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Iron Maiden - The X Factor CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.23 | 334 ratings

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4 stars First of the two albums without Bruce Dickinson, I would say this one is the best of the two, and by far. Fairly underrated, "The X Factor" contains great compositions by main songwriter Steve Harris. Of course, I still find Blaze Bayley's vocals weak compared to Bruce's and most of Janick Gers's compositions annoying... but still this is a good effort from the band with let's say 7 out of 11 songs being great and 4 being weaker. And it's by far the most progressive Maiden album...

The album opens with an epic, "Sign Of The Cross", maybe one of the three best epics written by the band along with the Rime and Seventh Son. That's relatively odd for the band to start with and epic instead of the usual headbanging fast paced hit, but I'd say this song sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the album. A song on which Bruce's voice would have perfectly fit... "Lord Of The Flies" follows and it's a good rocking song without speed riffs - very catchy tune. "Man On The Edge" starts with a short quiet intro followed by some fast metal, very close to the "Be Quick Or Be Dead" song on Fear Of The Dark - one of the weak moments of the album. "Fortunes Of War" starts with a gorgeous intro, a mix of "Afraid To Shoot Strangers" and "Wasting Love". "Look For The Truth" is again a song with a beautiful quiet intro and mid paced tempo happy metal riff. "The Aftermath" is a total non Maiden song - very slow paced headbanging metal, almost doom, with only a short faster guitar solo towards the end. "Judgement Of Heaven" is classic Maiden - not a very original song and one of the weak moments again. Then comes "Blood On The World's Hands" - clearly the most original song on the album, very guitar/bass oriented, with a dark atmosphere. "The Edge Of Darkness" is another song with a quiet intro and fast paced main melody, but nothing new here. "2 A.M." is probably the quietest song on the album... not really a ballad but close to it for Maiden standards. "The Unbeliever" is the strangest song on the album - weird intro and verses, nice choruses, unconventional solos.

Rating: 80/100 (4 stars)

zaxx | 4/5 |


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