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Great, But Not Iron Savior's Pinnacle - 85%

BotD, June 14th, 2007

Originally I hailed this as Iron Savior's best album, but even when I wrote that I had to admit that I liked the first album better. Whether it's because I first encountered Iron Savior through their debut or because the first is catchier or something else entirely, the rest of the Iron Savior catalogue (even this album) never has me singing along to every song or immersing myself completely in the music. However, part of me objectively quantifies this album as their "best" despite my love of the self titled album.

I think everyone nailed the basic character of this album; an absolutely astounding first 11 tracks followed by what is a uniformly terrible ending. I truly wonder why so many bands insist on marring what could be a perfect or near perfect album by including noticeably sub par material. Iron Savior could have dropped the end of the album and still had a very respectable running length. At least they did the listener a favor by shoving all the refuse to the back end. The rest of this review only covers the first 11 songs

Unification shows Kai Hansen’s hand most emphatically of any Iron Savior album. The opener could have opened any Gamma Ray album and “Deadly Sleep” with Hansen on vocals ably displays his reverence of Iron Maiden. Every track carries some of the buoyancy that Hansen brings to of all his projects, a vibrancy missing from Iron Savior after he left.

Yet, this is undeniably an Iron Savior album, because you will headbang endlessly, something I can’t say for most Gamma Ray albums. This is Iron Savior’s finest moment where they perfect the formula they will repeat for all of their future albums—much to their detriment. Unlike the rest of Iron Savior’s catalogue, despite strong similarities each song distinguishes itself because every song is of superlative quality.

Not much else to say other than if you wish to crack into Iron Savior, this album represents, perhaps, the best entry point.