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Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden CD (album) cover

IRON MAIDEN

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.81 | 394 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The self-titled debut album from famed NWoBHM band Iron Maiden is without a doubt one of the most important albums in the early eighties heavy metal scene. This was surely a groundbreaking album when it was released back in 1980, but it's always been overshadowed by some of Iron Maiden's later releases for me and I've never really given it much attention. About a week ago I realized that I have absolutely no Iron Maiden reviews even though they are my favorite traditional heavy metal band, so I figured that it's time for me to review their albums chronologically! I've had Iron Maiden on heavy rotation lately in preparation for my review, and even though I will never like this album as much as Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, I've been able to appreciate it much more than my previous lukewarm experiences.

The sound on this album is unquestionably Iron Maiden, but with more punk and less prog influences. I've always loved Iron Maiden's progressive tendencies and epic song structures while still ultimately remaining a traditional heavy metal band, but the only truly epic songs here are Phantom of the Opera and Strange World. These are the two best songs IMO, though there really aren't any fillers. Running Free and Sanctuary are pretty mediocre songs, even though they aren't total throwaways. Transylvania is a great instrumental track, and one of the best from the album. There are some great straightforward metal tracks like Iron Maiden, Charlotte the Harlot, Remember Tomorrow, and Prowler as well. All in all, if you like raw sounding heavy metal with punk influences, most of the album should appeal you. Just don't go in expecting epic, borderline progressive, metal songs that you would find on their later albums.

Iron Maiden was a five-man band at this point. All of the musicians are fantastic, although they surely improved over time. A special note should go out to my idol Steve Harris. Man, what a bass player! His pounding basslines are very present on most of Iron Maiden's music, and it almost serves as a lead instrument. A lot of people complain about Paul Di'Anno's vocal style, but I personally find it to be very good. He's nowhere near the vocal prowess of Bruce Dickinson, but he is surely a talented vocalist. Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton's guitars work mutually and really compliment each other well. The multilayered guitars really give Iron Maiden their own sound. Clive Burr's drumming is good, but it could be slightly improved in some areas. It's hard to criticize him, though, considering how fantastic his drumming is on Transylvania.

The production is really good for a NWoBHM album. Iron Maiden was never a sucker for crappy 80's production qualities, and I love how they stuck with more organic 70's sounds. However, the music is lacking a bit of a "punch" and the production could be a bit more powerful at times.

Conclusion:

Iron Maiden is a solid debut album by Iron Maiden. Even though I will never like this as much as their later albums with Bruce Dickinson behind the microphone, few heavy metal bands could compete with Iron Maiden back then. Even on this slightly immature debut, the genius of Iron Maiden shines through, though not as brilliantly as it would soon become. A 3.5 (almost 4) star rating is deserved for this solid debut.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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