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Iron Maiden - Killers CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.60 | 531 ratings

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4 stars "Killers" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through EMI/Harvest in the UK in February 1981 and through Capitol Records in the US in June 1981. Itīs the last Iron Maiden album to feature lead vocalist Paul Di'Anno, who was fired from the band and replaced by Bruce Dickinson (Samson) following several episodes where the rest of the band felt that he didnīt perform well on stage (alledgedly as a result of his cocaine and alcohol abuse). "Killers" is also the first album to feature the services of guitarist Adrian Smith, who replaces Dennis Stratton.

The music on the album is rooted in the NWoBHM movement but there are still some significant changes compared to Iron Maidenīs debut album as the addition of Adrian Smith is heard clearly. Harmony guitar leads are now a dominant element on all tracks. Harmony guitar parts were also present on the debut but they generally werenīt done with as much finesse as on "Killers". One other great asset on "Killers" are the many melodic guitar solos. But of course the organic playing rhythm section (both drummer Clive Burr and bassist Steve Harris deliver incredible performances), and Paul Di'Annoīs raw yet still melodic tinged singing, are also important parts of the bandīs sound.

The two instrumental tracks "The Ideas of March" and "Genghis Khan" are great examples of how melodic the material on the album can be. "Killers" also features some really powerful and raw tracks though which deserve a mention in "Wrathchild", "Drifter", and the title track as some of the most standout ones. The album features a power ballad too in "Prodigal Son", which is a track thatīs deeply rooted in 70s heavy rock/progressive rock. Iīm especially reminded of some of the early output by Captain Beyond. Artists like Deep Purple, Scorpions, Wishbone Ash, Judas Priest, UFO, Rainbow, and Rush, are also obvious influences throughout the album, although Iron Maiden turn up the volume, the rawness, and the distortion quite a bit compared to most of those artists.

"Killers" features a raw, detailed, and organic sounding production, courtesy of Martin Birch. The first of many Iron Maiden albums that he would produce before going into retirement in 1992. He was quite the prolific producer/engineer at the time having worked with artists like Deep Purple, Jeff Beck, Wishbone Ash, Whitesnake, and Rainbow (just to mention a few).

Upon conclusion "Killers" is pretty much the expected sophomore album by Iron Maiden. It pretty much continues the sound of the debut album, but is slightly better produced, the songwriting is a bit more sophisticated, and the musicianship has become stronger too. Wether or not itīs better than the debut is up for debate, but itīs at least on the same quality level and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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