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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.85 | 587 ratings

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4 stars I consider this album to be one of heavy metal's most underrated albums. I am choosing this for my first review, because although it is not prog, i have my roots in heavy metal, and this could be considered some kind of precursor to prog metal.

Now, this album has three types of song: there are the straight forward rockers which make up most of the album. There's the two ballads. Then there's the 'progressive section'.

First the rockers: When the song Prowler first burst out my stereo, I was... not so thrilled. It seemed very much average to me. Since then, it has grown on me, and I especially love the main riff. Di'anno's vocals are strong (although i can't help thinking Bruce could have done a better job.) We already hear their trademark duel guitar sound, and Harris' amazing bass playing. Clive Burr is also very obviously a more than competent musician. Also with a lot of atitude and some humourous lyrics, it seems to me a very perfect way to start a career. Next if you have the remaster you get the song Sanctuary, which can sound a bit silly, but at least it has a very memorable riff. The next rocker is Running Free, a very simple yet effective track with a very nice bassline. The last rocker is Iron Maiden, a very good song with some great riffs and bass, not as memorable as the others, but it certainly has atitude.

Next let's look at the ballads: The best of these two is Remember Tomorrow, which makes good use of dynamics, and within five and a half minutes manages to create several different moods, probably the earliest example of their prog influences. Also a very good solo makes this an album highlight. The other ballad is the less brilliant Strange World. This seems quite monotonous and is probably my least favourite track. That having been said, it's not terrible, and has some nice poetic lyrics about a future society, which conveys a bittersweet atmosphere.

Finally the 'prog section': This starts with track five, Phantom of the Opera, possibly the most appreciated song of Iron Maiden's pre-Bruce career. This is full of tempo changes, varied riffs, epic lyrics, amazing bass lines, very skilled drumming, and some outstanding guitar solos, all in seven minutes. This is possibly at the opposite of the Maiden spectrum from the previous track, Running Free. This is a truly great song, and possibly the first true prog metal song. Next up is Transylvania, an instrumental which avoids any self-indulgence, being more of a fully structured piece of music rather than a mere showcase of the band members' talents (which it does as a side effect of course). This is one of my favourite instrumental tracks ever, although it isn't without competition.

So there you have it... but wait a minute... haven't i forgotten something... yes i have. I have yet to mention this albums strangest song: the weird and wonderful Charlottte the Harlot. This song is very different and does not fit into any of the afore- mentioned catergories. It starts off with a very laid back riff, but intensifies in the verse and chorus, before a laid back bridge. Very strange, it's not metal, it's not prog, it's not rock in the traditional sense. This is, however a very entertaining song, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a slight dollop of cheesiness.

I have decided to rate this 4/5 stars. If this was a heavy metal site i would not hesitate to rate it 5/5, but this can't be considered a masterpiece of prog, because it is not a prog album. But it can be considered an excellent addition to any prog music collection, especially for prog-metallers, for them to discover the roots of a band that almost certainly influenced music they listen to. It showcases the diversity of Maiden's sound and is an excellent start to a career not bound by the limits of one genre.

burtonrulez | 4/5 |


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