Iron Savior has earned the right to coast boldly on one sound and one sound only. Doing so has been anything but turbulent, as "The Landing" and "Rise of the Hero," two albums released late in the game, were able to keep the quality of Iron Savior's brand soaring high and proud. "Titancraft" takes no sharp turns from the directive of Piet Sielck's metallic order; it isn't much of a spoiler to say Iron Savior is still Iron Savior. The blood of the band flows through the record with a familiar energy, vitalizing the signature crispy riffs down to the detail. Songs geared to once again focus on titanic choruses and the intensity of a group still running with the pedal to the metal make "Titancraft" another ballsy staple to add to the catalog.
Iron Savior albums are down to a specific order at this point, but I mean that in the best possible way. With "Titancraft," we get the usual: power/speed metal cooked with an extra layer of crisp, Piet's brazen voice, blazing speedsters, mid-tempo stomps, cheesy lyrics, memorable choruses, a lame ballad, and the obligatory massive balls. Narrowing down Iron Savior's routine as though it's just a checklist, however, undermines the impressive quality within, and anyone doing so should be labeled an insolent cock. "Titancraft" soars on fantastic speed/power metal riffs biting down with that signature crunch, while Piet's gruff and sharp voice fuels the triumph of poignant bridges and choruses. And that, friends, is how "Titancraft" operates. It is familiar, yet fresh in its own little ways.
The traditional song molds are reused without shame. "Way of the Blade" nails the swift structure of "Revenge of the Bride" to the smallest particle, while the mid-paced march of "Gunsmoke" appears warmly familiar. The power/speed metal bursts of the title track and "Seize the Day" strike accustomed chords that have been monumental bricks upon which the foundation of Iron Savior is built. Dig through the Iron Savior catalog and you'll be hard-pressed to find a chorus more gallant than the centerpiece of "Strike Down the Tyranny," which might be one of the band's finest homeruns. "I Surrender" is the dull ballad that managed to weasel its way into the party, just like "Before the Pain" or "The Demon," two duds on otherwise killer records.
Undermining the Iron Savior routine is a fatal mistake. Once more Piet manages to craft riffs that stick and songs that bleed steel among the same tools and tricks he's been using since the band's early days. It is impressive, if not magical, that a style may still produce worthwhile assets despite having been milked from head to toe for twenty years. "Titancraft" is predictable in the best possible way, and just another slab of goodness that Iron Savior will proudly archive among its collection of solid albums.