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Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind CD (album) cover

PIECE OF MIND

Iron Maiden

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darkshade
COLLABORATOR
Jazz Rock/Fusion Team
4 stars The second of the Classic Three. This album took Maiden to yet again the next level. Production-wise the sound is a bit grittier than what came before and what would come next, but it just adds to the overall sound. Bruce's voice is becoming even more amazing than the previous album. He hits notes no man could touch in rock before (he'd surpass himself in following albums) The prog influences show more on this album than before as well.

The album opens with one of the best songs on the album Where Eagles Dare. Intricate drums are one of the highlights. Extremely melodic guitar parts carry the song. The middle instrumental section is so powerful and builds great tension, VERY Genesis-like in this song. The vocals aren't really a big part of the song since Dickinson sings very little on this song, but the climatic end to the song, Bruce sings so emotionally that you know right away, this a great song.

Revelations and Flight of Icarus are excellent tunes, again, very epic and melodic. Catchy melodies all around, you can't escape them. Great harmonies in the vocal department as well, especially on FoI, which leads right into...

...THE TROOPER! Easily the best song on the album and probably Maiden's most well known song. Sure they play it live a lot (like EVERY show since this album came out) but if you've heard the song, you know why. Everything is perfect on this song. Best melody, galloping bass riffs, fantastic solos from both Smith and Murray, and of course one of Dickinson's most shining moments "OOOH OH OH OH WHOAH OH OH AH OH". Classic.

The second half isn't 'as' good as the first, but doesnt say much, since it still consists of excellent material.

Still Life, Quest for Fire, and Sun and Steel are great metal songs, sometimes actually playing in a major key, which adds a different sound to the overall "Maiden Sound". Nothing is wrong with these songs, they just dont live up to The Trooper's superiority.

The last song is the epic To Tame a Land. This is a dark song, quite the opposite from the previous 2 or 3 songs. The bass is the feature on this track, playing some haunting melodies with the guitars counterpointing the basslines. It ends a bit anit-climatic but still a great song.

Essential of Maiden's catalouge, for The Trooper and Where Eagles Dare alone, but the rest of the albums owns as well.

GET!

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Send comments to darkshade (BETA) | Report this review (#93115)
Posted Monday, October 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind is another one of my all time favorite albums. I wasn't expecting much from this album, but when I got it I wasn't in the LEAST bit disapointed. The album is full of talent and is surely one of Iron Maidens best works yet! It's an incredible album where pretty much EVERY song is incredible! I love Iron Maiden, and this is a highly recommended album from this great band. It includes the classic song The Trooper, and others like Die With Your boots On, Flight of Icarus, Revelations, Where Eagles Dare, Quest for Fire, Still Life, and To Tame a Land. If you ask me, you might as well just call it a good ol' masterpiece, from a band who is full of masterpieces. People tend to say that they shouldn't be on this sight because they're techniquelly not really prog. In some ways that's true, but to just place this out in the open thier recent works, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son are really all good examples of their instrumental qualities. Give it a listen and determine for yourself if it's prog-related or not. 4/5, great among all other albums, Iron Maiden has always been a group I've fallen in love with aside Dream Theater and Rush! These three bands started me in this great genre!

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Send comments to Xeroth (BETA) | Report this review (#93127)
Posted Monday, October 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

With finally a stable line-up for a few albums to come, with Nico McBrain (ex early-Pat Travers Band drummer), the group has now a steady drummer, the Maiden will now produce a series of classic 80's metal (which I must recognize is not really my cup of tea), even though one can say that right from the debut, they are all masters in the genre.

With Dickinson instantly recognizable voice, the group sails smooth seas, cruising speeds that can be only envied by other NWOBHMB, IM is just content on convincing already conqured metal public. The least we can say is that with this album, Maiden is not on to break new ground (they never were, but with this one even less than other albums of theirs), so this album has an "already-seen" flavour that makes us casual fans wonder why we actually would consider buying YET ANOTHER Maiden album. Indeed, there is nothing new under the metallic sun. The usual two or three shorter tracks (Flight of Icarus, The Trooper, Sun And Steel) to provide potential hits (the first one anyway), longer material to provide a bit of dramas veering towards what complacent fans will call mini-epics (nothing over the 7.5 minutes though) and a few lower quality fillers: one has to learn not to overflow an album of ideas so there are more for the next albums to come (hey career consultancy exists in metal groups also). Yes they got their formula down pat: they even allow for the odd extremely well placed slow intro to give a breathing space to the young metalhead in between the riff-erama heaven that every young male into tough music only dreams to reach. Maiden's professional attitude is to achieve this on a few occasions per record, something that most of their peers could simply not match.

I usually cannot listen ton such an album in its entirety without developing a start of a migraine, this was the case already when I was in my 20's, but is certainly more the case nowadays. Which is why compassionate progheads are welcome to express their sympathies in a sealed envelope (along with consequent financial gratitude ;-) after I put up with two recent listening session of this album in order to write this review.

So Maiden with not invent hot water and in case they did invent lukewarm water, it was rather by accident rather than by an adventurous approach: every step of this album is well-thought out, but that quality is also its weakness: no surprise, no real fun, just business as usual. By winning without risks, one triumphs without glory. Lacklustre for me, but triumphant for convinced fans, the choice is yours.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#93155)
Posted Tuesday, October 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is where the band's songwriting takes a big step away from NWOBHM and towards more progressive-tinged material, a change that can no-doubt be attributed to self- professed Deep Purple and Van Der Graaf fanatic Bruce Dickinson's addition to the songwriting fold. This is evident at the very start with "Where Eagles Dare," an instrumental workout sandwiched between two brief vocal passages. "Revelations" is another fantastic progressive song, featuring distinctive movements and an emphasis of melody over heaviness. Also worthy of note for the discerning prog fan is the Dune- inspired epic "To Tame a Land," continuing the tradition of including at least one lengthy track per album (aside from KILLERS). There's not really a poor song on the album, save for perhaps the cheesy-by-half lyrics of "Quest for Fire," but instrumentally the songwriting for that particular song is solid. The addition of drummer Nicko McBrain would solidy the classic line-up, and the band would continue to release progressive metal albums far before that genre would even come into existence. For the first (but not the last) time, the metal and the prog scales weigh in at an even 5 stars.

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Send comments to JohnGargo (BETA) | Report this review (#93227)
Posted Tuesday, October 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Iron Maiden produced a really professionally recorded heavy metal album here: the sound is VERY sharp, the tracks are structured, the instruments are more synchronized than ever, the tones are crystal clear, and the electric guitars are REALLY razor and disciplined. The drums are outstanding, especially on "Where eagles dare". Harris' bass is, as always, fast, restless and very elaborated: he sometimes plays catchy & melodic patterns of high notes, like on "Die with your boots on" and "Quest for fire". There are MANY MELODIC and clean guitar solos. The previous "Number of the Beast" album sounds less crystal clear. Dickinson's lead & backing vocals are very good and catchy, like on "Sun & steel", "Quest for fire" and "Flight of Icarus". The very structured "To tame a land" can be classified as a metal prog song. "Piece of mind" as only a few more mellow moments, like some bits on "Revelations" and "To tame a land". ALL the tracks are excellent. The album sounds a bit like "Powerslave", except the tracks here sound more varied. "Piece of mind" is one of their best albums.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#93548)
Posted Thursday, October 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My first introduction to Iron Maiden only happened in year 2000 when I was listening to M97 - The Classic Rock FM radio station in Jakarta, Indonesia, while I was driving. I immediately called the station and got the song title and artist: It was "Flight of Icarus" from Iron Maiden "Piece of Mind". What an excellent song! To me, music is emotion and "Flight of Icarus" was successful in creating that emotion to me regardless the sub-genre of the music - and I didn't care, really. So I purchased the CD and I played track 3 repetitively - probably 6 to 8 spins only for track 3. Why do I like the track? It's really great music combining excellent guitar riffs, dynamic bass lines and great double guitar work. The vocal part is really clean and powerful. And of course. the chorus line is so memorable ."Fly on your way, like an eagle. Fly as high as the sun, on your way, like an eagle. Fly and touch the sun.". Wow! What a great music segment this one is!

