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German power metal, one of the most overrated genres in metal ever. Helloween, Gamma Ray, Savage Circus, StormWarrior, Masterplan, Freedom Call, At Vance, Brainstorm, Symphorce, Domain, Metalium, Blind Guardian, Edguy,... This list goes on and on. Why they are so beloved I do not know, it just goes beyond me. Some of those bands (like Freedom Call, Edguy, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and Brainstorm) used to bring out some good material, but that period has passed. Even predecessors on the genre Grave Digger, Running Wild and Sinner have gone beyond their peak, and didn't stop falling since... There are only three bright lights in the German power scene: Chinchilla, Primal Fear and Rage. Though, bands like Iron Savior, Wizard and Rebellion (and probably a lot of smaller, lesser known bands whom I now forget) also can be counted with the better part of German power bands.
The reason why Iron Savior is being praised above all those other bands, is again being proven by them on their latest album. They just repeated the same old formula as they've been doing since '96, and they still know how to rise above average level. The main problem of German power is that or it sounds to poppy, or the vocals are just the same in every damn band. The same whining high pitched notes and overmelodic tunes keep on enduring from beginning to end (not high pitched like Ralf, I'm really emphasizing the verb "to whine"), wheredue you cannot seperate one song from another. With the voices of Ralf or Piet the intensity is already there even before the music is recorded. And ofcourse, the lyrical themes aren't so damn cliché, the guitar play is more raw and less polished, and above all: the total sound is less power and more heavy. For example the titletrack of "Megatropolis" (that has a lot in common with Rage songs). That's how power metal should sound like. A raw voice and rough guitar play, extremely headbangable. No time for stupid (and mostly shitty) ballads, just plain good power metal. The production of the album ofcourse is extremely good, but sometimes you can hear that latest refinements are adjusted by computer. It doesn't bother me, but it's hearable if you really look for it. In my opinion Piet has a very recognisable voice, and also a voice which I like very much. Raw, yet emotional, the perfect combination in power metal. A real favorite song I have not, but "The Omega Man" and "Megatropolis" possibly get closest. One pitty thing though... At the end of "Cyber Hero" there's this fucking irritating sketch that probably is meant to get more into the whole concept of the album, but damn, it tears the whole cd apart. Not a good idea, that dialogue...
But in the end Iron Savior did it again. A fine, heavy and enjoyable album that shows us that power metal can still be made the way it should be. If you like the genre, buy the album - you just need to.