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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 The Final Frontier is the 15th full-length studio album by British heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released in August 2010 by EMI. The lineup for The Final Frontier features the same six that have recorded the last three albums before this one so thereīs no inconsistency there.

Fortunately the same can be said about the music on the album. I think itīs safe to say that you get exactly what you expect when listening to The Final Frontier. The last couple of albums have displayed a preference towards longer epic tracks ( even semi-progressive at times) and the more hard rocking fast tracks have taken the backseat. Thatīs also the case on The Final Frontier, but tracks like El Dorado and especially the fast- paced and powerful The Alchemist, prove that Iron Maiden are still able to put on hard rocking action when needed. Thereīs sci-fi atmosphere and lyrics to boot on the album and itīs hard not to think of the equally sci-fi themed Somewhere in Time (1986), while listening to tracks like Satellite 15... The Final Frontier, Isle of Avalon and Starblind. The overall sound on the album is unmistakably the sound of post-2000 Iron Maiden though. I have a personal preference for the faster paced Iron Maiden tracks, but itīs hard to complain about the lack of fast tracks when the rest of the tracks on the album are of such high quality. If I have to air a minor complaint, it would be about the writing formula on the longer epic tracks, which all start with a couple of minutes quiter building up drama before the songs really get going. Now back when there were only 1-2 epics on each Iron Maiden album, that trick worked very well, but I could wish for some variation, when 8 out of 10 tracks start like that ( I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture).

As always when talking about an Iron Maiden album, the musicianship is one of assets that needs mentioning. Bruce Dickinson sounds exactly like he did in 1982, which is an unbelievable achivement. Doesnīt the man and in particular his voice age? Apparently not, because he still wails like an air sirene and hits the high notes with ease. The instrumental part of the music still offers plenty of melodic guitar soloing, harmony themes, precise and organic drumming and those powerful and melodic basslines from Steve Harris. The keyboards are placed very tastefully in the mix and work as atmosphere enhancement.

The Final Frontier might not be a revelation in the bandīs discography, but since weīre dealing with a band that pretty much play by the device: "if it ainīt broken, why fix it", I donīt expect revelations when I put on a new Iron Maiden album. I expect high quality heavy metal and engaging playing from the musicians involved and thatīs exactly what I get when listening to The Final Frontier. The Final Frontier is another excellent heavy metal album in a long line of excellent albums by Iron Maiden and a 4 star rating is fully deserved. While I could live with Iron Maiden releassing quality albums in the vein of this one for the rest of their active career, I do still hope they might surprise us with something a bit different again sometime in the future. Just like they did back in 1986 when they released Somewhere in Time.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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