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.
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