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Iron Maiden - Powerslave CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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4.13 | 761 ratings

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3 stars Half of it is straight forward metal, the other half is...mostly straight forward metal.

Now, to be fair, this is some of the finest metal you'll hear in the main vein of it all, but I somewhat doubt the complex tendencies this album has. Aces High is an intense fireball, with that fast and furious riff, followed by a tight and soaring solo section. Still, it is a fairly simplistic song.

Two Minutes To Midnight takes things back. This sounds a lot softer than their opener, but the writing is more expertly crafted. They truly rock it damn hard, here. The lyrics are kind of thoughtful, and the playing is expert. Bruce definitely has the vocal chops. The choruses are catchy, and the lead lines astound when they want to. Then you get... a one, two, three, four count off? Yes, the beginning to Losfer Words (Big 'Orra), the instrumental. I think it is great, but feel it is lacking something. It seems Iron Maiden have begun sacrificing their ferocious edge to make things more manageable. So, this track always left me unimpressed.

Flash Of The Blade brings the quality back up, with its exotic opening riff, and tight rhythm section. This is certainly not filler, but the lyrics aren't so great. Vocally, Bruce keeps improving, and he showcases his abilities, here. Still, I always get the feeling he is holding back. The Duelists is in the same vein as their previous offering, but with a less memorable riff. I could easily call this filler, as the riff goes nowhere, and it really doesn't do anything for me. the vocals are operatic and finely tuned, but the song has no main catch, and its simplistic nature makes it a basic metal tune.

Back In The Village has more wailing guitar pyrotechnics. It still sounds a lot like the rest of the album, but that epic feel it has saves it from repetitive mediocrity. I can't shake this feeling that Iron Maiden's guitarists are out of ideas. We've heard all these riffs a hundred times, by the very same band. None of the main ideas here are new, and I could say stagnation has set in. Still, some of the tunes are real good. Mainly the title track, Powerslave. It winds and turns majestically, and Bruce's singing is purely captivating. Dark and entrenching. The Egyptian overtones and aesthetics lure in so well, and makes this the album's main saving grace.

But we aren't finished. Riding the curtails of a hurricane would be the album's closer. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner is definitely the high water mark. Those biting guitar attacks, and the trotting gallop they are so well known for. At 13 minutes, it is more complex than most of Iron Maiden's repertoire, and features many a shift in sound. It is also the main sign of what Iron Maiden would attempt with their next few releases. A fantastic end to a fine album. Filler pops its ugly head near the middle, and the writing just doesn't seem as inspired as before in most parts. The disc maintains a standard metal feel throughout, and relays very little in complexities. Those last couple of tracks are just damn good, though.

Best Moment - last 20 minutes

Worst Moment - The Duelists

*** Egyptian stars.

Alitare | 3/5 |


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