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Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.78 | 666 ratings

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3 stars Iron Maiden had pretty big shoes to fill after the overwhelming success that their previous album, Number Of The Beast was, to meet the potential that they so clearly had, to many, potential already completely realised. In my opinion, this was not the album to show the incredible talent that was to come or what came before, and stands as my least favourite classic Iron Maiden album. While certain aspects were improved, such as having a grittier, heavier production and a few songs that were more involved, the overall consistency of the album is much lower, having some genuinely bad songs mixed in with the gems.

Where Eagles Dare starts off the album in a way that shows what to come, a mixed bag. I feel that this song goes on for too long without enough variation, the drumming is high energy and incredibly good, and the rest of the instrumentation is just as high quality. Another issue I have outside the fairly repetitive nature of the song is that the vocals sound unusually washed out. Revelations puts the album on track directly afterwards however, filled with amazing riffs, great vocal melodies, and a lot of power all put into this slower paced song. The interplay between the main guitar riff and the bass is definitely my favourite touch in this song however, sure, the rest is great, being varied and highly emotional, but this little detail right here is really what pushes the song even higher, showing amazing intricacy in everything played. If it weren't for The Trooper, Flight Of Icarus would likely be my favouirte single the band had put out during their classic era, the mid paced galloping riff and the absolutely majestic vocals of Bruce, complete with the perfection of the chorus and an awesome lyrical subject matter. The Trooper mamages to be an even better single however, containing may of these elements, but being much faster and more anthemic. While usually being one to feel indifferent to the "woaaaahh" type vocals, it works incredibly well here, and is definitely what brings the song together. Another major highlight is the closing track To Tame A Land, just like with Hallowed Be Thy Name it contains a more proggy structure, the closest thing to a chorus or hook being the guitar riff played after every few lines. The song has a strong middle eastern tinge to it and some good ideas that bleed through, definitely a decent closer, even if it doesn't match up to the perfection of Hallowed Be Thy Name.

If the album had songs on this level all the way through, then it'd be easily one of Maiden's better albums, but while Die With Your Boots On is pretty decent, Still Life, Quest For Fire and Sun and Steel are all quite poor and make it incredibly hard to enjoy this album holistically. Still Life's problem all comes down to being incredibly dull to me, starting off in an interesing and eerie way, before devolving into mediocrity and underwhelming hooks. Quest For Fire is even worse, which is expected when the opening lyrical line is "In a land where dinosaurs walked the earth" while singing about cavemen... yeah. It doesn't help that the vocal delivery here is so absurdly operatic that it crosses into being utterly hilarious, like, I find it impossible to not laugh at this song, doesn't help that it's generally a pretty awful song anyway, being so painfully cheesy. Sun And Steel is better than Quest For Fire, but is just a very barebones, rudimentary metal song, and I find it to be quite lacking in charm and character.

WIth a bit of reworking, this album could have been something amazing, it's just unforutnate that there are songs like Quest For Fire and Still Life mixed in with Revelations and The Trooper. While this album contains a strong set of highlights just like Powerslave, it also has the same issue as it in terms of missing the mark in quite a number of tracks, difference being that the highlights here aren't quite as strong for the most part, and the low points are far lower. Iron Maiden's classic period post Number Of The Beast displayed a gradual progression into absolute greatness, and as the starting point of this progression, it's clear that there'd be some issues with the album for sure, still an enjoyable listen, but not even close to my first pick when it comes to this amazing band.

Best songs: Revelations, Flight of Icarus, The Trooper

Weakest songs: Quest for Fire, Still Life, Sun and Steel

Verdict: Not a bad album by any means, containing a number of amazing metal tracks, but unfortunately also contains some really low quality songs, making this an enjoyable, but ultimately flawed and inconsistent listen.

Kempokid | 3/5 |


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