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Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.63 | 425 ratings

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4 stars When I listened to this album the first time, I was quite disappointed. The sound is not as polished as on the last two albums (it really lacks a lot of clarity, especially with the guitars), and although there are still three guitars playing it's hard to say it brings something to this album... on the contrary. Where are the solos? the heaviness? the melodies? Another thing that bothers me on this album is the poor quality of the production for the vocals - that's too bad because Bruce Dickinson is giving here one of his best vocal performance on an Iron Maiden album, with a lot of energy and nuances in his voice. The first part of the album is totally conventional, the first five songs being classic Maiden without too much originality. However, after more listens, it appears clearly that it is still a good Maiden album. The rhythmic section is awesome - Steve Harris' bass guitar is clearly in front on all the songs and drumming of Nicko Mc Brain is perfect. And the second part of the album contains five gems - melodic, progressive, epic... almost like a totally different album.

"Different World" opens the album like any other Maiden album... nothing original here (see "Wicker Man", "Wildest Dreams", "Aces High") - a classic heavy metal rocker, but still a decent song. "These Colours Don't Run" adopts a more relax tempo, almost anthemic - still very conventional. "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" is the first epic song of the album, but again it sounds like another Maiden song... and this time it's even repetitive. "The Pilgrim" is the weakest song of the album - sounds like a leftover from the "Fear of the Dark album" and shares that album's weaknesses. "The Longest Day" completes the weakest first part of the album - again a wheezy song. "Out Of The Shadows" is the ballad of the album - a cool song in the vein of "Wasting Love". "The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg" starts with the classic melodic guitar intro of any Murray/Harris song, and then turns into a happy catchy song with a nice guitar part toward the end. "For The Greater Good Of God" is one of those awesome epics Steve Harris can write - a great mellow intro (and outro) followed by an incredibly catchy melody with a cool instrumental break in the middle. Here the musical performance is awesome, and the vocal performance even better... "Lord Of Light" shows diversity in the song structure - mellow first part of verses, fast and heavy second part of verses and mid tempo choruses, with a cool (but maybe too short?) guitar solo in the middle. On "The Legacy", songwriter Janick Gers shows that he's capable to write masterpieces too, not only conventional hard rock songs - great acoustic intro (over 3 minutes long!), strong melody, awesome guitar solos... and another song where the band's performance is perfect.

Rating: 80/100 (4 stars)

zaxx | 4/5 |


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