It was quite a big shock to me that this band is finally featured here at this site. I actually consider the band as a hard rock / metal band as most of its structure are straight hard rock music. But it's okay .. again .. music is emotion, my friend! Why debating "prog or non prog?" Just enjoy the music full stop. And this "Piece of Mind" is definitely a hard rock music with good rhythm section and powerful vocal line. As I knew the band quite late - about 20 years after its inception (of course I heard the name but I never heard the music as I don't like its cover - so boring to me). I'm not the right person to talk about who's who Iron Maiden is but for sure I like this album.

Having listened to track 3, finally I made an attempt to listen to other tracks and I was quite surprised that there are good tracks as well. The opening track "Where Eagles Dare" (6:11) resembles good composition with double guitar work in which each guitar player contributes different kind of style. It reminds me to Wishbone Ash as well. I start to enjoy this album as this opening track is a good one to enjoy. "Revelations" (6:48) continues similar style as opening track with double guitar fills at opening part. The music moves with nice guitar riffs combined with nice chorus line where guitar fills are really good.

"Die With Your Boots On" (5:29) is another good composition with soft guitar riffs. "The Trooper" (4:11) is the band's classic where it was also used as Metal program music for the M97 FM Station. This song has a powerful and memorable riffs and excellent music flows using guitar that serves dual roles. "Still Life" (4:53) is probably a track with some prog touch - at least at its structure which contains "curved" segments. "To Tame a Land" (7:27) is to me like an epic with long form music and varied styles. The composition is good and it has a balanced combination of hard and soft parts - all are delivered with powerful vocal and nice double guitar work. This is not to miss for any of you who love rock music. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#93664)
Posted Saturday, October 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars On this album, Iron Maiden finally found their line-up... and their sound. "Piece of Mind" is the first of four studio albums carrying this progressive power metal feeling on almost every song.

The album opens with "Where Eagles Dare", a mid paced song, reference to a war movie with Clint Eastwood. "Revelations" shows the great songwriting and performance of Bruce Dickinson - a semi-ballad song, very melodic. "Flight Of Icarus" is the first hit of the album (the second one being "The Trooper"), although it is not fast paced like almost every Maiden hit and is more in the vein of the songs that would finally end up on "Somewhere In Time". "The Trooper" is classic Maiden - fast, heavy, catchy. "Still Life" starts with some backwards speaking (the devil's tongue no?), and a very mellow intro. This is the typical Murray/Harris composition: beautiful intro... and usually very fast paced riffing for the rest of the song. "Quest For Fire" is another reference to a movie - very catchy song, almost funny. The two songs that are really weak on this album are "Die With Your Boots On" and "Sun And Steel" - not very original and below average metal songs. "To Tame A Land" is a great closer - very epic with a mellow intro, catchy lyrics, and amazing guitar work.

Rating: 85/100 (4 1/2 stars)

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Send comments to zaxx (BETA) | Report this review (#98279)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Piece of Mind is the sophomore effort with Bruce Dickinson in the band. The band continues to write solid metal music here. All the elements of Iron Maiden are here, but I have a problem with it. There's no progression, no adventure. It just sounds as if Iron Maiden just threw a bunch of songs of the same style, making this album non-essential.

Where Eagles Dare is a rare excellent opener, as many openers are just a typical catchy fast paced metal song. Yes, it's fast paced. Yes, it's catchy, but this one is also an excellent piece of music, with interesting riffs and an extended guitar solo. Revelations is another long song. It's well done and all, but it just doesn't grab me that much. Maybe the riffs are not as imaginative as they were in the previous albums. Same goes for Flight of the Icarus , but I have to admit that the chorus is interesting, with the vocal harmonies and the drum beats that are introduced when the vocals go "Like an eagle." Die with your Boots on also sounds like anything that's been done before, with uninteresting riffs and solos, but this one is worse because of the horrible vocal harmonies present. Fortunately, the next song redeems the worst song. The Trooper is easily the best song of the album, with a genius use of double guitars, insanely catchy guitar riffs, wonderful rhythms, superb guitar solo, and the sublime harmonized chorus hook. Still Life is a nice straightforward song that has better riffs and ideas (like the mellow intro) than the songs preceding "The Trooper." The next two songs are unremarkable but To Tame a Land , while not on the same level of Phantom of the Opera, is a very strong mini-epic with a mellow intro and solid songwriting. There are many brilliant musical moments throughout this song and if I'm not mistaken, Harris called it the best song he has ever written, at least up to that point.

The reason to get this album is mainly the great opener, the epic closer, and the short perfection that is "The Trooper". The rest ranges from poor to good. There are many other albums you could buy instead of this one, but if you are a fan of the band and possess their best album, it won't hurt to get this.

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#104603)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In the liner notes the band says "No synthesisers or ulterior motives". And they also say "To all the headbangers, earthdogs, hell rats and rivetheads everywhere-THANKS". This record is one of my desert island discs. And I agree with greenback that the big difference between this one and "Powerslave" is the variety found on "Piece Of Mind".

"Where Eagles Dare" is truly an amazing song with Nicko's drumming really standing out. And of course Bruce's vocals are incredible throughout. I still remember driving along side the Niagara River approaching the Falls on our honeymoon on a hot and humid afternoon with this song absolutely blasting out of car. Ah, the good old days. "Revelations" has a lot of tempo changes. Starting out slowly but powerfully things accelerate quickly when Bruce yells "go". There are such beautiful guitar melodies in this song as well as the galloping rythym that IRON MAIDEN is famous for. There is a scathing guitar solo after 4 minutes. Excellent !

"Flight Of Icarus" has a thunderous intro of bass and drums that is ground shaking. There is a screaming guitar solo and the song ends with "the human siren" belting it out. "Die With Your Boots On" is a straight ahead rocker with vocal harmonies from the rest of the band. Great guitar solo 3 minutes in.This song gets better as it goes. "The Trooper" starts off running, and the guitar melodies are some of the best these ears have ever heard. The melody is galloping now and Bruce's vocals are powerful, this can't be played too loud. "Still Life" opens with a change of pace, even Bruce's vocals are reserved. But this all changes rather quickly as pounding drums introduce an uptempo melody the rest of the way. "Quest For Fire" is a good song about the cave man days, with an atmospheric guitar solo. "Sun And Steel" is a straight forward rock tune with a galloping rhythm. "To Tame A Land" is an amazing song ! It's really a journey with great lyrics. There is a guitar solo over top of the rhythm of heavy drums and bass as the tension builds.

I can't recommend this album high enough, this is classic MAIDEN !

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#104812)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Number of the Beast, along with the first two albums, had cemented Iron Maiden as one of the leaders of the NWOBHM movement. The addition of Bruce Dickinson had ushered in an entirely new approach for Maiden; rather than Di'Anno's punky growl, the band now had a singer who could give the vocals an operatic bent, soaring above the thunderous noise of the guitars and drums. This resulted in Maiden soon diverting from more striaghtforward traditional metal to the fantasy-themed power metal, which they would soon conquer. Piece of Mind shows the completion of the classic lineup with new drummer Nicko McBrain. His inventive yet simple kitwork would complement Steve's galloping basslines like no previous drummer could. It also marks the full lyrical transtion to fantasy lyrics which had only been in a few Maiden songs up til that point. Bruce adds his Purple and VDGG influences to Steve's already strong songwriting to make some of the best fantasy lyrics in power metal.

