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IRON MAIDEN

Iron Maiden

 

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3.81 | 390 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars It's time for another review streak since I obviously don't do enough of those!

Let me start things off by laying my cards on the table and admitting that I'm not really a big Iron Maiden fan. This band has been consciously flying under my radar for most of my life and this comes from a personal preference of mine, which is actually pretty hard to achieve here in Sweden. Swedes are generally known for loving their metal music, but there are really few acts that get the same amount of attention as Iron Maiden. Most of their records have become number one hits in our nation charts and all of their live shows tend to sell out within minute after tickets are released to the public. All of our hard rock/metal radio stations tend to overemphasize on the singles released by Iron Maiden, Metallica and a handful chosen few, which is pretty much the reason why I haven't actively listened to commercial radio since 2002.

I've heard classic albums like The Number Of The Beast and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son on many occasions all throughout my teen years but little of that has really managed to make an impact on me, same can also be said about Metallica. So why did I start to actively listening to Iron Maiden after all this time? Well, it all began a few month ago when I had my regular Iron Maiden rant in a close circle of friends and one of them suggested that I give the two Paul Di'Anno-era albums a chance before completely bearing any hopes of ever enjoying Iron Maiden. This was an interesting proposal since I have ignored those albums due to their low level of publicity here in Sweden (ince we tend to prefer the Dickinson era).

I began my journey with the band-titled debut album and even though my expectations weren't exactly on top before my first exposure to the material, I actually found it to be an enjoyable album! First thing that really struck me was the great production of the record where every instrument was very distinguishable in the mix. Steve Harris' bass rampage is especially notable here because it often manages to even overshadow the dual guitar attack of Stratton/Murray!

From the get-go we are treated to some of the finest tracks of this early Iron Maiden era where Prowler and Sanctuary possess an energy to them that even some of the strongest epics from Dickinson era could never achieve. It's basically this raw energy that makes this album the strong statement that it is and the band continues to surprise me by actually preforming two fine ballads with Remember Tomorrow and Strange World. The latter is often being considered the weakest track of this fine record, but I happen to disagree with that statement. I'm actually really surprised that Iron Maiden didn't indulge further into this direction with their consecutive albums since their ballads work so well here.

Overall, it hard to go wrong when you've got an album filled with classics like Running Free, Phantom Of The Opera, Transylvania and the renown fan favorite Iron Maiden! I know that Charlotte The Harlot is considered somewhat of a classic among the fans, since it spawned a storyline that would be continued on the future albums, but I honestly never liked its simplistic Heavy Metal approach that lacks in every other department. Luckily this is as close as you'll get to a bad song here since this is an excellent piece of Heavy Metal history that marks the rise of Iron Maiden!

***** star songs: Prowler (3:56) Sanctuary (3:16)

**** star songs: Remember Tomorrow (5:28) Running Free (3:17) Phantom Of The Opera (7:07) Transylvania (4:19) Strange World (5:32) Iron Maiden (3:38)

*** star songs: Charlotte The Harlot (4:12)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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