German speed metal/power metal mainstays Iron Savior return with album number 13(!) and Skycrest is as reliable an album as you’d expect from a band renowned for their dependability and their work ethic. Never one’s to push the envelope, Iron Savior’s latest offering is highly melodic, suitably cheesy and chest-beatingly emotive in all its bombastic, yet hardly ground-breaking, glory.
Still, Skycrest opens with a winner; with short and sweet intro “The Guardian” bleeding effortlessly into the soaring title track. “Our Time Has Come” is then as defiantly heroic as its title suggests and while you’ve heard this kinda thing a million times before that doesn’t detract from the sheer thrill of hearing power metal done proper like!
“Hellbreaker” and Souleater” are then the perfect double act as Iron Savior’s guns blaze furiously. The bleeps and blips that litter “Welcome To The New World” are a distraction but the song is decent enough and at least attempts to modernise Iron Savior’s sound. The same can’t be said for the highlander-inspired “There Can Be Only One” which appears to draw its lyrical inspiration from a film franchise that’s long past its prime. A strange choice perhaps but it’s a concept that, admittedly, does lend itself to power metal’s rampant histrionics.
Iron Savior are, and always have been, a power metal band in the purest sense – epic, resilient and 100% authentic – and that blueprint is not being fucked with here. Subsequently, surprises are few and far between but there’s no doubting that Piet Sielck, who has been at the forefront of the Teutonic power metal scene for forever and a day, sounds revitalised here. Far superior – in every sense – to 2019’s relatively rote Kill Or Get Killed, Iron Savior circa 2020 may not be as good as they were when Kai Hansen (Halloween / Gamma Ray) was in the band but they’re certainly worthy of your power-metal lovin’ time.
Skycrest is a more than solid Germanic power metal release which probably won’t rank as one of the best of the year….but certainly deserves to be lauded for its unshakable commitment to the power metal cause! 7/10
Iron Savior – Skycrest
Genre: Power Metal
Format: Digipak, Ltd.Gtf. Vinyl
Release Date: 4th December 2020