Iron Savior – Firestar (AFM Records)

Wednesday, 4th October 2023
Rating: 9.5 / 10

What is a veteran act like Iron Savior to do when live shows are shut down in a pandemic? Well, you just get down to more studio work – releasing a second set of reimagined material in 2022’s Reforged – Ironbound before coming out with this latest new studio record for Firestar. The quartet understands what their faithful followers desire album after album from this German power / speed metal unit – the mix of anthems at various mid-tempo to faster terrain coupled with lyrical themes that balance good/evil, respect/tolerance with sci-fi/fantasy leanings that leave listeners energized, thirsting for more.

Exhilarating lead breaks, stellar main riffs, the right accents for twin guitar harmony spots, and those larger-than-life choruses (given a boost through family supported choirs through Piet Sielck’s 17-year-old daughter Frida and her boyfriend) continual become retention factors through the first to successive passes. Battle-tested marching strains rhythmically carry “Demise of the Tyrant”, allowing Piet to mirror the atmosphere through tough as steel Teutonic-oriented vocal melodies. Drummer Patrick Klose proves more than capable to the task of hitting the 176 BPM barometer with fleet fill mechanics to make the title track one of the speediest (yet catchiest) title tracks for the group to date. Pulling from the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, “Across the Wasteland” is a second half treat – between the cyber-accented keyboards against uplifting, spacious guitars, the picturesque lyrics captivate in unison with the musical foundation while the instrumental sequence again features all the requisite tapping, arpeggio-laden runs, as well as bluesy sophistication that is quintessential heavy metal 101. The songwriting even reaches back to Accept/Helloween-like bounciness for “Nothing Is Forever”, where Piet can use a pop-like sensibility in specific verses that reaches for the stars during the bigger payoff chorus.

Truth and clarity pay dividends for all followers into Iron Savior. There’s a consistency that’s hard to deny throughout their studio records – of which Firestar keeps the quality at a peak performance level once again. Time will tell where this record sits in the overall catalog, but to these ears it’s another stellar front to back offering that assures power metal mavens won’t walk away disappointed.

Iron Savior on Facebook

[fbcomments width="580"]