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Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death CD (album) cover

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.68 | 301 ratings

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Time Signature
5 stars A masterpiece!

I admit it. THis is not an objective review, but, then again, can you be objective with music at all? "A MAtter of Death" is, to my ears, a really great and quite progressive album with intricate compositions, epic tracks, catchy melodies, interesting and relevant lyrics, and great performance by all six members. As with many of their golden era albums, all tracks on "A Matter of Life and Death" are memorable in one way or another, so I'm just going to mention three highlights here.

"Different World" started out a more progressive affair with a 7/4 riff by Adrian Smith which Steve Harris straightened out to 4/4, and it worked. THe track is very catchy, uplifting and energizing with some really great singing by Bruce Dickinson, including an unusual Lynott-esque sounding chorus-line. If spent an entire month listening only to this track while bicycling to and from work (and that's 10 km each way) - that's how energizing it is.

"Brighter than a Thousand Suns" is, to me, a truly progressive affair with interesting and surpirising changes in time and tempo and some odd time signatures here and there to boot. While complex, it's catchy at the same time, and it does include an almost power pop like section which explodes out of the blue, and that world really well. The lyrics may be outdated, as they deal with the atom bomb, a theme that was prevalent in the 1980s; but then again, maybe it serves as a reminder that nuclear weapons are still around. In addition it's not you classic fear-the-bomb song, but rather it approaches it in an almost philosophical perspective describing the bomb as man's attempt to play God.

"For the Greater Good of God" is yet another lyrically interesting and relevant tune dealing with religion and all the atrocities that have been committed in its name. It starts out with a soft melodic section in which Bruce Dickinson, according to himself, sounds almost like Cat Stevens. As with most other tunes on this album, this track is rich in catchy guitar melodies and great solos, and the chorus is just great both in terms of vocals and in terms of music (there's even a stint of a galloping feel to it).

The other songs are equally as great. Progheads may find "The Legacy" interesting with its eerie introduction, which Steve Harris himself finds reminiscent of early Genesis.

"A Matter of Life and Death" is a truly great album and a very progressive affair. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

Time Signature | 5/5 |

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