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

THE X-FACTOR

Iron Maiden

 

Prog Related

3.27 | 221 ratings

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AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I've always been a fan of the albums bands made that were completely different from the rest of their catalogue. They are usually my favorite releases. Iron Maiden's The X Factor is no exception.

The X Factor is one of Maiden's most creative, different, and technical efforts. Many Maiden fans claim Seventh Son of a Seventh Son or Dance of Death to be Maiden's best Progressive efforts, but I disagree. The X Factor is the most if not the only Progressive album from Iron Maiden. The songs are rich and developed, the composing has an unbelieveable amount of variety, and many of the songs feature Maiden's most proficient techincal skill on display.

A sore spot for many fans is that this album doesn't have fan favorite vocalist Bruce Dickinson, Blaze Bayley takes care of the vocals. I don't see this as a negative at all. Blaze has a unique and interesting vocal style that completely changes the atmosphere of the album/band. I personally started to grow tired of the "formulatic" approach Dickinson used in his vocal phrasing, Blaze's style is something new and refreshing.

There are quite a few "gems" on this album. "Edge of Darkness", "The Aftermath", "Lord of the Flies", and "Sign of the Cross" are just a few. The top composition however may be the shorter "Blood On the World's Hands". This song is as different as Maiden gets with virtouso bass playing by Harris in the intro, and weaving guitar harmonies between Jannick Gers and Dave Murray. The lyrical aspect is one of the few "political" endeavours from Maiden.

Another aspect of this album is the variety of composers. Most of Maiden is composed by bass great Steve Harris, but with Murray and Gers more active in the composition, the band tapped into more creative sources than it ever has before.

X Factor is a winner for sure, it's Progressive, creative, different, and a breath of fresh air from Iron Maiden, an album sure to stand out in their catalogue.

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |

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