IRON SAVIOR – Battering Ram

IRON SAVIOR - Battering Ram


Sanctuary/Noise Records
Release date: June 18, 2004

User Review
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The expression “battering ram” is, as far as I can remember, found only in the first verse of the Judas Priest classic “Rapid Fire,” and this is not the only Priest connection present within this album. Like the German quartet’s five earlier albums, this one weighs heavily towards both the British Heavy Metal tradition and the German Umpa-Umpa-Who-Needs-Freshmint-When-You-Have-Sauerkraut tradition of bands like Helloween, Grave Digger, and Gamma Ray. Still, with this band, I don’t consider the obvious lack of originality to be a major concern … Iron Savior’s front man Piet Sielck has had a central role in the scene for many years now, and he lives and breathes German Power Metal (I really hope he doesn’t breathe sauerkraut, though).

This time around, I feel the bunch has come up with a pretty strong album, with a balanced mix of faster and slower songs that are of good quality throughout the CD. In picking favorites, I’d probably end up with the powerful title track, the fast “Stand Against the King,” the anthem-ic “Tyranny of Steel” (although I usually hate these kinds of fast pedal-point riffs), the melodic and up-tempo “Time Will Tell,” and the groovy “Wings of Deliverance” … the first five songs, to put it in more concise and simple terms.

I’ve always been a fan of Sielck’s voice, as it fits very well in the range between the typical high-pitched voices, on the one hand, and growlers like Udo and Chris Boltendahl on the other. It suits the powerful music very well, and the upfront guitars, which are usually found on Iron Savior albums, are here too, and these elements make this an album well suited for being played loud.

As it often is with albums in this genre (at least it is for me), this one also relies heavily on the choruses as the foundation blocks to carry the songs. This will never be included in the A-Z instructional manual of inventive guitar riffing, and songs like “Break the Curse” and “Tyranny of Steel” exemplify this fact as well. The latter song is saved, because other than the guitar work, the rest of the track is very strong. However, “Break the Curse” stands together with “H.M. Powered Man” (despite the dead cool title) as the weakest songs on the album.

Playing-wise, this never gets more than solid – neither Sielck nor co-guitarist Joachim “Piesel” Kustner do anything revolutionary in this Swede-on-donut infected world (internal joke, apologies to all readers), and Thomas Nack shows exactly why Gamma Ray needed Dan Zimmerman … he does his job, but never gets too spectacular. The guys should get credit for not looking especially stupid, though – in a world were Udo has had more sex than me, and Lemmy has been voted the world’s second most sexy man, you could really expect the worst when four middle-aged German’s decided to dress in denim & leather …

Still, there are enough good songs here to recommend it to the average Metal fan, and although it never will become a classic, it does its best to lighten up the Metal heavens. Science fiction-freak Sielck would probably believe that light was an UFO or something, but obviously it wasn’t. I’ve never liked UFO anyway … neither the band, the spaceship, nor the Norwegian candy if anyone can remember those …


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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