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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover

IRON MAIDEN

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.83 | 442 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Iron Maiden" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through EMI Records in April 1980. Iron Maiden was formed in 1975 and following a period of lineup changes, and punk music dominance, they started receiving a lot of positive feedback for their live performances during the last years of the 70s. The success of "The Soundhouse Tapes" demo (recorded on New years Eve 1978, and released in 1979) further strengthened their profile.

The album is usually tagged NWoBHM, which was a late 70s/early 80s heavy metal movement, which typically combined the raw energy of punk with the 70s hard rock and heavy metal sound of artists like Black Sabbath, Rush, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, and Judas Priest. And that is a pretty valid description of the music featured on "Iron Maiden". The rawness and badass attitude of punk combined with the heavy, epic, and melodic elements of 70s heavy rock/metal.

The music on the album is generally very raw and unpolished helped along by the raw vocals by Paul Di'Anno, and the rather simple yet powerful drumming by Clive Burr. The guitar riffs, harmony leads, and guitar solos, played by Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton, and the very dominant bass playing by Steve Harris are usually very melodic and played at a fast pace. Even when they play most raw and simple there´s always a melodic sensibility to the playing. Although the band has often dismissed being influenced by punk there is a rather obvious punk influence on the generally fast paced tracks like "Prowler", "Sanctuary", "Running Free" and "Iron Maiden". The more ballad type tracks "Remember Tomorrow" and "Strange World" at times come close to sounding like 70s prog rock. The most prog rock oriented track on the album is "Phantom of the Opera" and "Transylvania" though. "Charlotte the Harlot" is a mid tempo heavy rocker. So there is nice variation between tracks but at the same time a stylistic consistency which ensures a good overall flow.

The sound production is organic, raw, and very well sounding, perfectly suiting the music. So while the songwriting at times is a bit immature compared to later releases by Iron Maiden, this is still a great quality debut album by the band, featuring high level musicianship, catchy material, and an excellent sounding production. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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