The album opens with "Where Eagles Dare." Nicko wastes no time in announcing that he is the new Maiden drummer with the best performance ever heard on a Maiden song. Likewise, Bruce's performance is also his best. The song's chugging mid-tempo riff grabs you from the start and refuses to let go.

"Revelations" continues Bruce's strong performances. Amazingly he sounds even better than he did on Number of the Beast. It's very melodic and is another Boblical reference (remember the title track from NotB).

"Flight of Icarus" is the first of three straightforward rockers that comprise the middle of the album (think of Run to the Hills and NoTB from the last album, but ass on). This is a vocal stunner, with Bruce hitting some very high notes. It brings the tempo of the album back up to a mid-level chug.

"Die With Your Boots On" is where the trademark gallop comes in. This is very starightforward, but it's an addictive track with a catchy chorus.

"The Trooper" has Steve's best bassline, and it's one of his finest performances. The song deals with a soldier (duh) who is mortally wounded in battle. This song is a Maiden classic.

"Still Life" has a creepy intro complete with backwards speaking. The vocals are great, and this really varies the triple punch of the album's middle.

"Quest For Fire" and "Sun and Steel" are a little weak. They are straightforward but lack the punch of Die With Your Boots On and Flight of Icarus.

"To Tame a Land" is a great mini-epic closer that is very dark. The guitars here are the best on the album, though not as good as the fretwork that would be on their next opus.

This album is almost as good as its successor Powerslave, though this album is more varied than their magnum opus. This is Bruce Dickinson's album. His vocals here are a good portion of his best work. His lyrical contributions have ensured that Piece of Mind cements the band within power metal. Nicko mcBrain is the next most significant member; his inventive bass drums and cymbals making Maiden more progressive than it ever was. Maiden and metal fans must own this album along with everything Maiden has made from the debut through 7th Son, then from Brave New World on. Proggies, however, will find this album too straightforward.

Grade: B

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#106416)
Posted Sunday, January 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is one of the greatest bands of all time, the gods of Heavy Metal and maybe Prog? No, you ask me about the Progness of the great gods of Metal, but really I must admit, this album is actually quite Progressive, but not yet to the point of great Progressive Metal like Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation or even Opeth.

This album kicks off with the energetic song, Where Eagles Dare and catches you right into its catchy, intense Heavy metal riffs along with Bruce Dickinson's amazing presence. The album of course contains two of the most famous Maiden songs, being Flight of Icarus and the Trooper being the more popular one. I must admit, these popular, catchy Iron Maiden songs is what catchiness these days in popular music needs. The album intensifies at Still Life, one of my favorite Maiden songs of all time. Such a great tune and a fitting climax to the album.

The album ends with Quest for Fire, Sun and Steel and to Lame a Land, all very good songs, and had a huge helping hand in influencing many developing Power Metal bands.

This album might not be as progressive as some of Maiden's later albums, but this album is a turning point in Maiden history due to the enormous turnaround in the band's sound and material. This is a landmark nail in Maiden history and also one of their best albums, despite it being not Progressive.

This album is highly recommended for all fans of Metal and is a good addition for all music listeners.

4- Metal listeners 3- Prog Listeners

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Send comments to King of Loss (BETA) | Report this review (#126637)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I've finally heard this album enough times as to be ready to share my thoughts about it. Even though it was released after THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST, I review it now because I just got it a few days ago.

PIECE OF MIND marked the debut in Iron Maiden of now-legendary drummer Nicko McBrain. He replaced Clive Burr who had to leave the band due to personal problems (later he would develop a physical illness, and Iron Maiden have proved their worth by helping him in this hours of need). His style is quite similar, though I'd say McBrain's drumming is even more precise, accurate, and more virtuosic. The trademark ride- cymbal rhythm that McBrain loves to do (when he actually follows the hits of the bass drum) is incredibly simple but for me they bring a special flavor to the Beast's faster tracks (where it's usually used). The addition couldn't be more fortunate, as McBrain is really the ideal drummer for the British metal machine.

The music itself is only slightly more developed than in the previous album, but at the same time, it isn't. There are better textures and some interesting ideas, plus the recording for sure sounds way better. But there aren't really great songs as "Hallowed Be Thy Name" was in the preceding record. There are a couple of really weak songs, something that actually represents a decline in quality from the not-brilliant but at least bad-songs-free NUMBER OF THE BEAST.

Where Eagles Dare (8.5/10) As if to say "Hey, we have a new drummer", the album kicks off with a drum intro by McBrain. What unfolds is a very enjoyable track that is among the classics from the band and that, surprisingly, wasn't one of the first singles from the album. From the start the drummer shows that he's no amateur, and this, his first appearance in a Maiden album, proves that he's precise, accurate, creative. The bass work is great, as is the guitars'. The instrumental section flies and flies above our heads, and the lyrics remind us of the film of the same name with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood where two ally spies got into a Nazi fortress high on top a hill. The solo takes us to those heights, and the song succeeds. Surprise: another good opener for an Iron Maiden album.

Revelations (8.5/10) This one starts slowly, as if carrying some extra weight, then it gets more melodic, even more pensive, and then the onslaught of energy comes. It doesn't last long, as the melodic section arrives again. Good performance by Dickinson, a good song, it may lack some hooks but it's powerful and heroic nevertheless.

Flight of Icarus (7/10) One of the singles of the album, I don't see why this is one of the band's usual live songs. The chorus is certainly epic, but could be better. What IS epic is Harris' work, magnificent for such a slow-tempo song. This track doesn't deserve its fame, in my view, though that doesn't mean is bad. Is just not great.

Die With Your Boots On (5.5/10) As I said, this album has a couple weak tracks. This one starts promising, with good energy and a good riff, but then the obnoxious chorus strikes and ruins everything. And, to make matters worse, it appears and reappears again and again. A simple heavy metal track in Judas Priest's vein, I don't like it at all.

The Trooper (9/10) What a change! The main riff, melody of this song is legendary stuff, the kind that surely makes every fan in a Maiden concert tremble and want to scream out loud along with The Beast. Sadly the song doesn't have a chorus that would've make this a true anthem, (the song just has NO chorus at all) but the energy and the memorable opening make it the best in this record.

Still Life (7.5/10) This one starts softly, atmospherically, a conversation between all the electric-string instruments. Dickinson joins the dialogue as an intruder but his great vocals make him a star in the debate. The song never gets anywhere, but it's enjoyable. Nothing amazing, though. Forgettable.

Quest for Fire (6/10) This very short song has a weird beginning where we expect something much faster and then we get a rather mid-tempo rhythm, with Dickinson hitting an awkward falsetto that just doesn't fit him that well. An average song, with no interesting features, but nothing offensive neither. Mediocre.

Sun and Steel (6.5/10) An even shorter song, it starts with energy but no originality. The chorus is just weak, sounds slightly cheesy. Another forgettable filler. The solo is good enough to kick the rating up a notch.

To Tame a Land (6.5/10) The beginning is quiet, reminds us of the glories of "Hallowed Be Thy Name". The main verse isn't fantastic, the riff is not interesting. One of the few weak closers by The Beast, it leaves our minds just seconds after it got in. I expected a great short-epic conclusion, I got all that without the "great" part. Near the end, when it gets faster, some of the grace is saved, and we left the PIECE OF MIND experience with somewhat of a mixed feeling, not knowing what to make out of the last uneven track.

All in all, a disappointing album, specially coming after such a classic as THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST. While that album wasn't perfect either, every song on it was at least decent. Here we have a few advances towards progressiveness but also we take a few steps back towards boredom. For sure, this and NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING are in a battle to decide which one is my least favorite Maiden album. PIECE OF MIND wins, but just by a hair. And, to be more precise, because of a "Trooper".

