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You Know How This Works - 80%

GuntherTheUndying, April 23rd, 2014

Try as I might to hate “Rise of the Hero,” I can’t; it’s exactly like “The Landing,” which is exactly like the other Iron Savior records. I really can’t stand bands that pigeonhole their sound into a routine of characteristics, but Iron Savior is one of few exceptions to the rule. We’ve heard these same goddamn riffs a million times over. The vocal patterns too. These melodies and chorus structures can be found on any Iron Savior release; the similarities, especially to “The Landing,” are obvious. Of course, what I refuse to mention is the overall power of the music, which is large and tremendous. Iron Savior can release a million albums that all sound the same so as long as they continue to reach this level of quality.

I don’t know, I guess Iron Savior is like a dog that can only do one trick, but that trick happens to be the ability to throw up titanic power metal covered in crispy riffs, bombastic choruses, and an authentic degree of raw sound quality. Bands like Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray have sort of evolved or shifted away from their roots, but Iron Savior? Try the ‘Hell No’ button. Iron Savior sticks to beastly riffs and choruses that have the impact of a bomb; they don’t have to accomplish much beyond that. It helps, of course, that “Rise of the Hero” contains some of the densest material one would except from Piet Sielck and company.

The album is stuffed to the brim with admirable songs. The mighty “Last Hero” and “Thunder from the Mountains” are branded with the typical Iron Savior trademarks: stellar riffs, explosive choruses. Not to imply a track like “Revenge of the Bride” or “Burning Heart” is excluded from the big boys’ club, as they are, and all are, really, enjoyable songs cut and cooked in the traditional Iron Savior fashion. The other merits of “Rise of the Hero” are expected but welcome: the sound quality is fantastic with a crispy guitar tone; the band’s performances are lively and intense as usual; and Piet Sielck’s vocals, which are outstanding as one might expect, confirm that he is, indeed, my spirit animal.

It’s hard not to enjoy “Rise of the Hero.” It’s not a perfect record—I could do without the plodding “Dragon King,” and I have no idea what Iron Savior tried to accomplish with the cover of Mando Diao’s “Dance with Somebody.” Other than a tune or two here, the fifty-five minutes of “Rise of the Hero” are Iron Savior playing the role of Iron Savior flawlessly, and little else can be asked for. They’ve established themselves as the Cannibal Corpse of power metal: their records are all the same hypothetically, yet they never accept a low level of quality or naturally plunge into inconsistent territory. Not a masterpiece, but a worthy continuation of the Iron Savior biography.

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