Condition Red is my favorite power metal record of all time. Now, it's true that I've never had a favorite power metal record before this one. In fact, I've always thought the whole pompous genre to be the stuff of day-dreaming adolescent males, cashing in on the emotional safety net of dungeons and dragons fantasies because they're scared of girls. And it still is, mind you, but Germany's Iron Savior has managed to crawl out of the Rune throwing basement to flex their armor in the black sunshine, and it's a joyful, bracing noise indeed. Chugging guitars, sounds like hundreds of them, come flying out of the speakers like black arrows of death, aimed straight at the heart of all those that play false metal, as well as anyone else in their path. The soaring rhythms gallop and crash like apocalyptic horsemen, and Piet Sielck's classic full octave pipes belt out chest thumping Canterbury tales about valor and honor and all sorts of things that none of us actually possess. I'm pretty sure that I'm on the side of the "God of Depravity" that Iron Savior seem intent on vanquishing, but there's nothing wrong with a little respect and begrudging admiration for the enemy. Besides all the war dances and victory songs, "Condition Red" even includes a (limited edition bonus track) righteous power ballad filled with steam and bluster called "Crazy" which the wife tells me was originally by silky soul man Seal, but sounds remarkably true to form. Despite the dubious company bands like Iron Savior keep, "Condition Red" makes me want to strap on kind of chest plate, pick up the nearest broadsword, and go out smiting an arch foe or two. And not in a gay way, either.