Recommended for: Hardcore fans of Maiden. Completionists. And also to non-fans who want to have Maiden's best songs and can't get a hold of a Greatest Hits with "The Trooper" on it.

.there would not be any peace of mind without that song in your collection, that wouldn't be a true feast of the Beast.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#126954)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A solid metal album progressing on the framework created by "Number of the Beast", this one features more experimentation in song structure as well as varying tempos and moods, the final result being one of Maiden's most celebrated works. From the soaring chorus of "Flight of Icarus" to the duel-guitar assault of "Trooper", metal heads will find lots to love; for my own part, the fantasy lyrics and dynamic composition of "Revelations" is the standout track, with the moody "To Tame a Land's" growing climax close behind. Although clearly the spiritual successor to the more interesting "Number of the Beast", "Piece of Mind" holds its own because of its sheer enthusiasm and energy. Deservedly one of the band's most entertaining classic albums which won't dissapoint.

Songwriting 3 Instrumental Performances 4 Lyrics/Vocals 4 Style/Emotion/Replay 3

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#131395)
Posted Thursday, August 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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3 stars Peaced together

Iron Maiden's fourth album had the unenviable challenge of following on from the highly regarded "Number of the beast". The album sees the band attempting to add greater development to their songs, thus taking them beyond mere heavy rock.

The familiar aggression is still there of course, Steve Harris combining with new drummer Nicko McBrain to provide the long lasting powerhouse rhythm section. After the typical all guns blazing start with "Where eagles dare", "Revelations" has a surprisingly Wishbone Ash like feel. The twin lead guitars and slightly slower but variable pace combine to make for a highly satisfactory prog influenced number.

"Flight of Icarus" is clearly more commercially orientated, the massed vocal chorus being designed to form an anthem for the masses to join in with. "Die with your boots on" is the weakest of the bunch here, being a very ordinary single paced piece of rock metal with banal lyrics - If you're gonna die, die with your boots on. If you're gonna die just stick around. Gonna cry, just move along, if you're gonna die, you're gonna die..

"The trooper" continues the theme of death on the battlefield in an upbeat frenzy. Just another unremarkable Iron Maiden song really. "Still life" misleadingly sets out as a soft number, opening with backward spoken vocals then harmonised lead and acoustic guitars combining effectively. Soon however we are into more orthodox Maiden territory, the track leading off a trio of shorter IM standards.

The closing "To tame a land" was inspired by the "Dune" novels. It is similar in structure to "Revelations", being a slightly more complex, but nonetheless totally identifiable metallic rock tale.

In all, a good album which will satisfy the Iron Maiden faithful. The album contains a couple of well arranged and performed longer pieces which make it a worthwhile acquisition. There are however a number of disappointingly prosaic songs which appear to have been churned out in by the numbers fashion.

Derek Riggs superb sleeve illustration once again makes the clear case for LP sleeves over CD booklets.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#133340)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
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3 stars Iron Maiden is a heavy metal band hailing from England, that has become a household name for anyone with a slight interest in hard rock and heavy metal during the 27 years they have released music so far. Piece of Mind was their fourth studio album, released back in 1983.

Many fans, especially their older fans, think this album is the high point of the bands career. Which is understandable, for many reasons. Piece of Mind was the first studio release with what by most is seen as the classic Iron Maiden line-up; Dickinson-Murray-Smith-Harris-McBrain. On this album they take a final goodbye to the more obvious musical influences from the past; and for the most part have a very strong personal identity stamped to the music made.

And although the band seek out some calmer and mellow moods on this album, the music is clearly heavy metal from start to finish. Examples of the progressive leanings they would explore further on later releases can be found; especially on second track "Revelations"; but most of all this is a heavy metal album high on melody, a good balance between riffs, riff pattens and drawn out guitar chords to form melodies; some really nice harmonic and melodic guitar soloing, and at times beautiful and imaginative underscoring of the melody line from Steve Harris on the bass guitar. With excellent rhythms courtesy of Nicko on the drums, and mostly good vocals from Dickinson.

The songs are a mixed affair on this release though. The band seems to have decided what direction to follow at this time, but still seem to be exploring how to best utilize their musicianship in this style. Some really cheesy choruses are to be found here too; that probably sounded much better in 1983 than they do in 2007. There's quite a few goodies on this release though; and for many "The Trooper" is the absolute highlight on this release; a track combining the best parts of the sound Iron Maiden pursued before 1983 with some of the best parts the band would pursue after 1983.

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Send comments to Windhawk (BETA) | Report this review (#149305)
Posted Tuesday, November 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I would lie to you if I told you that this Maiden album is drastically different from the previous ones. From a pure hard-rock debut, the evolution towards almost full heavy metal is now finalized.

There will also be some attempts to develop more elaborate songs as if the "Purple" shadow was still hanging above their heads. But these are not truly convincing. Neither "Where Eagles Dare", nor "Revelations".

While "Killers" was a bomb from start to finish, this album is slower paced. More AOR-oriented which is not necessary a good news. "Flight of Icarus" is one example and is only saved by a great guitar break. One of my fave is the fully hard-rocking "Die With Your Boots On". Energetic, aggressive and powerful. Traditional Maiden. Finally.

This album won't feature lots of great stuff. The band has released much better than this album. IMO, it is their weakest effort so far. These crazy beats are almost forgotten, few great guitar breaks (like in "Still Life" - well named!). I guess that Maiden maniacs are still pleased with this delivery but I can't be too laudatory about it.

Still, "Quest Of Fire" or "Sun & Steel" are more in accordance with my Maiden expectations (especially the latter which takes up again with their wildest rock music). Last numbers are stronger (a casting mistake maybe). The closing (and longest) being the best one IMO.

But it is not enough to make this album unforgettable. Just a good heavy metal one. Deserving an average rating of five out of ten on my rating scale.

Oh yes, I was about to forget. One advice for progheads maybe : stay away of this album, since you would hardly find ten seconds of whatever progressive music you could think of.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#152528)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is NOT a great Iron Maiden album. It's not terrible but Piece of Mind just doesn't do for me what other Maiden albums do. The new addition to the band this time round is Nicko McBrain on drums, a very good drummer with a more distinctive style than his predecessor. This is the band's first stable line up and will last for several albums.

'Where Eagles Dare' is a good example of a typical Maiden headbanging metal song. This is a promising start to the album. Unfortunatly 'Revalations' does not live up to this hopeful beginning and is rather dull. 'Flight of Icarus' is in the same vein as the first track, but better IMO. 'Die With Your Boots On' is a very FUN track. while containing no musical or lyrical depth it is very enjoyable to listen to. 'The Trooper' is easily the best song on the album. It's thunderous riff and top vocal performance need to played LOUD for full effect. 'Still Life' is another good song with a quiet intro that builds up very well into the hard-rocking main section. 'Quest for Fire' is terrible musically, and even worse lyrically. It leaves wondering why Maiden would write such a stupid song. 'Sun and Steel' is a bit boring, and on their next album the band would create two superior sword-fighting songs. 'To Tame a Land' finishes the album as well as it started witha great 'mini epic', which would become a traditional way for the Irons to end their next few albums.

So this album is nowhere near the best in Maiden's brilliant catologue, but I would recommend it to fans who already own the bulk of their 80s material, but it probably won't appeal to people who only like their stuff from 2000 and later. 2.75 stars

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Send comments to burtonrulez (BETA) | Report this review (#156783)
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the success of THE NUMBER... Maiden had to prove themselves. Did they succeed? Well..., yes. The songwriting has improved, but not on all tracks. The tracks worthy of attention are IMHO: WHERE EAGLES DARE; REVELATIONS; THE TROOPER; STILL LIFE; TO TAME A LAND. The rest are fillers of which I refuse to speak. But the good songs are so strong that I find 4 stars an almost inevitable rating.

