By Carl Begai
An excerpt from my recent interview with Piet Sielck, frontman and founder of Iron Savior, a band that should probably be dead and buried. In spite of some brutal odds, Sielck has succeeded in keeping things together and putting out a new album worthy of attention from the power metal legions. And from what he says, he’s getting it…
“The will to do this came back when I finally managed to solve the major issues with Dockyard 1. I sold the remains to AFM Records and (distributor) Soulfood Music in October 2010, and that was the point where I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. From that point on I definitely felt better, so I went in and cleaned out the studio, made it comfortable again. It was a good thing because it also cleared my mind. I was able to sit down and write music again. At the beginning I wrote the first complete song for The Landing, which was ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies’, and if you take a look at the lyrics and relate them to what I just told you about Dockyard you can say it was musical therapy for me (laughs).”
As Iron Savior albums go – seven in all – The Landing ranks as one of the strongest since the 1997 speed-happy self-titled debut. More metal-oriented than Megatropolis, the vibe and energy level is very reminiscent of Condition Red from 2002. Sielck agrees.
“It’s funny that you mention Condition Red because it was written under similar circumstances. I had a personal crisis to deal with before I started that album, but when it was over I went into writing Condition Red with a great attitude. It was the same thing when I wrote ‘Heavy Metal Never Dies’ for The Landing; it kicked my ass so bad that I was on fire (laughs). It felt like I could go on writing songs forever, to the point I was actually kind of sad when the writing sessions were over.”
Sielck managed to make The Landing a compact and immediate record, coughing up a listenable 45 minutes of music rather than blowing his wad on over an hour of sonic masturbation.
“I didn’t actually do that on purpose,” he admits, “but after writing ‘No Guts, No Glory’ I decided that was it, I’d said everything I had to say. I couldn’t really think of what I could add to it, and if I’d done that I think I would have been repeating myself. This is a collection of, for my taste, great songs. They blend well together, and I think they leave you feeling entertained. That’s the reaction I’ve been getting from people, and it’s a very nice feeling. Iron Savior has always been a bit underrated. We’re not Gamma Ray, so I’m surprised that we still have such a strong fanbase. I’ve received a lot of great comments from the fans on Facebook and YouTube and it cheers me up a lot, I must say.”
He also reveals that, despite the title and cover art of the new album, it isn’t a complete return to the band’s original science fiction concept revolving around sentient space ships and lost civilizations. Something of a disappointment for any Trekkies/Lucasfilm addicts still lurking in the wings.
“It’s not a concept album. There are only two songs that are related to the original Iron Savior story, and the other songs are just… not science fiction related. I really like the artwork, and I think the title is also related to my personal situation. Calling it The Landing was appropriate because Iron Savior has been away for four years, but somehow we’re back again (laughs).”
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