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2 stars It had to happen sometime, wherein the band overdoses on its seemingly tireless aspiration to push the envelope of progressiveness. The eventual burnout resulted in this, a "back to the basics" affair which attempts (somewhat forcibly) to capture the style of the band's first two albums. As a result, it sounds like the band is trying too hard to achieve grittiness, rather than letting it come naturally. Harshness aside, this album is somewhat of a guilty pleasure for fans of the genre, particularly because of how forgotten a lot of these songs are. "Bring Your Daughter (To the Slaughter)" makes its appearances on current live albums and compilations, but the other single, the wacky "Holy Smoke," seems to have disappeared from the band's collective memory. Other catchy compositions include the effective title track, the "Aces High" retreat "Tailgunner," and the off-puttingly titled "Public Enema Number One." Unfortunately, all of the progressive elements have been stripped bare from the music (although I suppose one could make a case for "Mother Russia"), meaning that this album is of no interest to anyone aside from metalheads, although it's hard to hate an album where good old Charlotte makes another appearance ("Hooks in You").
Report this review (#93242)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The most disapointing album that Iron Maiden released while in the midst of the great Bruce Dickinson. No Prayer for the Dying was, as I shall say an album that let me down. Bruce's voice wasn't that good, and the music wasn't satisfying like it had always been. Bring Your Daughter.... To the Slaughter was the only decent song with Holy Smoke which I didn't care for at all. The album lacked more than vocals and music, it lacked the energy that Iron Maiden usually put out in a spectacular notion. I'm not going to give it a 1, that would be to cold for the two songs that made it a decent album. But this album had to much potential to be slaughtered in the such. I'm sorry to bash on it so harshly but it's really my most disliked album aside Virtual XI and The X-Factor. I tried not to compare to the old mastperieces of IM, and even then I still couldn't find the magic of Iron Maiden. 2/5, it's just doesn't cut the cake.
Report this review (#94034)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars With "No Prayer For The Dying" and the departure of Adrian Smith, the magic seems to be gone... Songs are heavier, shorter, more straightforward, and much less original - even the artwork is less original here. Clearly a disappointing release.

"Tailgunner" is simply "Aces High" revisited. "Holy Smoke" has become a hit single with lots of air play on radios and TVs - a basic commercial hard rock song. "No Prayer For The Dying" is an exception here - it manages to capture a little of Maiden's past glory with the mellow intro and heavy riffs. "Public Enema Number One" is simply unmelodic and boring. At least the classical Murray/Harris compositions are still there and "Fates Warning" is no exception: great melodic intro and interesting darker sound, almost a song that would have fit on "Somewhere In Time". "The Assassin" is kinda interesting too, with the menacing lyrics and threatening melody. Next two songs are again uninteresting: "Run Silent Run Deep" is a weak song and "Hooks In You" is even weaker. "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter" is the other hit single, and the catchy melody makes it an all time live favorite. "Mother Russia" is the only song on the album that breaks the 5 minute mark and gets the epic feeling of the long compositions on past albums like "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son".

Rating: 68/100 (2 1/2 stars)

Report this review (#98297)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very underrated output from Iron Maiden. This record is very similar to Fear of the Dark but better. First o all it`s more progressive. Just listen to No Prayer for the Dying or Mother Russia, which are highlights of the album. Mother Russia evokes Seventh son of the Seventh son- the best Iron Maiden album. It is strange and dissappointing for me that they don`t play it live. I don`t remember if Mothe Russia was ever played live. The same with No Prayer fo the Dying case. These two are not only the best sonngs of the album but also the best from Iron Maiden. Other two which I very like are Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter and Publc Enema Number One, especially the first. I remember the live version from Katowice in 2003 during "GIVE ME ED... `TIL I`M DEAD TOUR`03. It was one of the highlights of this gig. They played extented version which showed that this is real killer when played live. Here are also rather weak songs like Fates Warning or the Assassin but the they do not blemish the impression from the album as a whole. It is because each of them has its moments like great solos which suit to the songs very well.

So its a must have just for two songs: No Prayer for the Dying and Mother Russia. Bring your Daughter... to the Slaughter you`d better listen to live version, what does not mean that studio version is bad.

I give it 4stars in comparision to other Iron Maiden albums.

