Bassist Jan-Sören Eckert returned after a seven-year absence in 2011, with drummer Patrick Klose completing the current line-up in 2017.
In 2017 the band released Reforged – Riding on Fire, which contained highlights from the first five studio albums that legally could not be reissued. The album contained re-recorded versions of songs and was well received. However, with 12 albums in the catalogue, there were many tracks that could not be included the first time around.
So, strap in and brace for round two, as Reforged – Ironbound Vol 2 picks up where Riding on Fire left off. Another 23 songs, close to two hours in length, are now presented for fans old and new.
Kai Hansen returned to add some of his original parts, alongside Jan and Piesel, who had the opportunity to record the original parts once more. The album also features a solo by Tim Hansen, Kai’s son and Piet’s godson.
“I am very satisfied with the result,” Sielck says. “It’s always up to the fans out there to evaluate something like this, but in my opinion, our second part of Reforged surpasses its predecessor. It was great fun to approach the songs again.”
Let’s face it, if you like your Power Metal in the style of Primal Fear, Gamma Ray, Helloween and Blind Guardian, you’ll be familiar with Iron Savior and probably familiar with these songs. If you are not, then this album is as good as any for a starting place from which to embark on your journey.
The songs are dramatic, powerful, and frenetic. The opening song, Children Of The Wasteland, sets the tempo for the whole album. It’s fast, frantic even, with soaring harmonies, blisteringly hot drums, and shredding guitar work. It’s a pace that rarely lets up for the whole album.
Songs such as Tyranny Of Steel, Starchaser and Solar Wings blend the science fiction storyline that surged through those early albums as the Iron Savior travelled through the mythical lost civilisation of Atlantis.
I’d wager that if you don’t like Power Metal, then even this solidly executed compilation is not going to change your view. Anthems like Made Of Metal will either excite or horrify you.
If you enjoy the high energy, spiralling harmonised choruses and off-the-chart technical ability, you are most probably familiar with some of these songs. They are, of course, revitalised and re-recorded, which means even the most ardent fan should find something new.
Throw in Living On A Fault Line, only ever released in Japan, which is a slower semi-ballad, and a cover of the Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (I have no idea), and there’s enough here for the most ardent fan as well as the curious.
With a solid production and musically executed with flair and passion, Reforged – Ironbound Vol 2 is an album that no Power Metal fan should ignore.