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Iron Savior, one of my all-time favourite power metal bands, have returned after 3 long years to bring us their 6th studio release, ‘Megatropolis’. One thing to know about Iron Savior, is that they have hardly changed their style since releasing their debut back in 1997. But in this case, that is a good thing. Iron Savior don’t need to change their style, as their riff-filled, fist-pounding metal anthems have made them so successful over the years.
Coming off the bat of arguably their best 2 CDs in their discography (‘Battering ram’ and ‘Condition red’), ‘Megatropolis’ was set to be the next top release in the same vein as those CDs. But unfortunately, ‘Megatropolis’ does fall short of those 2 awesome CDs, despite still being a very solid release. Musically, ‘Megatropolis’ is everything you'd expect from Iron Savior. Massive riffs, tinged with a thrash feel, blistering twin solos and the raspy vocals of Piet Sielck belting out those headbanging metal anthems. But I feel that this CD seems a bit uninspired, like they have simply gone through the motions on this one. Even though this CD is just as powerful as their others, I think that it is less energetic; a solid release but nothing more. There are no real standout and truly memorable tracks, like songs from previous CDs such as “Tyranny of steel”, “Break the curse”, “Warrior” or “Firing the guns”. The upside, however, is that there are no weak tracks on this release either.
The other thing which I consider to be part of this CD not being as good as the others, is with the lyrics in the song structures. Now I am glad that Iron Savior has fully moved on from their original storyline about the space battleship called the “Iron Savior”, which finally came to an end with the ‘Condition red’ CD, as there is only so much you can write about given that theme. On ‘Megatropolis’, it’s not the actual lyrics that are in question, it is how they have been structured into some of the songs. I guess this is another example of Iron Savior possibly just going through the motions and showing less exuberance than on previous releases. One thing that I was very impressed with though, was with the remarkable drumming of Thomas Nack. Nack is a very underrated drummer and on ‘Megatropolis’, he absolutely goes hell-for-leather, really one of his best efforts on an Iron Savior release.
Some of the more notable songs on ‘Megatropolis’ would include the mid-paced grinder “Flesh”, which has some of the greatest head-banging riffs on the entire CD; the speedy and melodic “Cyber hero”, which is your typical Iron Savior type track in the same vein as “Protector” or “Riding free”; and the crunching and galloping mid-paced rocker “A tale from down below”.
My choice for the best 2 tracks on ‘Megatropolis’, would be the thumping and melodic “Cybernetic queen”, which has a very catchy chorus and an overall 80s feel to it. And finally, the speedy and catchy “The omega man”, with its riff charged and double-bass fury.
Iron Savior fans should still blindly purchase ‘Megatropolis’ as there is still a lot to enjoy from it, despite it being not as good as their previous 2 releases; while Iron Savior newbies should probably start with something like ‘Condition red’ or ‘Battering ram’ before you listen to ‘Megatropolis’. Overall, this release is still a solid CD, worthy of the Iron Savior name, but as stated before, it is not their best effort and I hope that their next release brings back the exuberance and energetic feel that I am used to hearing.
Originally written for www.metalcdratings.com