By Dr. Abner Mality

I've always had a soft spot for these German sci-fi power metallers. Along with PRIMAL FEAR, they were one of the first bands to follow in the footsteps of HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY when it came to the tradition of fine German power metal. To be brutally honest, when you've heard one IRON SAVIOR, you've pretty much heard them all, dating all the way back to their self-titled debut. That holds true for "Skycrest", but in these dreary and dark days of Covid-19 and political discord, there is something reassuring about IRON SAVIOR's uplifting and melodic power metal attack. It has a cheerful and defiant attitude that rubs off on the listener.

They stay true to the same speedy power metal bursting with twin guitar harmony and happy choruses. The title track and "Our Time Has Come" set the table pretty well. For some reason, the bass is more prominent than on any previous SAVIOR album...its juicy chug propels tunes like "Hellbreaker" and "Raise The Flag". The sound of bells pops up here and there, giving songs a more uplifting feel. There are a couple of duds...."There Can Be Only One" is sort of a jumbled mess that's all over the place and the ballad "Ease Your Pain" is heartfelt but seems written by a "power metal ballad" computer program...but most of it is the familiar IRON SAVIOR in full, frantic flight. The PRIEST-like "Souleater" and "Ode To the Brave" with its magnificent chorus are 2 particular standouts.

The band's sci-fi/fantasy leanings are still there and if you like classic European power metal, IRON SAVIOR is definitely one of the go-to bands. "Skycrest" keeps this machine humming along.