Iron Savior is a German heavy/power metal band founded in 1996 and their debut, self-titled “Iron Savior” album was released a year later. In 10 years, the band has released eight albums plus a re-release and now they’re getting ready to go loud again with their ninth studio album, which tastes as genuinely German as bratwurst or sauerkraut.
After the intro, the first three tracks “Titancraft,” “Way of the Blade,” and “Seize the Day” features the full range of cornerstones of power metal with sharp, lightning fast guitar shredding, beautiful guitar harmonics and very strong melodic singing. Bowing shamelessly to the 80’s or 90’s heavy metal roots, the songs relies heavily on Piet Sielck‘s very dynamic voice, which feels more like an additional instrument. Despite being very sing-led, every instrument gets their moment to shine.
“Gunsmoke” is breaking the formula, as we’re given a slower song, flirting with hard rock, it offers a moment to catch breath; that is if you can keep without singing the extremely catchy chorus. Being slower than the previous songs, the fourth track is not lacking in heaviness with it’s rock guitar riffs and feel, not to forgot about the singer’s piercing rasp. The mid-tempo song is a tight package of riffs, but still probably the weakest one of the album as the chorus seems unimaginative despite that it may be working out well live when hundreds of people are shouting it.
The sixth song, “Beyond the Horizon” is a more modern power metal song. The guitars are given more room and has even a guitar lead in the verses, which is a welcomed change in the otherwise steady pounding of professionally delivered album. Otherwise the song doesn’t add anything to the previous tracks.
What would a power metal album be without a ballad? Second to last, we hear the frail piano and guitar intro of “I Surrender” which is the biggest deviation to the album’s line of fast-paced upbeat hammering. The dynamic prowess of of mr. Sielck is given even more right as the song is stripped down of almost everything else and it features the best guitar solo of the album.
“Titancraft” is a very expertly performed and made album of traditional heavy/power metal with very little to critisize. However, it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre yet it avoids falling into a pile of cliches. Despite sounding like a schoolbook example of traditional german band, the album sounds like Iron Savior and doesn’t feel like recycling what they, and their peers have done in the past. The aspect of being predictable from the first few songs is probably the strongest point of the album. It’s a safe bet for everyone liking decades old traditional Melodic German Metal and it has everything needed for a classic to stand the test of time. However, it may also be the weakest point of “Titancraft” as well as it doesn’t give anything new for someone seeking music that sounds fresh.