|Review: Iron Savior - Unification|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 1, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (26 Votes)
This was only the second album from Iron Savior, back when it was still a sort of studio project with Kai Hansen of Helloween/Gamma Ray fame still contributing to the songwriting and some vocals, so it sounds a bit different from the later releases when the Savior has become a full-time band and is helmed by meistermind Piet Sielck.
The evolution of Iron Savior into a distinct entity of its own is plain if you listen to this and then, say, "Condition Red". This is essentially the same style, only less polished and not as, well, unified. Most of this is trademark Iron Savior, like the crunchy opener "Coming Home", or the signature songs like "Starborn" and "Prisoner Of The Void". Kai provides lead vocals on "Deadly Sleep" and "Forevermore", songs which he wrote, and they sound weirdly like Gamma Ray songs stuck on an Iron Savior album. They aren't bad songs or anything, but they just sound like they come from a different album. Kai's leads do have that 'Scanner' Sci-Fi sound to them, which is cool, and it gives this album a different sound than later IS albums.
There's nothing wrong with the songs on this album, they just aren't as good as the stuff this band would produce later. The riffs aren't as good, the choruses aren't as catchy, and the album doesn't sound as strong or complete. (Also, I need to mention how crappy the cover art is – stinky.) But falling short of awesome albums like "Condition Red" is no shame, and this is still an enjoyable CD. It does go on a bit, and has too many frigging bonus tracks tacked onto the end. The re-recording of "Gorgar" is kind of fun, but the cover of Sabbath's "Neon Knights" is just pointless. Even moreso is the song "Dragonslayer". This song was performed by some band called Excelsis who won some kind of silly contest to get their song on here. It's not a bad song, but wholly unworthy of being on an Iron Savior album. If they had just stopped after "Forevermore" the album would have closed on a much stronger note. "Unification" is an entertaining album, and a worthy purchase for fans of the band, but if you want to start out with Iron Savior, start with "Condition Red".
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