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Send comments to strayfromatlantis (BETA) | Report this review (#163732)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
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4 stars Piece of Mind is the fourth album from Iron Maiden, and it is often forgotten as it is placed between two very essential albums in Iron Maiden´s discography namely The Number of the Beast and Powerslave. Piece of Mind is not to be forgotten though as there are many great songs on the album. It´s the album where Bruce Dickinson began to put his mark on the songs and he even contributed to the song writing here too. This is also the first album with new drummer Nicko McBrain who has replaced Clive Burr.

The album starts with the powerful Where Eagles Dare where Bruce Dickinson sings in the very high end of his considerable register. The man is just a fantastic singer. It´s a very good opener and an enjoyable song. Revelations which is a song written by Bruce Dickinson follows and it´s a very beautiful yet at times heavy song. I must admit I prefer the live version from the Live After Death album which is a bit faster paced but the original version on Piece of Mind is also very good. Then comes Flight of Icarus which is a very melodic and majestic song. It´s another classic Iron Maiden song. Side 1 of the original LP ends with Die With Your Boots On. Even though this is considered an Iron Maiden classic I have always found it below standard, and it´s the song on Piece of Mind I like the least. The only thing I enjoy about Die With Your Boots On is the beautiful guitar solo.

Side 2 of the original LP starts with one of the ultimate Iron Maiden classics in The Trooper, fast paced and melodic riffing drives this song forward. Bruce sounds very inspired here. The Trooper is definitely one of the highlights on Piece of Mind. Still Life is another favorite of mine. It´s kind of a different sounding Iron Maiden song and maybe that´s what I like about it. It certainly helps the variation on the album. It´s a very melodic song and it has some great guitar solos. Quest for Fire is a mid tempo song which I never thought was anything special. It´s allright though. I appreciate Sun and Steel just a notch more, but it´s definitely not the best song here either. The last song saves the last star for Piece of Mind as I have always loved the epic To Tame a Land. It´s another favorite of mine. It´s a very melodic and majestic song with lots of double lead guitar action and solos. I think it´s on par with other epic Iron Maiden songs like Hallowed By Thy Name, Alexander The Great and Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

I have only positive things to say about Iron Maiden as musicians. They are all very well playing and their compositional skills are very high too.

The production is not the best Iron Maiden production, and I prefer both The Number of the Beast and Powerslaves´s productions to this one, but it´s allright and of course much better than anyone else could conjure up in heavy metal in 1983.

To sum up this is an excellent album filled with classic Iron Maiden songs. There are a few weak moments on Piece of Mind, but generally it´s an excellent album. I wouldn´t call it progressive even though songs like Revelations and To Tame a Land does have progressive tendencies. That doesn´t make it a bad album though and I will rate it 4 stars

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#168397)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars In a time when 2.5 ruled the earth...

See! See! I TOLD you this was going to happen! What the crap is this? I'll tell you what this is! This is dull, dull, eighties radio metal! In their attempt to keep putting out unstoppable metal albums, Iron Maiden has stripped away all their uniqueness that made me fall in love with the band, and reduced themselves to a third rate heavy metal band.

Piece of Mind is not quite the career low I make it out to be, but it's just such a disappointment. A disappointment I could see coming a million miles away, but a disappointment nonetheless.

"Where Eagles Dare" is a fairly lifeless piece of radio metal. Toe-tappin' fer sure, but it lacks the memorability and energy of all other Maiden openers thus far, and about halfway through, I loose interest. "Revelations" tries to fool you with a moody intro, but it's not much better. It speeds up a little towards the middle, which is cool, but hardly enough to save it.

"Flight of Icarus" at least sounds a little more like the band wants to play it, but as soon as that picks up, Dickinson starts to remind me why I think he's an irritating little Dio-wannabe. But, hey, at least it's short and headbangin', and that's all I can ask for at this point.

"Die With Your Boots On" is also a little more energy laden, but it's also fairly mindless with the warfare imagery (seriously, what's up with the screwy vocals?). Especially when it's paired up with "The Trooper," the album's best, and only classic number. A great galloping bassline and artillery mimicking percussion frames a truly headbanging look at the Charge of the Light Brigade. Only from Iron Maiden; too bad they can't keep it up.

Backwards "hidden" vocals certainly can't save "Still Life," which tries to go all moody and powerful, but just ends up sounding like a bad Number of the Beast outtake. At least here I can tell that they're really trying to be intelligent and tricky (it's not H.P. Lovecraft related, is it?), but c'mon! It's just not very good is all.

Now, "Quest For Fire" is just plain fun, since the strong opening riffage is immediately followed by the line: "In a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth!" Oh yeah. It's THAT good. Sadly, any cool music that could come from the song (and it's one of the more decent offerings) is swamped by the subject matter. "Sun and Steel" is slightly less embarrassing, and a solid, if not terribly original sounding, Dungeons and Dinosaurs metallic offering (it's about swords!).

Ah, but we've saved the least for last. "To Tame a Land" is the most pointless Iron Maiden epic to date. The moody intro is actually effective, but it quickly dissolves into unimaginative Arabic riffage that just ponders on and on and on over its seven minutes without ever actually really doing anything. C'mon guys! I could write a better epic about sand worms in five minutes...

So the basic problem with Piece is that, when the Maiden try to create something purely headbangin', it comes out cheap. All the "lesser" material on the album is something that any number of bands, from which I expect far less, could produce. And they'd probably do it better too. Aha! But when they try and do something intelligent and recapture their earlier glory, they fall flat on their faces (is it any wonder than Frank Herbert didn't let 'em actually name "Too Lame a Land" after one of the Dune novels?).

I mean, of course the classic Maiden sound is here, which is most of why I give it so "high" a rating. Everything thumps along with the standard "Maiden formula," so I don't mind the noise that's coming out of my stereo, I just wish it had been...you know, attached to tricky solos, or cool lyrics, or...crap, how about a memorable riff here or there, huh? Would that kill you?

Perhaps it would. Most of the time, it sounds like only Dickinson is keeping faith in the band, and sometimes, even HE sounds as lifeless as the rest of the musicians. Luckily enough though, Steve Harris was a smart enough lad that he able to use this dreadful album as a springboard to catapult him to Powerslave. I mean, can't you hear the start of "Powerslave" in "To Tame a Land," and "Two Minutes to Midnight" in "Die With Your Boots On?" Surely I don't have to point out "Where Eagles Dare" and "Aces High"...

How Steve-o was able to pull a minor metal masterpiece like Slave out of this Piece of Crap is beyond me, but just be glad he did. Skip over this one, download "The Trooper" and go right to Slave, for your own good.

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Send comments to The Whistler (BETA) | Report this review (#176261)
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the sucess of "The Number of the Beast", Iron Maiden released the acclaimed "Piece of Mind". And while it is a good album, it suffers from the same problem as its predecessor: the existence of too many fillers. The album released after this one, "Powerslave", solved this problem, as it probably is the only Maiden record 100% filler-free.

Anyways, this record shows Maiden adopting more epic lyrical subjects, with "Flight of Icarus" speaking about greek mythology, "The Trooper" about some battle between Russia and England (I love History, but I really can't remember the name of the battle now, damn) and "Die with your Boots On" about the prophecies of Nostradamus. Iron Maiden continued writing this type of songs later on with songs like "Powerslave", "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Stranger in a Strange Land" or "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". This epic feel that many tunes share and the fast, melodic guitar work, give Maiden a more power metal (or proto-power metal) sound, "Piece of Mind" being arguably the first of many power metal-ish albums the band recorded. Gone are the punk influences that made the debut, "Killers" and parts of "The Number of the Beast" what they are.

