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

THE X-FACTOR

Iron Maiden

 

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3.27 | 220 ratings

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mistertorture
3 stars This is one of Maiden's most underrated efforts. Mainly because Dickinson was not part of the band anymore and Bayley's voice is absolutely different than Bruce's. So, in general the songs are toned down to match Blaze's vocals. In addition there are various changes in terms of style and compositions, and Martin Birch was no longer the producer.... Obviously all of this facts turned this album into something drastically different from the band's previous albums.

Sign Of The Cross is one of Maiden's best songs ever, an epic, unique masterpiece. It never gets boring, with it's multiple melodies and tempo changes (progressive metal anyone?), and great lyrics by mr. Harris. The beginning with the whispering-like vocals is one of the elements that this album brought to the table, and has been used (and sometimes abused) ever since. Lord Of The Flies continues the album flawlessly, with great bass pedal work by Nicko, good melodies and solos, and again great lyrics (based on the novel of the same name). It rocks. Man On The Edge is classic Maiden, but without Dickinson. Is just good straight heavy metal. Fortunes Of War is a mini-epic with dark mood, nice guitar intro and strong melodies. We have the tipical galoping pace near the end. A good solid song. Look For The Truth begins again with calm vocals and then explodes into a mid tempo metal format. Nice, but becomes boring after a few listens. The Aftermath is a gem, not the tipical Maiden approach to a song, the instrumental section near the end is awesome. Judgmente Of Heaven is a somewhat tipical Maiden rocker, but with some soft guitar work at the beginning. Beatiful melodies and one of the best moments on this record. Blood On The World's Hands begins with a weird-but-so-cool bass intro, this song has a proggy feel and is quite experimental for a Maiden song, it grew on me over the years. The Edge Of Darkness is energetic and powerful once the calm intro (yes, again) ends. Another solid track containing various Maiden trademarks. One of Blaze's best performances too. 2AM begins (yet again) quietly then becomes a mid tempo tune, unusual song with some nice guitar work, but is the weakest track on the album imo. Below Maiden standards. The Unbeliever is a very underrated song and one of the proggiest moments on The X Factor. It sounds fresh, with nice rhythm changes and a very, very inspired instrumental section in the middle. Harris shines on this track. Unusual again, but great.

Almost all Maiden fans bash this album just for being different. But this album proves to be an important point in Maiden's musical development, note that several characteristic elements introduced in this album are present on following works. The X Factor should be appreciated for what it is, not for what is not.

3 stars in prog archives 4 stars in any metal site

mistertorture | 3/5 |

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