Iron Savior

Battering Ram

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Anyone who is seriously knowledgeable of metal's past and present can tell you that there's a brave new world in headbanger music. Today's neo-headbangers are likely to be influenced by punk, hip-hop, or industrial music; they probably grew up listening to the Notorious B.I.G., Black Flag, and Skinny Puppy, as well as Slayer and Metallica, and they might even consider a hip-hop DJ the perfect companion for downtuned guitars and chug-chug riffs. But not every metal band that was formed in the '90s or 2000s is part of this brave new world. In the power metal revival field, the past isn't just something you admire -- it's something you carefully emulate, which is exactly what Iron Savior do on Battering Ram. This 2004 release finds the German metalheads continuing to do what they've been doing since 1996; they're still partying like it's 1982. Totally oblivious to trends in post-'80s alt metal, Iron Savior stubbornly maintain their devotion to the classic power metal of the '70s and '80s. Everything on this CD sounds like it could have been recorded 20 or 25 years earlier, which is just as well, because Savior's members are undeniably good at what they do. No one will accuse Savior of being the most groundbreaking band in the world, but in terms of quality and craftsmanship, they deliver the goods -- and what they lack in originality, they more than make up for with passion and conviction. Battering Ram is unlikely to convert anyone who resisted power metal in the past; if treasures like Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast and Judas Priest's Hell Bent for Leather haven't converted you, Battering Ram probably won't do the trick either. But for die-hard believers who never gave up on power metal, Battering Ram is a pleasingly solid, if derivative and predictable, demonstration of Iron Savior's talents.

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