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Iron Savior: Battering Ram

Sometimes the press info that accompanies new CD releases overflows with hyperbole, making exaggerated claims that don't always hold up to the music it's touting. But in the case of the media sheet accompanying Battering Ram, the latest album from German metal veterans Iron Savior, the media machine at Sanctuary Records couldn't be more accurate: "Battering Ram follows the Iron Savior tradition of no-frills, in-your-face heavy metal with hooks to catch sharks with, ripping guitars and the whiskey-laden vocals of Mr. Sielck to top it all off." I couldn't have said it better myself…

"Mr. Sielck" is singer/guitarist Piet Sielck — known for helping form Helloween and producing such bands as Blind Guardian and Saxon. On Battering Ram, Iron Savior plows through 10 relentless tracks that lyrically continue the epic saga the band began on 1997's self-titled debut. Musically, songs like the title cut, "Wings of Deliverance," "Riding Free" and "Star Chaser" stand out as melodic dual-guitar monsters that will singe your ears, but there's really not a dud here — unless you want to count the closing track "H.M. Powered Man." Yep, you guessed it, "H.M." stands for "Heavy Metal," and the song comes off just about as cheesy as any song with "heavy metal" (or any variation thereof) in its title.

Paying attention to — or even understanding — Battering Ram's story line isn't essential to enjoying this record. For those who care, though, the album's concept revolves around an ancient race of robots from the Andromeda nebula. The plot touches on artificial intelligence and humanity's perception of reality, and the songs explore such topics as escapism, the aftermath of terrorism and rebellion against the norm.

Battering Ram is arguably Iron Savior's best album, proving that unlike other veteran heavy-metal heavy hitters (say, Helloween) this band only seems to get better with age.


Track Listing
1) Battering Ram (4:49)
2) Stand Against The King (5:01)
3) Tyranny of Steel (4:27)
4) Time Will Tell (4:11)
5) Wings of Deliverance (4:48)
6) Break the Curse (4:01)
7) Riding Free (5:15)
8) Starchaser (4:27)
9) Machine World (6:31)
10) H.M. Powered Man (4:17)
Total Time: 47:52

Added: October 25th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official Iron Savior Web Site
Hits: 1807
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Iron Savior: Battering Ram
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-10-25 07:27:09
My Score:

This CD starts off with a bang that instantly gets you into the groove of the music. While Iron Savior has been around for a few albums already I have not had any exposure to them so I was not certain what to expect from them with this release. However, loading Battering Ram into the CD player did not give me any disappointment. One thing that stands out on this CD in particular is that it is a definite homage to the early power metal that came before it. Heavy tracks with excellent guitars and drums and vocal lines that make you raise your voices and fists into the air. There are also a wide variety of styles going through the piece, not all numbers are fast. One or two of them have a Judas Priest feel while others could be a Motley Crue track if done by those bands. Not bad comparisons.

Standout tracks for me are definitely the first three numbers on the CD. The lineup for this release is Piet Sielck (guitar, lead vocals), Yenz Leonhardt (bass & backing vocals), Joachim "Piesel" Küstner (guitars & backing vocals), Thomas Nack (drums & percussion). The vocals don't lose a step throughout the whole piece and the backups prompt you to sing along. The guitar work is clean and enjoyable, not over the top with lead riffs, only where they are best suited. The drumming is steady and rumbles throughout. A nice clean production overall.

I mentioned earlier how I was not educated in the back catalog. This does not change the high number I have given this CD. It is good enough for the new listener and a must have for the die hard fan. This is also a great piece for someone who is looking for a solid piece of metal to enjoy. Noise records has been doing some good for the forces of metal and this is another good one. Check it out.




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