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Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.60 | 454 ratings

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4 stars Less Richard Wagner, more Ludwig van Beethoven.

That is my conclusion after listening to this album for around eight times. Gone is the crushing heaviness from the Wagnerian albums Piece Of Mind and Powerslave. The new Iron Maiden sound is Beethoven like in it's virtuosity and musicality. This is amply demonstrated on The Final Frontier. An album rumored to be their final album. I sincerely hope this is not true. They are currently touring this planet with songs from post 2000 and a couple of old times classics like Hallowed Be Thy Name, their best ever song. This tour is not a greatest hits tour. But still, they get raving reviews everywhere they go. Iron Maiden is as we speak on top form and has never ever been so popular. The Final Frontier reflects this.

After the opening salvo which is unknown Iron Maiden terrain (as usual on an Iron Maiden album), we comes straight onto the well known Iron Maiden landscape with the title track. From there on, Iron Maiden impresses with innovative writing within the well known Iron Maiden formula. A formula this album never leaves. But still, their material feels fresh and very relevant.

Style wise, I would put this album somewhere between Brave New World and Dance Of Death. It is not as Wagnerian and claustrophobic introspective as A Matter Of Life And Death. The Final Frontier can safely be mentioned alongside the three above mentioned albums. Both quality wise and genre wise.

One of the first things that strikes me is that Bruce Dickinson has finally found his voice. His singing is brilliant and utterly brilliant. The rest of the band also does a cracking good job. It is easy to ignore them though because we have become so used to their high standard. It is easy to forget that they are on a standard most other bands has no chance whatsoever to reach. Both live and in the studio. Three guitars is most definitely not one cook too many in the kitchen. I find that remarkable. The Final Frontier has a lot of different guitar voices too. I suspect the interloper Janick Gers to be one of the brains behind this experimentation. If that is the case, I hereby withdraw my long held beliefs that he should not be an Iron Maiden member. The mix of both new and old guitar sound on most songs here is simply excellent and something I did not expect from a 30 years old band. Iron Maiden is still an innovative band in many ways (as they were in 1980) and The Final Frontier proves that.

The songs......... Well, there are in my view ten excellent songs here. They works on different levels though. The rather fast and heavy El Dorado works on a different level than the epic prog rocker When The Wild Wind Blows. But both songs are great songs. Isle Of Avalon proves that Iron Maiden is renewing themselves, thirty years after their debut album. Mother Of Mercy is a homage to the Iron Maiden legacy. Coming Home is about Bruce Dickinson's other passion and daytime job; flying commercial airplanes. A great ballad, btw. My favorite song ? I have only been listening to this album eight times and it is a bit early to find my song here. All the ten songs here are excellent. I have yet to find a killer track though. Hence my four stars.

The Final Frontier is just a brilliant album throughout and it has no weak points whatsoever. The Final Frontier just cement Iron Maiden's position as one of the best ever music ensembles to have graced this planet. I hereby recommend this album to every member of this community and to everyone else.

4 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 4/5 |


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