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Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.97 | 607 ratings

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4 stars First album after the proclaimed Iron Maiden trilogy that begun with The Number Of The Beast turned out less successful in the hits department and is generally considered to be slightly weaker than the two juggernauts that surround it. While I can understand that the fans might prefer hits like Aces High and Two Minutes To Midnight over this material, this doesn't make Somewhere In Time a lesser release by any means. On contrary, this actually happens to be my favorite Iron Maiden by far!

My love for this record is not a nostalgic one since I've discovered it pretty recently and it wasn't even among the first batch of albums that I've heard from the band. This is a very honest and unbiased response to a solid record and a rarity within the Iron Maiden discography. Not only does the album feature most of my favorite compositions from the band but it also pretty much nails the experimental fling that I've been lacking on their previous releases.

Right off the bat you know that this album is special judging by the excellent album cover. I just had to buy the vinyl in order to be able to decipher all the hidden messages and clues of the band's past depicted on the front and back cover work, easily their best album cover to date! The music doesn't disappoint either. Caught Somewhere In Time is a magnificent album-opener that kicks the record into high gear from the get-go with the dual guitar action followed by drums and stomping bass only to let Dickinson enter more than a minute into the composition.

Wasted Years is the more commercial out of the two singles released from the album but it's really not a bad song by any means. Yes, the chorus might sound a bit cheesy to some but the instrumental arrangements make up for most of the possible flaws that some people might mention. Sea Of Madness and Heaven Can Wait are another two rather commercially oriented tracks, surprisingly neither of the two were released as a singles. Solid tracks but somewhat disappointing in the context of the rest of the album.

If you feel a bit discouraged by side one of the record then fear not, side two is the far more superior of the two! The Loneliness Of A Long Distance Runner kicks things off with another signature guitar melody that will most likely get stuck in your head for days on end, I know that it did so with me. The album's second single Stranger In A Strange Land is really a weird but fun choice for a single since it's really not as radio-friendly as any of the tracks off side one. Luckily, it only makes me love it even more!

Now here is an odd number for any Iron Maiden fans who claim that the band has never played dangerously close to Power Metal. Déjà Vu is easily the most Power Metal oriented composition that the band has released and it almost makes me imagine this whole parallel universe where Iron Maiden is a Power Metal band playing exclusively tracks like this one. Ain't that a funny thought? Time for another epic history lesson and Alexander The Great clearly doesn't disappoint in that regard. This is an epic composition at it's finest, everything is done here just the way I like it, even down to the odd time signature section played in 7/8.

Even if Somewhere In Time is my personal favorite among the Iron Maiden albums I'm not sure that it's the album for everyone. You should probably start your journey with Powerslave and then move on to either this album or the great 1980 debut release. Hopefully you'll get just the right amount of exposure to the band by going through these three albums since I've found most of their other releases to be lackluster in one regard or another.

***** star songs: Caught Somewhere In Time (7:26) The Loneliness Of A Long Distance Runner (6:31) Alexander The Great (8:37)

**** star songs: Wasted Years (5:07) Sea Of Madness (5:42) Stranger In A Strange Land (5:45) Déjà Vu (4:56)

*** star songs: Heaven Can Wait (7:22)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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