Another key factor of "Piece of Mind" is the presence of the excellent Nicko McBrain, a drummer that while not trying to surprise the listener every time with some technical fills, still sounds great. "Where Eagles Dare" is absolutely dominated by his tight playing, one of the most complex (from the drummer's point of view) songs Maiden ever composed. The tune also shows the immense vocal range of Bruce Dickinson: got to love that fantastic chorus. "Revelations", a Dickinson penned take, follows, carrying a very egyptian/oriental vibe that was explored further by the band when "Powerslave" was released. It also features some nice tempo changes, the song changing constantly between calm and more aggressive sections. Again, the drumming is very good on this track too.

"Flight of Icarus" is another strong song, insanely catchy and enjoyable, and the exact same thing goes to "Die with your Boots On" albeit this one is a bit weaker. The bass solo, courtesy of Steve Harris, is the highlight of the song, showing that Harris still plays an important role within the band. However, his bass here is a bit more buried under the guitars than on the previous albums, a thing that was fixed on the next pieces the band released (especially on "Powerslave", where is bass is, at times, as loud as the guitars). The production is pretty competent, nevertheless, not the best the band had nor the worst. "The Trooper" is a classic that everyone that is into metal knows, the fantastic guitar riff featured on it are absolutely unforgettable and so are the "ooooooooooaaaaaoh" parts. You can sing along to this song until you die, that's for sure.

Unfortunately, the next three tracks absolutely kill the flow of "Piece of Mind"; those, friends, are the ugliest and the most annoying fillers that Maiden ever recorded, that's right. "Still Life" is unforgettable and boring, got to hate that silly spoken intro. "Sun and Stell" is a bit better, the chorus is listenable, but the song is lame, all in all. I like the "life is like a wheel... and it's rolling... stiiiiillll" part quite a bit though. Finally, "Quest for Fire" is another abomination just because you'll hardly ever remember anything about the song. The most horrid trilogy of songs ever put into a Maiden CD? I think so, lads. The closer, "To Tame a Land" contains some nice melodies, working decently well as a closer. However, I don't like the tune that much, especially when I compare it to other album closers like "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Alexander the Great", "Hallowed be Thy Name" or even "Iron Maiden".

After all, I've got to say that the performances of the musicians are top notch, this is Iron Maiden, not KoRn, isn't it? The guitars are excellent as ever, with the Murray-Smith team delivering some quite good solos and riffs. Nicko McBrain is the man of the album as I've already said and Steve Harris is always there, performing some tasteful bass solos on some tracks. The biggest flaw of the piece is its unconsistency, the afore-mentioned trilogy of fillers killing the flow of the record and harming the whole listening experience. Summing up, this album is very overrated, Maiden made better albums undoubtely ("Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", the debut, "Powerslave"); however, the first five tunes are worth listening, they are all classics in their own way. "Piece of Mind" would be a killer album if that awful trilogy of fillers wasn't present. Meh.

Best Moments of the CD: -the guitar attack of "The Trooper". -"Life is like a wheel... And it's rolling still!". -the final repetition of the chorus of "Flight of Icarus".

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Send comments to Nhorf (BETA) | Report this review (#176654)
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The forgotten classic Iron Maiden album ?

It was hailed as an absolute classic when it was released and only surpassed by Powerslave the year after as the best heavy metal album ever. But that was then. Now is now and I am listening to it with the benefit of twenty-five years of further developments in the music industry.

The twenty-five years has not been nice to this album. The rather naff cover is not representative for the music. The sound quality is not good either. I would say that Piece Of Mind is the album that sounds least good of all the older Iron Maiden albums. Time has left the album in a vacuum no re-master can get it out of. The main reason is the songs on this album. Most of them are mid-tempo, pretty heavy and half-baked epic. The vocals does not sit well in my speakers too. This is a badly produced album, stucked in a time-warp.

With relevance to PA, Piece Of Mind is also one of Iron Maiden's most progressive albums ever. It was a total break with the rest of the heavy metal scene at that time. Songs like Where Eagles Dare, Revelations and To Tame A Land is unashamed symphonic prog, with some heavy metal thrown in. So that's heavy metal then.... The rest of the album is also full of prog rock. Unfortunate, the best known song of this album is a straigth heavy metal song. Yes, The Trooper. Although the roots can be found in THIN LIZZY, this is heavy metal at it's.... ehh, finest. There are also some pop like tunes here. Punk, it is called these days. Perhaps poppy punk. That poppy punk area is that big white spot on my musical globe. I have no idea what I am rambling about now.... OK, what I want to say is that this is a very varied album only let down by the bad sound. Iron Maiden got the sound spot on at the preceding Number Of The Beast album and the following album Powerslave. Piece Of Mind is therefore a great shame. All the best tunes from this album is done so much better on the live album Live After Death.

I like this album a lot. But the sound makes it not easy listening. 3.5 stars from me.

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#200831)
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Die with your boots on...

Iron Maiden weren't going to die, but the most certainly crushed all other metal bands under their powerful, melodic boots. This is their fourth studio album, and fourth classic metal album. The songs are somewhat varied, and quite good over all. More lyrics of war, mythic tales, and high fantasy abound.

Starting of with the high electric flying where Eagles Dare with its tale of a war jet fighter, leading into the crunchy Revelations, with its splendid and diverse riffing. Then you have their classic musical retelling of Icarus in Flight of Icarus. It's soaring chorus and fist pumping atmosphere is amazing. The speedy and and daring (if a bit plodding) Die with your boots on is next, with another biting and catchy chorus. It seems to be hit after hit as one of their most well known songs The Trooper is next. With the gallop riffing Iron Maiden is known for. Can these men do wrong? It seems not, as Still Life is another excellent song.

But, I may have spoken too soon, as the album's next two tracks Quest for Fire and sun and Steel scream filler. Sure, it is solid filler, but their forgettable sound and middle ground approach doesn't belong on an album with so many true highlights. The album ends on a stronger note with To Tame a Land which is nowhere near as strong as the end to Number of the Beast, but still quite good.

Although brilliant metal, as far as prog goes, this one won't impress. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#210630)
Posted Monday, April 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars

This album isn't worse than previous famous release. But this time Maiden decided to play on words, give funny picture on vinyl label and put some backwards talk...fun. Music on Piece Of Mind is not far from what band presented on Number Of The Beast but I got the feeling guys decided to play more rock and roll here and there. Die With Your Boots On, Still Life and Sun And Steel are perfect examples. You won't find songs like that on 'Number'. Die With Your Boots on is still one of my favorite of whole Maiden's career. I think it's so vital song and the same goes to Still Life and Sun And Steel. They sound very optimistic. Just rock and roll in heavier version. Revelations is probably my favorite song on this album. Bruce Dickinson wrote that piece. It's the best thing he has ever written. Lots of positive emotions. I still have chills running up and down my spine when I listen to this. I can't describe it. It's like trying to describe a paradise. Flight Of Icarus was quite popular in America. I read somewhere that Steve Harris didn't want this song on the album. He said it was too slow. Funny thing. It's much better than more popular The Trooper. Cos ya know The Trooper is typical Maiden's fast tune with that pounding bass guitar. Pass. Where Eagles Dare is a good quite complex (as for heavy metal) song but I don't dig To Tame A Land. I know many people love it cos it seems to be an epic tune but after Sun And Still I push 'stop'. Despite the fact there are some weaker songs on this release I still think it's brilliant record. Definitely a must have.

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Send comments to LSDisease (BETA) | Report this review (#217005)
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Piece of Mind continues some of the commercial metal tendencies of the preceding Number of The Beast but this time Maiden was blessed by a thundering blast of inspiration, energy and ambition.

The opening Where Eagles Dare is one of the best tracks they've ever written and displays a stunning musical growth and maturity. This is their first song that goes beyond competent hard-rock and explores the proggy aspects of earlier masters like Rainbow and Judas Priest. Everything Maiden does here had been done before them but they pull it off well enough. Also Revelations is a very powerful and accomplished piece. Plenty of references to Rush here, the quote from Anthem at minute 4 being the most obvious.

