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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.85 | 563 ratings

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5 stars Just finished watching Iron Maiden's Flight 666 - the Movie, and thought I'd go through some reviews while at PA. And surprise, I haven't reviewed any of their albums.

So here goes. Following Sean's comment about the NWOBHM, my own story is that Creem had a heavy metal issue with Maiden, Def Leppard and Krokus (???) as part of the bright new lights of metal. SO I picked up Maiden's debut as well as the other two. WHOA ! Brimming with energy & attitude like punk, but not punk. Full of virtuosity like prog, but not airy fairy. Heavy, and metallic, but not like Sabbath, certainly not like Judas Priest; although the JP guys often would grumble about Maiden's success compared to theirs. Something about the twin guitar attack. which Wishbone Ash, and Thin Lizzy did before Judas Priest , and better, too.

No, this was modern. Prog ... well not quite, or really , not always. Phantom of the Opera has to be considered as the first prog metal composition. Fantasy lyrics, flying fingers on distorted guitars , playing something way beyond yer over-amplified blooze on a 12 bar 4/4 structure. Remember Tomorrow & Strange World may have shown some Judas Priest influence. But if you listen to the structure, the organization of the songs, you may find more in common with MK II Deep Purple. D'Ianno didn't have Gillan's range, but he did share that "how can he not be shredding his vocal chords" singing style. And , IMHO, I find the same group energy amongst both groups' instrumentalists. True, the Murray / Stratton tag team was no match for the fret deity that was Blackmore. But add Steve Harris forceful bass to the mix, and Clive Burr's solid drumming and you have a musical team that had learned well from the masters. Lord, Paice, and Glover might have played second fiddle in the Rock God race next to Ritchie, but as time has shown, King Ritchard never climbed the same heights without them. Versus Iron Maiden, who would only get better, and become the best with time.

The rest of the songs - Prowler, Sanctuary, Running Free, Charlotte the Harlot, Iron Maiden - still sound fresh & energetic today, even when compared to the current power metal acts. And , maybe as a reflection of my age, I've never found another power or prog metal band that could compare. Why ? Maiden wrote songs, riffs ! The complicated and complex guitar parts seemed a natural part of the music, whereas too often these days, it comes across as calculated and copied from somewhere else. As if the guitar player(s) said "O.K. where do I put my fiddly bit(s)?".

Harris has always felt that the Will Malone production took away from the force of the music, but most of his fans still vote this debut as among their best. It didn't re-invent the wheel. But it did add an super overdrive gear and shows the first sparks of a sophistication that showed how other bands easily get lost when laying on the heavy metal thunder.

And how accurate was Creem's view of the new scene's prospects ? Well, Krokus quickly became a cartoon. Def Leppard hit big quicker & bigger, but also faded fast after their peak. They now are relegated to the summer "Oldies" fair tours with other 80s' rockers relying on people looking to drive down memory lane. Maiden ? Well, there seems to have been a few people coming out to their Somewhere in Time tour. And not just middle aged fogeys looking to hear that hit from 1987.

Well worth any metal head's, and truly any heavy or prog metal fan's time and money. Aces High !

debrewguy | 5/5 |


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