It is very good position from Iron Maiden discography and of you like Iron Maiden then you should have it but if you are prog music fan the you should start with Seventh son of the Seventh son.


Report this review (#103461)
Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Not really their best work, this was basically a "back to basics" release from Iron Maiden only that it failed badly. This is just Iron Maiden copying themselves, trying to sound like they did before they started to get really progressive. The music here is not necessarly bad, this is good hard rock material though it get's old pretty fast and the whole album seems rushed in a way. Also, the departure of guitarist Adrian Smith makes this album loose it's magic in a way, though Janick Gers fills his shoes well, it isn't really the same. Of course, there are a few really good songs here, "Mother Russia" and "No Prayer For The Dying" in particular are stand-out's, but the album in general is too uneven to be considered as an important addition to an average Iron Maiden collection, hence the two star rating.

This is a "fan's only" product, while my personal rating of it is three stars, I can't give it higher than two due to that this is a prog-rock website. Collectors/Fans only!

Report this review (#107528)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "No Prayer for the Dying" is the eighth studio release from classic British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, and their first release with guitarist Janick Gers. Upon it's release the album was given a lukewarm reception by many, mostly because new guitarist Gers replacing long-time guitarist Adrian Smith led to a distinct change in Iron Maidens sound. Their trademark melodic and harmonic solo guitarplaying was sorely missed by many.

Musically the album shows a band semingly in an identity crisis. There are quite a few examples of the band trying to continue with the musical direction they had on their previous release, "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". Songs where the guitars are slick, toned down in the mix and generally coming across as a lighter form of heavy metal. In some songs they use synths as on their previous two albums, but in others they choose not to so. But there are harder, grittier tracks on this album as well. Songs with darker textures, meaner vocals, with vocalist Dickinson snarling more than singing. One major change from their last studio release; and what is a major change in the sound Iron Maiden developed throughout the 80's, is that few tracks here contain any structural progressive leanings. One of the main characteristics of Iron Maidens classic albums had been their development towards being a progressive metal band. This is mostly history on this release. Another major change in the sound is a more subtle change; on many songs there's less riffing than what Iron Maiden usually has had; and in the songs where they use their traditional mix of fast riffing and drawn out guitar chords the pace of the riffing most times is noticeable slower. Adding those elements to the fact that the harmony soloing now is mostly history; and a greater influx of traditional metal soloing in the songs; and you have an album with a dramatic change in overall sound.

Many feel that this album shows a band going back to their roots; that this album is closer to the punk-influenced roots of Iron Maiden. Indeed, when recalling this album from memory only that was what I remembered about this release as well. After listening through this album I'll have to admit a faulty memory in that respect. Although many of the songs are more primitive than on previous releases, they are not any closer to Iron Maiden's musical roots. The songs are less complex and more straight-forward only. Indeed, the addition of Gers has led to some songs getting a slight bluesy flavoring rather than punk-influenced; and the overall musical style here is closer to traditional heavy metal than NWoBHM.

As for the songs on this release; my main impression is that the band struggled hard to put an album together. Opening track "Tail Gunner" and "The Assassin" are the best songs here in my opinion; the first being a classic opening track in true Iron Maiden style, and the second one showing a band experimenting successfully with their sound. "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "Mother Russia" gives me the impression of being scrapped ideas for the typical long, epic Iron Maiden tracks they used to have on previous albums, where the band has tried to put together the best pieces of songs previously abandoned. The rest of the tracks are for the most part not convincing; and my overall impression is that the creative well of the songwriters now has run dry; and that the songs selected for this album is a selection of outtakes and previously abandoned ideas. There's nothing truly awful on this album; just too much that isn't good enough.

Report this review (#108425)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The weakest Maiden album IMO...

...and still not that bad as a straight metal album, but clearly below Maiden standards. Many people thought that the big change in Maiden's style from the great and epic 7th Son Of A 7th Son to this ''back to the roots'' record was because of Adrian Smith's departure, and that his replacement (Janick Gers) was not at his level etc etc. However, when mr Gers joined the band No Prayer Fo The Dying was already written and he was not involved at all with any of the compositions here, in fact, Hooks In You was co-written by Smith just before leaving the band. The mystic is gone in this album, but it isn't a good revival of Maiden's early sound either, mmm...

Tailgunner opens the album nicely, nothing spectacular here but effective and with a decent chorus.

