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Iron Maiden - The X Factor CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.23 | 348 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Been waiting ages for Maiden on the Archives. I have to say that I'll be quite biased when it comes to rating this album, my standout preference from IM, which I will try to explain.... Firstly, former vocalist extraodinaire, Bruce Dickinson, had left the fold by this time, only to be replaced by the seemingly less appropriate Blaze Bayley. (Now you think Steve Harris would've employed the singer from Helloween, who is very close to Dickinson, but he is German). Wow !! Blaze's voice suits the nature and vibe of the music perfectly!! He possesses a much lower range, a tad gruff/gritty, and he tries really hard, closer to Paul Di-Anno. Every song has something proggy on offer, be it varied tempo, occassional odd-time sigs, structural complexity, Harris' Bass playing, quiet passages, frantic passages etc., and I feel that the band really pushed themselves on this wonderful album, especially Steve, who seemed to given some of his unique clanky Bass playing extra boost, and a really cool solo intro to 'Blood on the World's Hands'. We still get the masterful twin-guitar assaults and Nicko's excellent Drumming, which has always been tasteful and more complex than original drummer Clive Burr could ever be. Too many songs to assess here, but notable winners are : Sign of the Cross, Fortunes of War, The Edge of Darkness - actually, all songs from the 6 minute mark and up are fantastic !! I own the beautiful gatefold, double clear vinyl LP with fold-out sleeve, which seems to enhance the power of the music contained within. The overall feel of the album is quite gloomy and dark, depressing at times, sometimes Gothic - and the music's denseness brings to mind (my mind anyway) what vibe Swedish bands Anekdoten and Anglagard were giving off with their albums. The X Factor is quite a different offering from Iron Maiden - and something of a Masterpiece - but I do see how lots of folks would be turned off by it.
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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