Power metal -- a forceful, hard-driving, and aggressive yet melodic style of heavy metal associated with headbangers like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche, and King Diamond -- got started in the '70s and reached its commercial peak in the '80s.
Other power metal bands surfaced in the '90s, and their melodic yet aggressive approach was a throwback to the '70s and '80s. Like Sweden's Evergrey, Argentina's Jezabel, Italy's Rhapsody, and New Jersey's Symphony X, Germany's Iron Savior is a '90s/2000s band untouched by post-'80s alt metal; unapologetically retro, Iron Savior is mindful of Priest, Maiden, Queensrÿche, Helloween, and other bands from power metal's heyday. Everything about Iron Savior is retro in a '70s/'80s-like fashion -- from their appearance to their guitar riffs to their larger-than-life, fantasy-band lyrics, Iron Savior takes listeners back to a time when Saxon, Grim Reaper, and Savatage reigned supreme.
Iron Savior was formed in Germany in 1996 by veteran headbanger Piet Sielck, a multi-faceted singer, guitarist, producer, engineer, and keyboardist who had been in a very early lineup of Helloween back in the early '80s. It was in 1996 that Sielck (who has no problem singing and writing in English) recruited singer/guitarist Kai Hansen (of Helloween and Gamma Ray fame) and drummer Thomen Stauch (Blind Guardian). Along the way, Iron Savior had its share of lineup changes. Both Hansen and Stauch left the band; another ex-member is drummer Dan Zimmerman (Gamma Ray and Freedom Call). Reportedly, Hansen left Iron Savior on friendly terms with Sielck; after deciding that trying to split his time between Iron Savior and Gamma Ray was way too demanding, he opted to simplify his life and concentrate on Gamma Ray exclusively. In 2002, Iron Savior's five-person line-up included Sielck (lead vocals, guitar), Joachim Küstner (guitar, background vocals), Jan Soren Eckert (bass, background vocals), Andreas Kuck (keyboards, background vocals), and Thomas Nack (drums, percussion). Iron Savior's concept-driven self-titled debut album was released in 1997, and began a sci-fi narrative that would continue over the course of multiple albums, including Unification (1999), Dark Assault (2001), and Condition Red (2002). Subsequent efforts like Battering Ram (2004), Megatropolis (2007), The Landing (2011), Rise of the Hero (2014), and Titancraft (2016), blazed their own narrative paths. In 2017, the band issued Reforged: Riding on Fire, a collection of re-recorded versions of songs from their first five albums. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi