Iron Savior was conceived by vocalist and guitarist Piet Sielck, who played in early versions of Helloween, and more recently as a sound engineer for Blind Guardian. Sielck then drafted friend and fellow ex-Helloweener Kai Hansen on guitar and backing vocals and drummer Thomas Stauch of Blind Guardian (along with a couple of guest musicians) to complete the debut project, Iron Savior (1997). The band played early Helloween- styled melodic Power Metal. Stauch left and Jan Soren Eckert (bass/back. vocals), Andreas Kück (keyboards/back. vocals) and Dan Zimmermann (drums) for 1999's Unification, but later that same yearThomas Nack would step in to take over drums. Joachim Küstner was added as another guitarist and vocalist for Dark Assault (2001), but the addition was a precursor to the departure of Hansen for Condition Red (2002). Hanson would leave amicably as the pressures of working on both Iron Savior and his man band Gamma Ray proved to be too much.