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Iron Maiden - The X Factor CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.21 | 368 ratings

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Time Signature
2 stars An okay album.

"The X-Factor" was the first album to feature Blaze Bayley on vocals, something which a lot of Iron Maiden fans have problems with. Don't blame Blaze though. While not as great a vocalist as Bruce Dickinson, Blaze Bayley handles the vocals fairly well, and his dark melancholic voice suits the darker music quite well. The music itself is somewhat lacking in energy, although it does retain aspects of the technicality and intricacy associated with Maiden. However, the lack of energy and the strange almost ethereal (in lack of a better word) guitar sound makes it difficult to appreciate this album fully. That, and the fact that whatever twin guitar appears on the album is either played in unison or octave harmonies rather than the intrictate harmony patterns of earlier Maiden.

There are some good songs on this album, like the epic "Sign of the Cross", the energetic "Man on the Edge", the catchy "Lord of the Flies" and the unusual "Blood on the World's Hands" and "The Unbeliever", and I think these tunes are what carries the album through ("Sign of the Cross" and "Man on the Edge" being better than jos good, in my opinion). In addition there are some okay but not really memorable tunes, such as "Edge of Darkness", "Fortunes of War" and "Judgment of Heaven". Apart from the latter, whose chorus is admittedly quite catchy, these tunes are, while okay, not really significan in any way other than being different from the style usually associated with Maiden.

"Look for the Truth" was, til "Virtual XI" got released, probably the worst Iron Maiden tune I'd ever heard. It pains me to say so, as I consider myself a loyal Maiden fan, but this song is not just bad, but also ridiculous.

"The X-Factor" is not a bood album, but it's not a catastrophe either. It's jusr okay. I hasten to repeat that it's not Blaze's fault. He does a fine job. It's the music itself and the production that are somehow lacking something. I wouldn't recommend this album to any Maiden "noob", I think an 1980s or 2000s Bruce era album would probably be a more appealing introduction to the band. It's probably a collectors' only item.

Time Signature | 2/5 |


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