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Iron Savior - Megatropolis 2.0


by Matt Hensch

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My process of dissecting rerecorded albums has become an art without excitement. Interestingly, "Megatropolis 2.0" is packaged clandestinely as a rerelease of Iron Savior's 2007 album of the same name, though part of the record has been rerecorded. Tackling why Iron Savior decided to partially redo "Megatropolis" brings up a familiar set of issues, both musical and philosophical, which often follow bands attempting to give a certain release another go. The case of "Megatropolis 2.0" is particularly odd considering Iron Savior popped out the original album just eight years before giving it a slight makeover. Even more peculiar is that the only major factors of the original record that have changed at all are Piet Sielck's vocals and the mix, which has been doctored ever so slightly.

My biggest guff with "Megatropolis 2.0" is that it exists. Iron Savior hasn't touched the music a lick; it is universally the same from A to Z. Iron Savior's unbreakable consistency shines through songs like "Cybernetic Queen" and "Omega Man," which are among some of the group's finest works, and which made the original "Megatropolis" another compelling chapter in the ironclad chronicle of a wonderful band. The vocals have been redone, sounding bigger and larger in the grand scheme of things, especially throughout the choruses which now sound choir-like. The new mix boosts the steely goodness of Iron Savior to the forefront, cooking the crispy guitar tone an extra layer of bite. Overall, with the redone vocals and the updated mix, I'll say "Megatropolis 2.0" comes off as an improvement.

But now Iron Savior is stuck in familiar territory, one where bands like Exodus and Exhumed have found themselves once they opened the musical Pandora's Box of rerecording an album. Since the music of "Megatropolis" wasn't brushed this way or that with even a pubic hair, it reasonably makes the whole concept moot. Not to mention Piet's vocals, though arguably better on "Megatropolis 2.0," were fine to begin with; it's not like he sounded awful. In reality, we're left with an album that sounds a bit sharper and a little more refined, but at a cost that doesn't make a dent in the steely base of "Megatropolis." Both albums are completely interchangeable save for the minor differences, and I wonder why we're bothering with two products when they converge on the same result.

They make an attempt to add some justice by shoehorning in a pair of bonus tracks-one an unreleased rocker, the other a medley of "Watcher in the Sky" and the title track from the band's eponymous debut. They are both tolerable anthems, but nothing too damaging would've occurred had they been axed altogether. It sounds to me like Iron Savior was dissatisfied with the original work, hence the recreation. If that was the case, then "Megatropolis 2.0" makes a bit more sense. Packaging the thing like it's more than a simple rerelease, however, fogs up the reasoning behind why the band and the label would go to such lengths to merely put out the album again even more, when the easy alternative would've been to, you know, leave the original product alone.

Iron Savior - Megatropolis 2.0
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