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Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son CD (album) cover

SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

4.16 | 530 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Before 1992 I never cared for metal, as a fact only went to see IRON MAIDEN inr the first Rock en Rio because there was nothing better to do that night being that I went to Brazil mainly to see YES and QUEEN.

But in 1992 a cousin who was 13 or 14 at that time, placed a cassette of "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" in my car and wow....A whole new universe opened before my eyes.

In first place, never had noticed how close to Progressive Rock the band was, instead of the usual shredding, this guys had a very defined structure and extremely complex arrangements, unusual synth sections and the changes were really radical, what else can a Proghead ask for?

The album starts with "Moonchild" and Bruce Dickinson's extremely interesting vocal intro, then the rest of the bands jumps directly into the song with a very elaborate passage that leads directly to what they do best.....Strong Prog Metal, yes that's their essence but they don't abuse of unnecessary soloing, the sound is coherent but pompous, really impressive.

"Infinite Dreams" starts soft and melodic with a nice guitar intro that leads to a passage dominated by the solid rhythm section and Bruce's amazing vocals who manages to take the band wherever he wants, proving the versatility of his voice, from low ranged to extremely high and of course the trademark IRON MAIDEN sound defined by the powerful rhythm guitar. Around the middle the song turns frantic and explosive with unexpected and extremely dramatic changes, again a fantastic track from start to end.

"Can I Play With Madness" starts with the chorus, something unusual for IRON MAIDEN who normally start softer and go "ion crescendo" until the climax, and to be honest, I don't like the change, despite the powerful moments I feel this song closer to mainstream metal blended with AOR which is not my cup of tea.

In "The Evil that Men Do", the band returns to their classical and mysterious sound, and then the power can be felt with Nicko giving his best, in their most characteristic style they manage to create complex structures and unexpected changes, keeping the listener at the edge of the seat.

"Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" is everything that you can expect from a song that takes the name of the album, all the band is perfect, everything is in it's place the structure is one of the most coherent I ever heard in Prog, even the vocals grow in intensity and go higher as the track gets hotter.

After a guitar break a surprisingly soft passage with the synths adding an incredibly mysterious sound that matches perfectly with the narration that explains the main theme of the song. again the music grows in intensity with the keyboards following McBrain who sounds as a human metronome and then the guitars announce a new climax.....If this is not Progressive rock, I guess the genre doesn't exist.

"The Prophecy" begins making us believe we are before a power ballad, but don't let this fool you, the change happens in a fraction of second and the band again give everything they have, this time with even more radical changes and a clear Symphonic background, one of the highest moments of the album.

"The Clairvoyant" starts with Steve Harris doing a very nice bass solo but soon is joined by the guitars and then the rest of the band. The more I listen this band, the more surprised I am with how respectful of structures and atmospheres IRON MAIDEN is, in comparison of most Metal bands who base their style in the individual virtuosity of their musicians. As usual the band makes unexpected changes and wonderful instrumental breaks, not a weak moment...well maybe except "Can I Play With Madness" which is not bad but surely the weakest link.

The album end with "Only the Good Die Young" in which we can listen one of the most typical IRON MAIDEN tracks, in the vein of "Aces High", "Run to the Hills" or "The Trooper", but this time with keys to make it more Prog, great closing section with the same vocal passage with which the album started.

Without doubts one of the best Metal albums I ever heard, if only all Prog Metal sounded like IRON MAIDEN, I would be a fan of the sub-genre.

4 solid stars that should be 4.5 but sadly not 5 because of "Can I Play With Madness" which is bellow their level.

Highly recommended.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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