The following three tracks, Flight of The Icarus, Die With Your Boots On and The Trooper are catchy and commercial but have that typical Maiden style with those galloping rhythms. With Still Life, Maiden launches into 3 other songs that are less appealing, featuring their trademark riffing but rather predictable anthemic choruses that lack the inspiration of the previous batch of songs. The album ends in great style with the superb To Tame A Land.

Piece of mind is not entirely consistent but the 2 opening tracks and the album closer balance out the run of the mill material in the second half.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#260306)
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind (1984)

By now Iron Maiden had become one of the biggest metal-acts of the globe and expectations were high for the fourth release. Iron Maiden changed their style a bit by excluding the rock'n roll/punk of the Paul Di'Anno era. Also Nicko McBrain enters the band, giving Iron Maiden some new grounds to explore. The band originally named the album 'Dune', but they didn't get the rights to do so.

Where Eagles Dare is an interesting track with great drums of McBrain and atmospheric guitar parts. Still this track isn't as convincing as other Iron Maiden opening tracks. Revelations is however one of my favorite track ever. The track was written by Bruce Dickinson and has a very un-orthodox form. There are many instrumental and vocal parts and a lot of extrovert vocals by Dickinson. The clean-guitar with melodic bass-line part in the middle and ending of the song is memorable. Love this one! Flight of Icarus had been released as a single, but turns out to be a great Iron Maiden song. The guitar solo's on the end are great! Die With Your Boots On is great metal-track, but not as appealing as others. The Trooper needs little introduction: It's an Iron Maiden anthem with great instrumental parts (and a perfect two-part guitar solo in the middle!) and aggressive vocals by Bruce. Still Life is even better with it's nice atmospheric and fearsome vocals and melodics parts. Quest for Fire and Sun and Steel are two less inventive tracks and the reason some discard this album. The songs are fun, but just not as good as other songs. To Tame A Land is however one of the best Iron Maiden epics with perfect instrumental parts and inventive songwriting. The bass is very good on this song.

Conclusion. This album has some of Iron Maiden's best songs and some mediocre tracks. Still it is a very good album for fans but perhaps less interesting for others. I will give it three stars, but my personal opinion of the album is higher. Essential for fans, interesting for metal fans and perhaps a good addition for others. For those who embrace the digital era I recommend to listen to To Tame A Land, Revelations, Still Life and The Trooper.

* I've listened to this album some more, and I must say it is worth at least four stars. There are to many favorite Maiden tracks on this one.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#284300)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars The followup to the "Number of the Beast" is a lacklustre effort with some shining moments, but a whole bunch of forgettable tracks that nobody cares about anymore. However this album does have the excellent 'Flight of Icarus' that is perhaps one of the all time great metal tracks of the 80s. The film clip was wonderful eye candy and you can never forget that awesome chorus, or the riff that drives it.

Back in the 80s I remember seeing many IM posters of songs from this album primarily 'The Trooper' with Eddie looking very paramilitary. Also 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'Die With Your Boots' had the same anti-war thematic content; a theme that IM would continue on subsequent albums including the more recent "A Matter of Life and Death".

'Revelations' has the same themes as 'Number of the Beast' that began with a reading from Revelation in the Bible.

'To Tame a Land' is a lengthy track with memorable riffs and a brilliant lead break from Smith and Murray with Harris's bass driving it along. The track was covered recently by Dream Theater and sounds as relevant today as in the early 80s. Overall this album has some great moments and deserves 3 stars at least.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#289804)
Posted Friday, July 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This (in my opinion) is the album where the band finally find that classic Maiden sound that will be loved for years to come, and is there first masterpiece, theres not one bad song on here, all killer no filler..at all from the fantastic opening track WHERE EAGLES DARE, the rockers FLIGHT OF ICARUS, DIE WITH YOUR BOOTS ON, THE TROOPER and QUEST FOR FIRE and there epic TO TAME A LAND, to the slower tracks REVELATIONS and STILL LIFE, and even they dont stay slow for long turning into rocking songs themselves..theres nothing bad at all to say about this album at all, ive tried but failed the musicmanship is awsome, the vocals are first class, production is steller..a masterpiece;

Where Eagles Dare - 10/10 Revelations - 10/10 Flight of Icarus - 9/10 Die With Your Boots On - 9/10 The Trooper - 10/10 Still Life - 10/10 Quest for Fire - 10/10 Sun and Steel - 9/10 To Tame a Land - 10/10

MY CONCLUSION? if you havent got this album, you really do need to check it out, essential...

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Send comments to FarBeyondProg (BETA) | Report this review (#291570)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Fly as High as the Sky!

After becoming heavy metal legends with their previous album The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden proved they were far from out of ideas with Piece of Mind. Released just a year after The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden had already changed significantly by this point. First of all, on this album Bruce Dickinson's creative influence begins to really shine through. He co-wrote many of the tracks on Piece of Mind, and even wrote one of the songs with no help from the other bandmates. He's a fantastic songwriter, and it's great to hear that he's leaving his mark on Iron Maiden's music. Secondly, this is the debut of now-legendary drummer Nicko McBrain. Clive Burr is a great drummer and I have an infinite respect for him, but Nicko McBrain is simply one of the best heavy metal drummers out there. He really is a key part of Iron Maiden, and a complete monster behind the drumkit as well.

The sound here is unmistakably Iron Maiden. Although there have been some changes in Iron Maiden since The Number of the Beast, their sound is generally the same. Of course, judging by the immense critical and commercial success of their previous masterwork, that's definitely not a problem. Piece of Mind shows Iron Maiden incorporating a few more prog influences into their sound, but that wouldn't happen completely until Powerslave.

Piece of Mind is a 9-track, 44:38 album. All of the songs here are pretty great except for maybe Still Life, which is decent. Die With Your Boots On and Sun and Steel are far from Iron Maiden's best, but they're still decent tracks. This is one of Iron Maiden's more inconsistent albums, but highlights like Where Eagles Dare, Revelations, The Trooper, and To Tame a Land make Piece of Mind an essential Maiden album.

Like most Iron Maiden albums, the musicianship is possibly the best part about the music. They are an exceptionally tight-playing group of virtuoso musicians, and Piece of Mind was when they really began showing this. On this album they acquired one of the best heavy metal drummers out there (Nicko McBrain), in addition to already having some of the best musicians in metal.

The production quality on Piece of Mind is great. I love the organic sound, yet dynamic enough to display Iron Maiden's powerful music. This isn't quite as good as Powerslave production-wise, but it's still definitely among the better heavy metal productions. By 1983 many bands were using "that terrible 80's sound", but Iron Maiden, thankfully, were never one of them.

Conclusion:

Piece of Mind is yet another great album by Iron Maiden, and even though it's not quite as good as The Number of the Beast, it deserves the 4 star rating just as much. It's really a shame that many people overlook this album since it's between two seminal albums (The Number of the Beast and Powerslave), because it really is just as good as those releases. Highly recommended to all NWoBHM fans.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#294373)
Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the hugely successful album 'The Number of the Beast', the Metal world waited with baited breath to see how Iron Maiden would follow it up. Whilst many would consider this one of the bands finest releases, I consider this more of a transitional record.

Despite the arrival of vocalist Bruce Dickinson, I felt that their previous album was just another by-the- book release, with a tried-and-tested formula that had been used on their first two albums. However, this album starts very positively with the epic 'Where Eagles Dare', that shows a band that has matured and grown more confident. And whilst the group is making more use of harmonies and more bombastic vocal lines, overall I feel that the songs still lack that 'X Factor'.

Of course the band would perfect this sound on their next album 'Powerslave', but with 'Piece of Mind' I just feel that a lot of the songs are trial-and-error. 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'Flight of Icarus' are awesome tracks, and 'To Tame a Land' has its moments, but personally I find the rest of the songs pretty dull and boring. And to be honest, I think 'The Trooper', arguably the most popular track on this album, to be madly overrated.

