AFM Records www.afmrecords.de
There is a fair number of German metal bands that have a direct link to Helloween in one form or another. Iron Savior were founded by ex-Helloween man Kai Hansen, then Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch and Piet Sielck back in 1996. Rise of the Hero follows 4 years on from 2011’s The Landing and only Piet Sielck remains from that first line-up.
Rise of the Hero has everything you would expect from Iron Savior – proper heavy metal, science-fiction based lyrics, powerful vocals, riffs, more riffs and yet more riffs…play it loud!
Instrumental Ascendance kicks things off sounding like a science fiction movie soundtrack with its old school synthesizers. Last Hero follows and gallops along at a fair old pace sounding like a Helloween/Blind Guardian hybrid. Revenge of the Bride…well you’ve been warned!
Then there’s From Far Beyond Time, Iron Warrior, Dragon King…well you know what they sound like…they soon fly by…nothing drags. Thunder from the Mountains even has an early Metallica-like opening complete with a James Hetfield roar.
Catchiest song on here has to be the unlikely cover of Dance with Somebody which was a massive indie rock hit in Europe (not the UK though) for Swedish band Mando Diao back in 2009. Iron Savior recorded this as a bonus track but loved it so much they put in on the album…maybe their choice or record label pressure…whatever I’m glad it’s on here!
Overall Rise of the Hero is typical, though thoroughly enjoyable, German metal then with the odd curveball thrown into the mix.
Review by Phil Berisford
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