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Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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2.55 | 394 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING, the much loathed 8th album by the legendary IRON MAIDEN was truly the band's first great fumble after a decade of ruling the world and becoming the equivalent of The Beatles in metal with one masterpiece best-selling album after another. There are many things that make this album much different than any other from their canon but the most obvious is the departure of Adrian Smith, the main songwriter and second half of the classic twin guitar attack that gave the band that satisfying melodic edge. Smith was unsatisfied with the band's sudden 180 from the progressively themed and executed albums they were cranking out and went on to form his own projects such as ASAP and Psycho Motel. Meanwhile crisis management attempted to repair the damage by asking Janick Gers to join the party. He was recruited by Bruce Dickinson after playing on his debut solo album "Tattooed Millionaire."

This album seems to mark the point where like many a successful band, bad decisions emerge from simply being out of touch with the world which inspired them in the first place. After a decade of unfathomable success the band just seemed to start making all the wrong decisions. The most hilarious of these ideas is the fact that this album was recorded in Steve Harris' barn. Apparently the band was fearing the continuation of their ever growing progressive tendencies and got cold feet and made an attempt to regain their "street creds" of their early years. What a backfire. This caused Smith to leave and the fans to peg this as the biggest faux pas that a successful band could possibly make. Well, there are always worse things (Blaze Bailey anyone?). Despite all the negative press about NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING, it still debuted on the charts quite successfully and actually produced a number one hit in their native UK with "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" despite being banned by the BBC.

While the lyrics stray away from the literary and fantastical and delve into the contemporary social issues such as religious zealotry and other social ills, the music isn't too far off the cuff from early MAIDEN releases, in fact the hooks and melodies are quite enjoyable and the salvation of this album which i personally don't find to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Certainly a step down from previous efforts especially coming after the string of brilliance that peaked with "7th" but certainly not a flop that deserves to walk the plank. There is no doubt that this album despite several strong tracks evokes a sort of disappointment. It almost seems like a tribute to the good old days that ended with "7th Son." Even the title infers a decline. I dunno. Certainly not as good as every other release before, yet this album still blows away a good portion of other melodic metal albums that came out in 1990. I still find myself listening to this one despite the mountain of masterpieces that eclipse its very existence.

While my favorite tracks are "Tailgunner," "Holy Smoke," "Mother Russia" and the title track, there are really no horrible tracks here but as we all know, when a favorite band reaches great heights and falls down a few notches we take it out on them with cutting critique and infra digs. Agreed that this effort is not their day in the sun, but neither is it the worst thing ever to grace the metal kingdom. Personally i find this to contain rather well written MAIDEN tracks that would have fit well in their earlier years but if you listen to this after "7th Son" then you will surely be for a let down. While the dying may have no prayer left, at least there's still a pulse on this release. 3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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