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Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.96 | 588 ratings

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3 stars Iron Maiden's sixth studio album "Somewhere in Time" is a heavily discussed album by fans of this legendary English band. It was very original in its day, as the band switched to synth guitars on this album and were among the first band to use that instrument in a way that enhanced their sound. At the same time the synth sounds alienated many fans, of which quite a few would say that this album showed a band in creative and musical decline.

Musically the band has perfected their sound on this album. The playing is tighter than the proverbial duck's arse, and the band members are experienced enough to add the extra touches to ordinary tunes to make them sound good, adding small nuances and touches in turn to make the songs sound interesting; as can best be heard on opening track "Caught Somewhere in Time". Adding the synth sounds to the music also elevates many tracks from the realm of the ordinary to something better, where the slightly softer edges of the synth guitar riffs adds flavout and atmosphere to Iron Maidens trademark harmonic and melodic soloing and riffing, and giving a warmer touch to Maidens pacey songs, where the fast paced bass guitar and drumming do sound better accompanied by the slightly softer synth guitars.

A new aspect to Iron Maiden's sound on this album, or at least an aspect much developed here, are several examples of songs where Bruce Dickinson's vocals are used as a melodic instrument in itself. These songs are rather monotone and repetitive apart from the soloing, and Dickinson's vocals carry as good as all melody in the singing parts of these songs. "Wasted Years" is a very good example of this. If this is planned or more an indirect result of the synth guitars slighter fuzzy sound is of course something that only can be speculated upon.

The influence from progressive rock continues on this album as well; an aspect of their music surfacing on their previous studio album "Powerslave". As with that album, in many songs the progressive elements are more to be found in structure than in actual playing; and the elements are most noticeable in the long, epic tracks on this release.

The individual songs on "Somewhere in Time" are a rather mixed affair. Although musically at their peak now in my opinion, the songs as such aren't as good as on previous albums. The creative well seems to have run dry; with fewer songs than normal containing original or really captivating elements.

The addition of the synth guitars to their sound as well as the band members ability to play on individual and collective strengths are the factors that elevate this album to an interesting, albeit varied, release.

Windhawk | 3/5 |


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