Holy Smoke is a clear display of Dickinson's new style, more dirty and less melodic, similar to that of his solo album Tattoed Millioonaire, not my cup of tea but the song is not bad and is somewhat fun to listen to.

The title track is by far the best of the album and maybe the only song here good enough to be in any classical Maiden record, even proggy at times :p

Public Enema Number One has some nice guitar lines, the afore-mentioned Dickinson style, a somewhat catchy chorus and that's it, a decent rocker and nothing more.

Fates Warning is one of the weakest moments of the album, if it would have been written by other metal act it would be a fine song, but not for Maiden, is another rocker but more boring and with less personality than the previous one.

The Assassin is not great but at least is more entertaining and the 2 way chorus is catchy, nice soloing near the end too, a fine song.

Run Silent Run Deep is a nice Harris-Dickinson composition, one of the best here, it has strenght and good guitar work (well, it's still Maiden isn't it?)

Hooks In You is another example of that dirty style mr Dickinson developed during these years, the chorus is more melodic but has a Motley Crue flavour, or maybe is just me......not terrible, but should have been included in Tatooed Millionaire and not in a Maiden album, I think that says it all.

Track 9 was originally written by Dickinson for his solo album, but was then included here by Harris's request. Ironically Bring You Daughter... became the first (and only) Maiden song to reach the nş1 position in the UK charts. It's a hard rock tune with a (very) catchy chorus that is repeated over and over again, very overrated imo.

Mother Russia is the closest approach to an epic to be found in this album, it has atmosphere and along with the title track is the proggiest number here, still I think is just ok, I don't know, it sounds a little forced to me.

2 stars in prog archives 2.5 stars in any metal site

Report this review (#113559)
Posted Monday, February 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well, it had to happen. Eventually, after so many successful albums, Iron Maiden had to fail at least once. They did precisely that with 1990's NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING.

First, the obvious: this is the first album that doesn't feature Adrian Smith on guitars since he joined the band back 1981 for the release of KILLERS. His replacement: long- time Bruce Dickinson collaborator Janick Gers. Though there is a coincidence in the decline of quality in Maiden's music with the departure of Smith (or arrival of Gers), it's just unfair to criticize the new axe-man and blame him for the weak musical results. It's necessary to point out that not one of the tracks in this record is written by Gers (he would start collaborating more in the next album), and also that Smith wasn't really the main composer in the earlier, better releases. The main composer in The Beast has always been Steve Harris, so if there's someone to point our fingers at about the lackluster tracks, it's him. Gers is just as virtuoso as Smith was, and the fingers of the former match the speed of those of the latter.

The main fault with this album is that suddenly it seemed like Maiden wanted to return to the more direct, quick, pure-metal way of the past, but they just failed completely. All the songs in this album are of an average length, not one reaching 6 minutes. That by itself wouldn't be a big deal; after all, many of this band's best tracks don't reach that mark either. But the thing is that in those short minutes we don't get enough variation, enough memorable solos or melodies, enough greatness. Maiden also decided to let the more progressive approach of the preceding albums out of the picture, in favor of simpler structures, simpler rhythms, simple instrumentations.

To add to the weak impression this album leaves in the fan, there's not one memorable song. Even the singles are rather mundane, rather bland. There's not one chorus that makes us want to chant along, not one solo that makes us want to play air-guitar with our fingers. Even the most progressive track, "Mother Russia", lacks a chorus and lacks memorable melodies. Where The Beast was hiding when recording this album, we don't know.

Tailgunner (8/10) One of the best, if not the best track in the album, it starts with concentrated energy ready to explode. The main riff is good, and the chorus is also good, if not incredibly memorable. It gets a little annoying when they go up in key. A good opener, the tradition hasn't been broken even in this weakest of all Maiden's albums. It's not brilliant, though.

Holy Smoke (7/10) One of the most popular tracks in this album, it starts well enough, with a decent melody, but then it turns into a rather monotonous hard rock track, with a chorus that is hardly discernable from the main verse. Not a bad song, but nothing up to the level of the best Maiden songs.

