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Iron Maiden - The X-Factor CD (album) cover

THE X-FACTOR

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.26 | 223 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The four albums between "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" and "Brave New World" are regarded as MAIDEN's worst recordings by the majority of fans. This particular album is included in there and it was the first without Bruce Dickinson, and to be perfectly honest those are huge shoes to fill. Harris and the band decided to go with someone who didn't sound like Bruce at all in Blaze Bayley. It's weird hearing IRON MAIDEN without those amazing and familiar pipes. Being such a big fan that I am I really think that only Ronnie James Dio would have satified me. So yes it's not fair to dump on Blaze but I just don't like his style within one of my all time favourite band's music. And why make it 71 minutes long ? Anyway the instrumental music here is classic MAIDEN and i'd have loved it if this was all instrumental.

"Sign Of The Cross" is kind of strange in that it takes so long to get going. I mean those who were interested in hearing what Blaze sounded like would have to wait around 3 minutes. Anyway it's fairly catchy once it gets going and some nice guitar around 8 1/2 minutes. "Lord Of The Flies" opens with guitar that doesn't do much for me but it's better when the song kicks in. Some vocal melodies on this one too. "Man On The Edge" kicks in quickly followed by vocals. An uptempo track with that trade mark galloping rhythm.The guitar lights it up 2 1/2 minutes in. "Fortunes Of War" is laid back early then it kicks in at 2 minutes. A native vibe here. Good track. "Look For The Truth" is mellow with almost spoken vocals until it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes.Vocal melodies come and go.

"Aftermath" is my favourite. Love the intro then it kicks in as contrasts continue. I like when the tempo picks up 4 1/2 minutes in and the guitar rips it up for almost a minute. "Judgement Of Heaven" doesn't start so well but it gets better when it turns fuller. "Blood On The World's Hands" is my second favourite track on here. Some crazy bass from Harris to start before the song kicks in. I really like the guitar after 3 minutes too. "Edge Of Darkness" opens with samples of a hellicopter and relaxed music, then reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after 2 minutes and the tempo picks up 3 minutes in. Ripping guitar 4 1/2 minutes in then the song starts to wind down a minute later. "2 AM" contrasts the mellow and heavier sections well. "Unbeliever" has these fast paced vocals that just don't sound very good.They do come and go. It's better 2 1/2 minutes in but I can't help but wish Bruce was singing here. A good instrumental section follows then the vocals return.

It was interesting to hear this album and it is a good one but for me it pales when compared to most of MAIDEN's albums.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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