Iron Savior
Live At The Final Frontier
(AFM Records)

It has taken nearly twenty years for German power metal vets Iron Savior to release a Live DVD/CD set, but that day has finally arrived with Live At The Final Frontier. Being a big fan of these guys, I was excited to hear just how well this Hamburg concert (the band’s hometown) sounded and how well Piet Sielck’s vocals shone through everything on the disc. He sounds positively monolithic, with nearly each and every word properly audible and enunciated as the rest of the band pound out hits like “Starlight”, “Mind Over Matter”, “Hall Of The Heroes” as well as their triumphant heavy metal anthem to end all heavy metal anthems, “Heavy Metal Never Dies.” Joachim Kustner’s guitar provides screaming rhythms that soar high to the heavens, whilst Thomas Nack’s drums thunder in the background, creating a truly heavy metal storm as if there ever was one. Sielck also chimes in with the mind-melting solos that have made these songs so memorable, each reproduced with astounding clarity. They made sure to bring some top of the line equipment to this performance, as nothing seems muddled and achieves the same amount of pristine grandeur as one might expect from one of the act’s many albums. Since Iron Savior have yet to step foot on our shores, this performance is definitely the closest thing that you’re going to have to drinking real beer (not that watered down American crap) while chowing down on some authentic German sausage as you bang your head at the fire and fury of the band playing onstage. As the concert was recorded in Germany, you’ll notice that all of the stage banter is also in German, but that shouldn’t disparage you from checking out what proves to be a really awesome concert from a power metal band that more people really need to know about. While their Blind Guardian leanings are apparent, there’s so much more to be seen on the stage here and this performance unleashes all of that and more. Let me tell you, this is the kind of concert that makes me want to crank the volume to eleven, which will piss all the neighbors and call the cops over to my place. But even so, they’ll probably enjoy the show so much that they’ll want to sit down and listen to it, completely forgetting to offer me a citation. Because everyone loves (or should love) heavy metal! I should also mention that aside from fist-raisers (as it says) like “Break The Curse” there’s a little number on here called “I’ve Been To Hell” which was completely left off the standard edition version of Rise Of The Hero. That always upset me, because I thought it was a truly great song and even here it seems to manage an impressive presence here on the stage. The whole thing closes out with a cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law” which certainly seems to offer a strong end note to the show as a whole. While it’s not one Priest’s heavier songs, or a song where they would have been able to utilize more dynamics, it seems a fitting end to what truly amounts to an amazing show from an amazing heavy metal band. While this review only covers the two audio CD’s that come along with this DVD Digipack, I can almost assure you that the accompanying video performance is only going to accentuate the amount of awesomeness that you will get for this performance. No matter whether you see the concert or just listen to it in the way that I have in this review, you should be pleasantly enthralled with this much ass kicking metal in a format that truly does it justice. (Eric May)

Purchase Live At The Final Frontier here.

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