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Iron Maiden - Dance of Death CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.58 | 433 ratings

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2 stars This is really a mixed bag. It contains some of the worst and some of the best songs in Maiden's catologue (or at least that of which I have heard, bearing in mind I am missing four studio albums from my collection). The production is the worst problem here, as it sounds very muddy a lot of the time, which is a surprise compared to the pristine sound of its predecessor, Brave New World. The keyboards used on this album are often used to create string arrangements, which in most cases work and yield some of the best numbers on this album. When this album works, it really is good, but there are some truly terrible songs on this album.

'Wildest Dreams' opens the album terribly. Maiden usually have amazing album openers, but this one sounds very forced and awkward, both lyrically and musically. It's as if they were trying to create one of their traditional high energy openers but tried too hard and fell flat on their face. 'Rainmaker' is average and mediocre. Its inoffensive and listenable, but by no means exciting. 'No More Lies' is better. We finally hear the synthesised strings. The contrast between heavy and soft works very well and genuinely surprised me on my first listen. The chorus is a bit monotonous though. 'Montsegur' is a lot better. It is very heavy and could have easily fit on Powerslave. The brilliantly scathing lyrics bash the old ways of the Catholic church and their wont to slaughter unbelievers. As a Christian (Anglican) I can see the relevance in the lyrics. 'Dance of Death' is likely the best song on the album. The keyboards and guitar work together to once again provide great contrasts while a very strange tale unfolds in the lyrics. There are some truly haunting moments in this uncharacteristically thought-provoking song. 'Gates of tomorrow' is an average Maiden song. Again they are trying to recreate their old style with mixed results. This time it works okay. 'New Frontier' is good, and pretty catchy, and stands among the best non-epics on the album. 'Paschendale' is a song that people tend to rave about, and while being very good, is not the best song on the album. It is very creative though, and a pleasant listen. 'Face in the Sand' doesn't do much for me, although its hardly terrible. 'Age of Innocence' is not that interesting musically, but its lyrics are some of the best in Maiden's catologue. it describes how the (presumably British) justice system works in faovur of the criminal. A mugger for example may get a very short sentence, if any, while their victims are scarred for life. It is bold of the Irons to write such conservative lyrics in our libearal age and I commend for it. Well done. 'Journeyman' finishes things off very nicely as a string led pseudo-ballad. Very good.

This album is recomended to Maiden fans such as myself, but I'm not sure if anyone else would like it. I'd love to give it three stars but will knock a star off for production and the opener. Okay add half a star. 2.5 stars rounded down for this mixed, but interesting effort from Iron Maiden.

burtonrulez | 2/5 |


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