Album Review: Iron Savior - Firestar
Reviewed by Richard Oliver
When it comes to European power metal it is safe to say that it's homeland is in Germany which as a country has produced a great deal of the best and most influential bands in the genre such as Blind Guardian, Helloween and Gamma Ray amongst countless others. One band who has shared members with some of these power metal titans and has a career lasting 27 years is Iron Savior who, despite not being a name on the tip of people's tongues when mentioning power metal, have been a force to be reckoned with in the genre releasing countless fantastic turbo charged albums with “Firestar” being the twelfth full length of original material from the band.
Twelve albums in and the band shows no sign of weakening and sounding stale as “Firestar” is up there with some of the best material the band has released. Iron Savior have always had a more beefy and muscular power metal sound with the riffs up front and centre along with a pounding rhythm section mixed in with the glorious melodies and powerhouse vocals of frontman Piet Sielck. The band don’t shy away from speed with songs such as ‘Mask, Cloak And Sword’, ‘Rising From Ashes’ and the title track bolting out of the gate and ensuring that drummer Patrick Klose gets a good workout with some pounding double kick drum work.
You also get chunky riff based songs such as ‘Demise Of The Tyrant’, ‘Across The Wastelands’ and ‘In The Realm Of Heavy Metal’ which as well as being heavy as hell are also huge and anthemic sounding. The rest of the band also put in stellar performances with long term bassist Jan-Sören Eckert complimenting the powerhouse rhythms on the drums whilst guitarist Joachim Küstner delivers a barrage of devastating riffs and killer solos.
Iron Savior haven’t reinventing themselves on “Firestar” and this is still very recognisably them and their trademark powerhouse power metal but the quality of the material on the album is astonishing 27 years into the career and “Firestar” can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best albums that Iron Savior have released such as “Condition Red”, “The Landing” and “Rise Of The Hero”. The band sound absolutely energised and this energy is literally bursting out of these songs and the album literally does not stop to catch its breath until the end of the final song. Power metal is a bit of a marmite genre amongst heavy metallers and this album won’t change the opinion of anyone who cannot bear power metal but if you do have a love or passing interest in this genre then “Firestar” will be one, if not the, finest power metal release of 2023.