This is far from the best Iron Maiden has to offer, but if you're a fan of the band you'll buy it anyway because whether you like it or not it's still a key moment in Maiden history.

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Send comments to Valarius (BETA) | Report this review (#308280)
Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the band's best albums in my opinion. It's more hard-hitting and exciting than the previous Number of the Beast. This 1983 release was Iron Maiden's first with new drummer Nicko McBrain and the musicianship on here is tighter and more synchronized than ever. Some of the songs are also catchier and the recording crisper.

Many of the songs on the album were inspired by interest in books and film. "Where Eagles Dare" is a great starter. My favourites are "Revelations", "The Trooper" "Quest For Fire" and "To Tame A Land". Iron Maiden really did show more of thier character here too. Just listen to some of the lyrics!

For me, this band really stand out as the greatest heavy metal band of the 80's. It is not a perfect album in every way but pretty damn close. Four and a half stars. Highly recommended. .

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#332814)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Part two of the so called Iron Maiden album trilogy, Piece Of Mind is another album filled with familiar hits like Where Eagles Dare, Flight Of Icarus and The Trooper, but is it really all that the fans make it out to be? Let's dive in and see!

The biggest change, this time around, is the fact that the band have managed to fully utilize Bruce Dickinson's vocal style and use it to their advantage on each of these nine tracks. This is also the first of the many album's featuring Nicko McBrain on drums, thus completing the classic Iron Maiden lineup that would last for the remainder of the decade. Things just couldn't be any better... too bad that I don't share the same perception of this album.

The best way to summarize this record is by calling it Iron Maiden playing it safe. The band literally never leaves their comfort zone throughout this entire album. Everything is just so cozy and annoyingly predictable that I honestly get bored while listening to the material. Why call an album something as thought provoking as Piece Of Mind when it's everything but that! The only track that actually has the potential of breaking outside the generic formula is the Dune-inspired mini epic To Tame A Land, but even this composition manages to waste a lot of it's expanded 7+ minute time frame by stomping on the same old ground as always. Let's just say that Rime Of The Ancient Mariner it is not.

I really don't feel like wasting too much time on describing this release since the fans are already well familiar with it's contents while everyone else could do much better by picking up the two Paul Di'Anno-era albums or the two albums that proceeded Piece Of Mind. Yes, Steve Harris does another outstanding job and the Murray/Smith dual guitar action is getting tighter by the minute, but what is it all for when the material is so thin and uninspired? A definite improvement over The Number Of The Beast but not that much more.

**** star songs: Where Eagles Dare (6:11) Revelations (6:48) Flight Of Icarus (3:51) The Trooper (4:11) Still Life (4:53) To Tame A Land (7:27)

*** star songs: Die With Your Boots On (5:29) Quest For Fire (3:42) Sun And Steel (3:26)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#549036)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Piece of Mind is a just a shade less impressive than its predecessor, The Number of the Beast, for two reasons. The first is that it's more of the same - rather than representing a sudden and impressive development of the band's sound, as the earlier album did, the album simply showcases the band continuing to make the most of Bruce's impressive vocal abilities and developing their prog-influenced song structures. The other reason is that whilst there's plenty of great songs here, there isn't a standout hit quite on the level of the title track from Number of the Beast.

But these are mild quibbles at best; the fact is, with tracks like To Tame A Land, Where Eagles Dare, Flight of Icarus and Die With Your Boots On, this is another key Maiden album which proved that their new musical direction was not exhausted yet.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#574798)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Clive Burr left due to personal issues and ended up trading places with Nicko McBrain in the band Trust. Nicko's arrival signified that the classic IRON MAIDEN lineup was complete and he more than had the chops to add yet another layer on an already impressive sound making them one of the best and most successful heavy metal bands in history. Eddie went insane from hanging out with Satan too much and had to be institutionalized and kept in a padded cell.

PIECE OF MIND picks up where the previous album left off and continues with similar inspirations including....

Literature: "To Tame A Land" from "Dune," "The Trooper" from "Charge Of The Light Brigade."

Film: "Where Eagles Dare," and "Quest For Fire."

Mythology: "Flight Of Icarus" and "Revelations."

There is also a backwards hidden message on "Still Life" which they included to freak out those who were constantly accusing them of being Satanists. The recording is actually a backwards rendition of Nicko McBrain uttering "What ho said the t'ing with the three 'bonce', do not meddle with things you don't understand...", followed by a belch.

This is one of my all time favorite albums. The album is absolutely phenomenal in how it flows from one track to the other keeping it varied, keeping it intense and stimulating not only your headbanging needs but also your intellectual appreciation for well-crafted lyrics. The chemistry of this band is nothing short of magical.

The ONLY complaint I have about this album is in the song "Quest For Fire" where Bruce operatically insists that dinosaurs walked the Earth at the time man was questing for fire. This chronological faux pas has been a pet peeve of mine since the day I first heard this, yet an extremely minor blemish on an otherwise magnificent masterpiece of metal that just happened to be my very first IRON MAIDEN album.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1122423)
Posted Monday, January 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the high school content of this album's predecessor and a bumpy relationship with the early Maiden faithful who saw Paul Di'Anno an essential ingredient, this tight offering showed the band's new chemistry knitting beautifully with a now fully developed formula for clever and original progressive heavy metal. They would also become, by far, the hardest working band in the world. Just look at the tour schedules from the late '80s. There's a reason Iron Maiden got so big.

The lyrics are also improved, with less death, rape and mayhem, and more adventure, myth and warfare. A salute to the fearless British fliers of WW II is a vengeful opener in triplet with IM's signature dual guitar harms and Dickinson pulling highs not human in nature. Greek drama 'Flight of Icarus' and sacrificial 'Die with Your Boots On' could've been expanded upon but it's back to business for 'The Trooper' with this lineup at their best, and equally good 'Still Life' reminding of the first two albums. No stride broken in 'Quest for Fire', its Cimmerian imagery and Celtic jigs, the band peaking here with probably the best thing on the album, followed by Saxon-esque and very nice 'Sun and Steel' and totally killer prog number 'To Tame a Land'.

Like a trusted old friend who always brings the goods, Maiden was there with quality heavy music that didn't recognize the climate at a time when most metal bands were finished or too embarrassing to acknowledge. An institution that deserves every bit of credit they get.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#1132887)
Posted Sunday, February 16, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Iron Maiden-Piece of Mind

After Iron Maiden released their genre-defining 'The Number of the Beast', they further enhanced the already brilliant sound they had created on the previous album.

The music retains the feel of the last album, but put the influences left by Di'Anno behind. The progressive metal influences from the last album are explored even more with songs like 'Revelations' and the classic epic 'To Tame a Land'. There are still fast songs like 'Die With Your Boots On' and 'The Trooper' which are easily enjoyable. A personal favorite of mine is 'Quest for Fire' which has an awesome marching melody to it. 'Flight of Icarus' is another favorite of mine, the way Dickinson's vocals flow through the song is great complimented by the drums and guitar. Most of the songs are getting longer as well, with four songs going over five minutes.

Bruce Dickinson's lyrical themes are becoming more prominent then before as well. His love of planes and flight is holding true with the lyrics of 'Where Eagles Dare' and the empowering 'Flight of Icarus'. The lyrics are certainly maturing immensely on this album, with less lyrics reminiscent of the previous albums.

Overall, this is yet another perfect album by maiden and just as essential as 'The Number of the Beast'. It wouldn't be long till Maiden would begin including multiple epics on their albums, and reach more new heights.

Hope you found this review helpful.

(Originally written on www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

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Send comments to Unitron (BETA) | Report this review (#1167259)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | Review Permalink

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