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Iron Maiden - Virtual XI CD (album) cover

VIRTUAL XI

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

2.36 | 214 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Over the years, I've found IRON MAIDEN to deliver quality 'heavy' music that incorporates an itelligent and well thought out approach to composition. Virtual XI either displays a band in the throes of creative burn-out (especially after what I consider as their absolute technical and most Progressive MASTERPIECE, The X Factor...), or, a conscious attempt at basics, (meaning a focused and accessible example of Hard- Rock). I haven't decided. I love the sound of the album, I enjoy the change of voice (Blaze Bayley) and I don't find much wrong with the album - except ; the riffs and choruses suffer from repetition, and the overall complexity and musical density of the arrangements is toned down. Amongst all this antithesis, the songs actually kick butt !!! Opening song 'Futureal' is CLASSIC Maiden, only the amazing 'Sign of the Cross' surpasses this one. This track is fast, short and straight-to-the-point. I don't understand those who think Harris is inaudible - his magical Bass-lines are quite present and provide the back-bone to this hard- rocker. Love it, and love the Bass Chords during the mid-section. 'The Angel And The Gambler' is an almost 10 min 'epic'. This piece suffers from being too straight-forward and uninspired, although bearing a marginally 'Progressive' structure. I've found this piece to be Maiden at their 'Rocking' best. The choice of Keyboard sounds and phrasing of them is definately dubious. Not bad, but not that great, either. Owning the double-vinyl doesn't change the fact that this is a weaker album (and it shouldn't....) The main body of 4 tracks, 'Clansman' through to 'Don't Look To The Eyes of a Stranger' are pretty decent, though perhaps a tad overlong for their own good. I don't even think that vocalist supremo Bruce Dickinson could pump any more life into these tracks than Bayley, so, I feel a 3 is an honest rating.
Tom Ozric | 3/5 |

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