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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover

IRON MAIDEN

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.82 | 405 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The start of the beast

Iron Maiden's debut album is quite a good number, although not quite as 'progressive' as some of their later works. Certainly the album shows where the band would eventually go under the flag and lungs of their second vocalist, Bruce Dickinson, but he's not around yet (nor is the majority of the classic line-up, but still) and neither is the fantasy sound that the band would later adopt as well as keyboards. This is a very 'street' sounding album, and the look of the guys in their leather on the back cover only helps that image along. A strange album to review for a progressive rock website, but it will be done none the less.

The album does have some very progressive moments, and these are the ones likely to stand out to the prog-heads thinking about purchasing this album. While the majority of the album is strait up British heavy metal it has to be admitted that this album was 'progressive' in its own time for being one of the first Power Metal albums to emerge and remains as one of the most influential to this day. Still, if we're talking in terms of progressive rock down to the mathematical definition (which is the one most proggers are concerned about), there's still a few tunes that fit the bill. One of the biggest standouts on the album is the 7-minute pseudo-epic Phantom Of The Opera with it's stinging guitar opening and killer bass sections from one Steve Harris along with some of Di'Anno's best vocal performances. Tempo changes and a good pace make for a very prog-metal-beginnings sounding song. Along with this is the slow-to-fast speed changey goodness of the wonderful Remember Tomorrow, which features some great guitar wails and vocal screams in this unique sounding some from Maiden who's style would rarely be used in their future material. Another more 'proggy' moment on the album is the wonderful instrumental, Transylvania, which seems to be tailor made to follow up Phantom of The Opera in a speedy way.

The rest of the songs on the album are all very good, but more to the metal side of things. Proggers who don't mind raising the horns and headbanging will no doubt get a kick out of these tunes, but people who would rather see Wakeman's cape flap in the breeze while performing the solo to The Revealing Science Of God may find a tough time enjoying these tunes. They're all a little more simple, with a nice chorus section and usually some kind of great hook. Prowler has a very nice riff to open and moves right into metal territory with the lyric and vocal section. Running Free has a great crowd chant section for a chorus and a headbanging pace, while Iron Maiden remains a crowd favorite during concerts thanks to its fun chorus.

Maiden fans and fans of progressive metal alike should get a good kick out of this album. Fans of more traditional symphonic arrangements or people who enjoy the more RIO side of things may want to steer clear of this debut from Iron Maiden, but the quality of music from the boys at so early an age in their career is quite impressive. Were this a metal site it would be getting a higher mark, but here it's going to receive a 3 out of 5. Excellent playing with some very impressive numbers, but more metal than prog. Recommended - if you know what you're getting into.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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