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Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son CD (album) cover

SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

4.18 | 536 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the album that many people consider Iron Maiden's masterpiece. Without a doubt, it may actually be their most progressive, but is it really their best record ever? In our opinion, it's almost there.

After the excellent, almost perfect SOMEWHERE IN TIME, Maiden continued to travel in that same more complex, progressive road. If the preceding album had a few moments of full-blown progressiveness, SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON is almost a 100% pure prog-metal release, as the textures get even more developed, the songs are longer, multi-sectional, the guitar arrangements are more challenging, the bass lines even more virtuosic, and even the lyrics, the theme itself gets "proggier", as for the first time ever, The Beast unleash what could be called a concept album. The guitar synth, the inclusion of which enhanced the preceding album so much, plays a big role here, too.

An element that I have to talk about is Bruce Dickinson's vocals: they've always been great, that's no news, but in this record they are really at their peak. SEVENTH SON features probably the best vocal performance ever by the flyer-singer, and that's quite a lot to say. That helps the album a lot and launches it to the top group of all the band's releases.

Moonchild (9.5/10) Dickinson opens this furious track singing softly over an acoustic guitar. Some spacey arpeggios mark the entrance of the whole band. It's a fast track, but an unusual complex opener by The Beast. The bass just throttles all over with its power, while Dickinson delivers, simply delivers. A great, virtuosic instrumental section where everybody shines takes this great opener (another one) to an end.

Infinite Dreams (9/10) A high guitar solos over the elegant bass and her quiet sister- axe. A melodic section where Dickinson shows his subtlety and the guitars sound almost atmospheric and classy takes us to chorus in a different rhythm, a chorus that seems to try to reach higher, to climb, though slowly, peacefully. Great drumming by McBrain and the vocals by Dickinson are top-class. Halfway down we get a section in the purest "Maiden-tempo". Very good song.

Can I Play With Madness (9/10) The production is just crystal-clear, we hear everything. This song, one of the most popular in this album, is strangely in a high mood, almost happy. It has a catchy chorus where the guitar riff sounds so full of hope, it's contagious. The instrumental section is a good one, though not as inspired. Another very good song. A little awkward in this album but good nevertheless.

The Evil That Men Do (9/10) A very melodic lament by the guitars leads the way to another full-strength section where the bass just dominates in our ears with its weight. A very fast track, I love the verse and the pre-chorus (I love songs with pre-choruses) but the chorus is not as glorious as it could've been. Anyway, that doesn't harm the song that much, as the solo section makes up for it. Excellent.

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (9.5/10) Probably one of the most progressive songs by the Beast, it's also one of their longest at almost 10 minutes. It starts with ceremony, with pomp, very melodic yet very imposing. The chorus is not that great, but this song is not about choruses. We get another one of those "chant" moments by Maiden when we feel like we should be in an stadium singing along. The guitar synth plays its role here. A descending figure opens the brilliant instrumental section, one of the best of the Beast. Dickinson still has a chance to speak, though he literally does that, speak, over very soft bass and guitars and synth. The hi-hat and the bass drum maintain the tension, keep it at a livable level, don't let it explode. The tension finally reaches a climax and the fast section attacks with thundering solos by Murray and Smith. Fantastic song, one of the highlights of the album.

The Prophecy (8/10) A very soft, melodic dialogue between the guitars and the bass. The main verse strikes us as royal, kingly, arrogant. The chorus lacks a little of melody but what surrounds it makes up for it. Another good song, though my least favorite in this album, as it lacks a hook. It just seems to go and go.

The Clairvoyant (9.5/10) Another anthemic start by The Beast, one that sends shivers down the spine to every Iron Maiden fan, as it sounds 100% pure Maiden. Full of energy, blood at top pressure, the main verse epic, heroic, the relentless rhythm speaks of a battle, a lost battle, but a battle that will continue anyway, a chant for never giving up. Unlike other Maiden tracks, this one doesn't need a glorious chorus as the verse is already there. The chorus is actually doubtful, ambiguous, deception collides with resignation, but then again, all the rest is pure effort, pure fight, pure sweat, guts for glory. Dickinson conveys so good every emotion in this album. This is his album, too.

Only The Good Die Young (9/10) An unusual fast conclusion for a Maiden album, this tracks has the usual power and adrenaline that we've came to starve from the Beast. The chorus starts weakly but then goes up in key and gets better. A perfect choice for closer, it makes us leave this experience with another smile in our faces, not a new achievement by Maiden. Dickinson puts an end to the record the same way it started.

All in all, my third-favorite album by Iron Maiden, and another one that deserves a full rating. Even if I don't have as many favorite tracks in here as in SOMEWHERE IN TIME, the quality of the music is at the same level, and being that we're in a progressive rock website, this is the album that needs to get a 5/5 rating the most, as it's the culmination of their advances towards a more complex style of metal. They would have quite a halt from that in their next release, curiously their first without guitar master Adrian Smith. But eventually, they would resurrect. That will be matter for a next review.

Recommended for: Fans of Iron Maiden, of Heavy Metal (the best there is), fans of progressive metal that want to hear one of the first examples of the genre.

.1988 was the year when the band reached their peak. Luckily for us, there was another peak to climb to in the future, quite a few years later, and with another singer. But from the classic-era, SEVENTH SON and SOMEWHERE IN TIME are the Best of the Beast.

The T | 5/5 |

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