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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

4.16 | 530 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Seventh heaven

Released in 1988, Iron Maiden's seventh studio album finds them very much at the top of their game. There is focus on strong melodies here which can perhaps be lacking elsewhere in their extensive catalogue.

"Seventh son.." is a concept album telling the story of a prophet with special powers who predicts a terrible evil befalling his village. He is not taken seriously, and ends up killing himself ("Only the good die young"). The tale is very similar to that adopted by the band HOME on their fine concept album "The alchemist". The concept however is not particularly important to the album, which is made up of eight separate tracks each of which stands alone. While we have the more traditional Iron Maiden fare in songs such as "Can I play with the madness" and "The evil that men do", other tracks show a willingness to experiment and deviate from the band's comfort zone.

The 10 minute title track is an epic power metal ballad with a symphonic arrangement. It leans heavily on synthesisers for the underlying structure to this anthemic delight. The track has a distinctly prog feel, complete with a spoken section, and a tension building chorale.

"Infinite dreams" is also built around prog nuances, the bolero like feel being at odds with the style usually associated with Iron Maiden. Tracks such as "The prophesy" and "The clairvoyant" are also constructed using intricacies which may not at first be apparent, the former ending with some delicate acoustic guitar.

"Seventh son or a seventh son" is a an excellent album by any standards. It serves to demonstrate that prog metal does not need to be a sub-genre in isolation, but can appeal to a wide cross section of prog fans. The album artwork by Derek Riggs is superb, spoilt only by the fact that the LP does not have a gatefold sleeve.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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