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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.85 | 562 ratings

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4 stars In 1980 Iron Maiden released their self-titled debut album, starting what would become a legendary career for the band. They were one of many promising bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement at the time; and still some development away from being the leader of the pack. However, some historic record covers soon made them quite famous, giving the band invaluable PR at the start of their career.

Musically, Iron Maiden's debut album is an inconsistent affair. They try out a number of different styles, and it is obvious that they are uncertain of what type of music that really suits them at this point. The guitar riffs used in most tracks obviously have been somewhat influenced by the punk movement; and in tracks like "The Prowler" punk inspired riffs are used extensively, played in a fast and simple fashion. The overall sound also indicates the influence from 70's hard rock though, and the track has a surprisingly light pop feel about it.

Tracks like "Remember Tomorrow" and "Phantom of the Opera" showcase Iron Maiden's progressive influences; and the latter track also showcases some of the styles Iron Maiden would pursue later in their career, especially the "epic" chomping guitar riffing underscored by bass that the group would utilize in many future long songs.

Strange World is the odd one out on the album; one of the few mellow tracks ever made by the band. The slight psychedelic touch and the detailed moods made in this track are unique in the history of Iron Maiden; and tracks like this one probably was abandoned when the band started figuring out where to go musically.

The rest of the tracks here are to a greater or lesser degree mostly fast paced hard rock tunes with some metal edges to them; relatively simple in structure and style. There are quite a few differences in detail on the tracks; but all of them share some basic facts - punk-inspired riffs, influences from 70's hard rock to a greater or lesser degree, and high on intensity.

There are quite a few standout tracks on this album; and all of the songs here are seen as classic Iron Maiden tracks, apart from the mellow "Strange World". Not all of the tracks are at their best here though; the band was young and inexperienced when this album was recorded, which is easily heard. In many instances the later live recordings of the tracks here are much better than the original recordings; and as the overall sound here is much unlike what Iron Maiden would sound like later, this is not a release that can be seen as a must buy. Indeed, fans that haven't heard this album previously will be rather surprised on first listen.

Still, it's a good release as long as you're able to live with it's various shortcomings; and a must buy for anyone that wants to find out more about Iron Maiden's musical background and inspirations.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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