TOP-NOTCH POWER METAL: Spending three decades at the top of your craft is something to be commended. And 28 years in, Germany’s Iron Savior are still pumping out classic power metal on a level that very few can touch. Their latest, Firestar, is sonic evidence, an album that solidifies Iron Savior’s reputation as masters of the genre.

Firestar delivers a high-energy and relentless sonic experience from start to finish. Dynamic and anthemic opener de facto opener “Curse of the Machinery” immediately grabs the listener’s attention with razor-sharp riffs, blazing tempos, thunderous drumming, and vocals from frontman Piet Sielck’s that soar high above with a captivating intensity. Iron Savior do their best to tip their cap to the legendary Ronnie James Dio on the following “In the Realm of Heavy Metal,” though it ends up coming across as a bit too cheeseball. Thankfully, “Demise of Tyrant” is a memorable, fist-pumping anthem that restores order as it were, setting a nice stretch of Firestar that is to come. The album’s title track is truly Iron Maiden-esque, seamlessly blending melodic elements with the aggression that defines their sound, alongside intricate solos and blistering riffs that add layers of complexity to the album’s overall sonic landscape. Diving further into Firestar, “Through the Fires of Hell” is a highlight, the band does Judas Priest proud on the chugging powerhouse “Mask, Cloak and Sword,” “Rising from Ashes” is a epic adventure with galloping leads, and Iron Savior keep their foot on the gas going into closer “Together As One,” not allowing much time for listeners to catch their breath. But really, would you want it any other way? 

Worth noting is the production on Firestar—truly top-notch work that allows each instrument to shine while maintaining a cohesive and powerful sound. The mix strikes a perfect balance, ensuring that the listener can fully appreciate the nuances of the music without sacrificing the raw energy that makes Iron Savior a force to be reckoned with.

With its potent combination of powerful vocals, masterful fretwork, and thunderous rhythms, Firestar cements Iron Savior’s piece of the throne as power metal royalty. It’s a sonic inferno that will undoubtedly leave fans craving more. ~ Brian Campbell