I've been an Iron Savior fan since they released their first album. Now it's the time for their new-brand-2004 album "Battering Ram". What the title in the review says is what surprised me most of this record. What happened to the Calderans, Atlantis, the bio-unit and all the imaginary world in the Iron Savior story, that has delighted us release after release?. Where have the drawings of spaceships and artworks of intergalactical wars gone? I don't know. There is no trace in this record of THE Iron Savior (the vessel), what is really surprising, because it has been the band's basement. Lyrically and musically, the album is 100% the usual Iron Savior. Catchy choruses, screaming guitar-riffing and punishing drums, in charge of the always-reliable Thomas Nack, along with the pounding sound typically of power metal and Iron Savior.
Now let's go to the 3-star deal. I'm terribly sorry to disagree with the other reviewer. I think the album lacks of good ideas. It's a little repetitive sometimes. It's a good record. But after listening to it, I felt that Piet Sielck could have given a lot more creatively speaking. There are lost of cliches in the album, that will remind you songs from their previous releases. And the repetition before mentioned is not along the album, but along their career. Piet couldn't manage to deliver an album full of fresh, new and innovative ideas. He did his job and that's it, period.
And it has nothing to do with Kai Hansen's departure. Because, ironically, when Kai left the band, Iron Savior released one of their best albums "Condition Red". But Kai never contributed much to the band though, except for a couple of songs and solos. All the job has always been in Piet's hands.
The lyrics talk about Iron Savior usual topics: wars, machines, freedom, robots, heavy metal and stuff, except for the IRON SAVIOR that is not mentioned anywhere. The music? Don't get me wrong. Is a good album in general. But if you look back to what they've done in the past, "Battering Ram" sounds like a repetition of their previous releases.
The album combines high and low points. The highest ones would be "Time will tell", with a great chorus and "Riding free", very powerful and intense, which I think should have been the opening song of the album. Then, I'd recommend the last two songs "Machine World", a slow-paced song with cool riffs in the background, and "H.M.Powered Man", the album's hymn to heavy metal. On the other hand, you have songs, that shine for their lack of brilliance like "Wings of Deliverance", " Break the curse" or "Starchaser", sounding a little dull sometimes.
I'm the kind of fan that asks for more on every release, so that's why I had my expectations so up high after "Condition Red". The simplicity in the booklet, the fact that the album has only 10 songs (we are used to 12 or 13 songs; and the number of songs had nothing to do with the quality of the music; in this case the quality of compositions does not compensate the lack of songs) makes me feel a little disappointed, because it could have been better, and when I push play on my cd player, it hurts me to go directly to the fourth song "Time will tell". Could you imagine doing that in "Condition Red" or "Unification", missing anthems sich as "Titans of our time", or "Coming home"?. Of course not.
What does this album have that we hadn't heard before?.
I'm afraid "Battering Ram" sounds like a compilation of old riffs, with scarce moments of their remarkable brilliance. I take it as a huge bad step, giving them credit and hoping the next one to be a better album than this one. As I said before, I stay with "Condition Red" or "Unification".