If you like your power metal in the German vein, like I do, you are in luck. Here we have Iron Savior’s 7th full length offering, The Landing, a veritable cornucopia of Teutonic power metal. Piet Sielck and company have produced a work that is a definite improvement over their previous album, Megatropolis, getting back somewhat to their earlier stylings a la Condition Red or Battering Ram. The Landing is an energetic outing from beginning to end. No real surprises if you know Iron Savior, staying true to what they are – a German power metal band.
It sounds to me that Iron Savior have increased the aggression on this album compared to their last and the production of the music it top notch. The album intro, Descending, is an epic, orchestral piece with soaring guitars, slow and building to The Savior, a mid-paced headbanger, with Sielck’s signature gravelly, powerful baritone. Simple but effective with a great, catchy chorus. Definitely a great choice for kicking off a true heavy metal album, biting guitars and all.
Next up is the highlight of the album for me, Starlight. Fast, primo Iron Savior with lightning quick guitar work, galloping rhythms, and yes an awesome sing-along chorus. This is exactly what I love so much about their songwriting and execution. Superbly played guitar solo here as well. March of Doom continues with a double bass attack and trademark vocals and guitar work from Sielck. They actually slow things down, tempo-wise, but the guitar tone is unchanged on Heavy Metal Never Dies. Cliché and cheesy, but not a totally laughable song like the title might indicate, although the chorus is a bit…weak. Not my favorite song, for sure. Moment in Time ratchets things up again with a great riffing attack and more double bass to get the heads banging. I really like the bridge in this song as well. Hall of the Heroes sort of plods along and feels a lot like a filler track to me. Wouldn’t have bothered me if it wasn’t on The Landing. Next is R.U. Ready, a bit of a tribute song to the origins of metal, with references to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Priest, and AC/DC. Cheesy, yes, but what did you expect? Not a totally unlistenable song, I suppose. Speed is back in Faster Than All, a song about a quickdraw artist in the Old West. Buzzsaw guitars and more double bass on this one – typical Iron Savior (a good thing!). The ballad finally makes its appearance in the form of Before the Pain. This one is OK, but I do tend to skip it most of the time. It’s not terrible, but I want to hear Iron Savior play metal! The album closes with No Guts No Glory, a mid-paced rocker, also a song that feels like a filler track, although the chorus is exceedingly catchy.
If you are familiar with Iron Savior, The Landing is going to be no surprise for you. If you listen to any kind of traditional or power metal and aren’t familiar with these guys, give them a chance. They are, in my opinion, one of the better more finely honed bands in the genre out there. I managed to catch them live a couple of years ago, and they impressed with their execution, a true metal band, just there to kick ass and play some metal. Iron Savior has delivered the goods on The Landing.
I hear the sound in a METAL way.