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Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier CD (album) cover

THE FINAL FRONTIER

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.61 | 413 ratings

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The Moonlit Knight
4 stars I've put off passing judgement on this all day its taken me three listens to be sure about it!

Firstly this album is definitely a grower! It's very different (the 2nd half is at least) from anything Maiden have done previously. It's very musically diverse and you can really hear the prog inclinations of the band members shining through. It doesn't really sound like a maiden album at first, but after a while you do begin to feel whatever that thing that is intrinsically Iron Maiden is present! The other thing that really struck me about this was Bruce Dickinson's voice, he uses parts of his range that we have seldom heard from him previously. He can still hit those high notes but he has started to sing lower and although not as powerful, sounds very beautiful almost Peter Gabriel-esque when sings softly (Coming Home, The Talisman, When the Wild Wind Blows).

Satellite 15 the final frontier: A song of two halves! Soon as the track starts you bombarded with the heavy drums, (computer, but it sounds great) it really gives the feel of being lost in space which is the narritive of the track. It sounds stunning, it's proggy, which makes it all the more disappointing when the second half kicks i which is just a simple hard rock song. Don't get me wrong liked the signal version of this (which is just the 2nd half), it's accessible, catchy chorus it just too incongruous with the first part for me.

El Dorado: Quite a rocky track, I'm sire most people have heard the free download from the maiden site. I can tell you this works very well live!

Mother of Mercy: Dark, melodic, dripping with menace, I love it! For me one of the albums stronger tracks the three pronged assault form Smith, Gers and Murray is something special.

Coming Home: This is almost definitely Bruce's song, it has the feel of something from his solo stuff, and the aircraft references in the lyrics tend too suggest he wrote them.

The Alchemist: I feel this could become a modern live classic, it sounds like to 'Aces High' with a darker tint. Maiden do sometimes re-use old riffs and song structures and inject new life into them which is what they've done here.

Isle of Avalon: From here on out it is a step into unknown for Maiden, the songs are much longer than you would generally associate with them and it is proper prog metal! There's time changes, three part harmonies between the guitarists, long prog rock style instrumental passages, you really feel they pushed themselves with this.

Starblind: Very easy on the ear, even when the riffing does kick in! Again sporting progressive hallmarks such as shifting time signatures frequently.

The Talisman: I love this! Very reminiscent of 'The Legacy' from the previous album. Bruce is fantastic on this, he starts of singing his eerie low and gentle voice and from the then he really goes for it, stretching his vocal chords to the limit. Instrumentally this is spectacular also, blues inspired lead guitar (I suspect this is Adrian Smith), there is an awful lot going on in this song just listen to it!

The Man who would be King: This is great! It actually reminds me of Dream Theater (particualrly the Octarvarium album), theres a wonderful little instrumental passgae at around 4.00 minutes

When the Wild Wind Blows : The only Harris solo composition on the album, those familiar with Maiden will be expectant. I'm delighted to say it doesn't disappoint, don't judge it on the first listen I took me three, but I think it's probably my favourite track. There's a divine intro/outro, Bruce singing softly, clean guitar sound and in the song itself there is some very memorable riffs and solos-enjoy! Steve Harris take a bow.

On a personal note, I love how Iron Maiden, one of my first musical loves, have become a lot more progressive in recent times much as my own tastes have! I give it 4.5/5.

The Moonlit Knight | 4/5 |

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