No Prayer For The Dying (9/10) This one begins more auspiciously, with a dialogue between the guitars and the bass, a good melody and good singing by Dickinson. We even have one of those legendary double-guitar melodies after the verse, and a very good performance by Harris whose bass has a predominant place in the mix. The fast section unfolds later, with the usual characteristics: good solos, fast drumming, breathless atmosphere. The song is very good, the best in the album, but it feels so. brief. It's like Maiden wanted to write one of their short epics but then decided to finish it off quickly. It's like a condensed version of other tracks in this style. But the highlight of the album nevertheless.

Public Enema Number One (8/10) Another song that starts with promise. A good melodic riff leads the way for a direct verse. Then the chorus comes in and doesn't disappoint. The thing is that it comes too quickly, and that's one of the issues I have with this album: the structures have been stripped to the bones, no pre- choruses, no longer verses, everything condensed. A good song, nothing incredible. Up to this pint, the album is good, if not really great.

Fates Warning (6.5/10) A slow start with some guitar synth makes us believe we're still in earlier eras. Then the main riff attacks and it's much faster but not bad. Then the chorus is just weak, with no hooks. The whole song seems like a continuous single riff. Iron Maiden wrote many better fast songs. Not awful, just weak. The middle section saves it from a lower rating.

The Assassin (7/10) An interesting start with the same rhythm as in "The Clairvoyant" from SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON but without the instant-classic melody. Good nevertheless, this song is a little awkward, I don't know what to make of it. It has some good things going for it, but then the chorus is not that great and some riffs sound too similar to other riffs in Maiden's and other bands' history. It's too short and near the end it gets almost incoherent. It lacks a good structure, the parts are not that bad but the joining-them-together work wasn't that precise.

Run Silent Run Deep (6.5/10) This may be one of the most mediocre songs by The Beast. It's not really bad, it's just plain, AVERAGE. I can't remember anything interesting about it, I can't even remember a bad thing about it. Maiden-by-the-book, that's what this track is. A formula used again with no added components. One of the riffs sounds very similar to the ending riff in Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers", just before a very good solo brings the rating of this song a little bit higher.

Hooks In You (4/10) This track has the "merit" of being the first track by Maiden that deserves an atrocious adjective by me. It's just awful. There's no melodies, no good solos, no chorus, everything sounds the same, Dickinson sounds extremely annoying, it's just a poor hard-rock song that it manages, by itself, to bring the whole rating of the album down a notch. Maiden can't be allowed to deliver this kind of. thing.

Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter (5.5/10) This is the most famous track in the album, but for me is one of the most boring. A Dickinson-solo original song, I don't know why it was included here, much less why it was chosen as the second single, and even less why it WAS SUCCESSFUL. An average hard-rock track with no Maiden attributes, one of the few where Dickinson actually manages to get in my nerves. Not good, just not good. For Iron Maiden, that is. If this was a any other lesser band, I would maybe enjoy it. It's an Iron Maiden track, so I don't enjoy it almost at all.

Mother Russia (8.5/10) The opening of this track is almost spectacular, there's hope that we would get another classic here. Atmosphere, drama, Russian scent, we're in for a ride. The main riff is good and so is the rhythm. The only problem is that this is all that this song is about. There's no chorus, and such a song needed a chorus, even the subject itself cries for one of those anthemic chants by The Beast. Near the end the instrumental section is very good, though very brief. This track feels like if Maiden couldn't afford the studio much longer, so they had to rush the conclusion. It feels like a 7-8 minute track that was seriously cut due to unknown reasons. It's good, but it could've been really great.

As it's easy to see from the rating I've given to the songs, I don't think this album is incredibly atrocious or anything, just a very average, weak effort. If another band had released this album, I'd have rated it a little higher (of course after analyzing why that hypothetical band tried to plagiarize Iron Maiden so hard), but as an Iron Maiden album, I have to say it's god only for fans and collectors. The average non- completionist Maiden fan has a lot of albums to buy before getting to this one.

Recommended for: Iron Maiden hardcore fans, completionists. And fans of heavy metal that don't mind an album that doesn't sound very original.

.maybe prayer can save this dying album. While not atrocious, this is without doubt the Worst of the Beast.

Report this review (#126948)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not a very well received Iron Maiden album, but I never really had much of an issue with it. Many people like Fear of the Dark better(possibly because it's more polished), but I think the worst songs on No Prayer are a lot better than the worst songs on Fear of the Dark. The production on this album is stripped down but it is still Martin Birch at the helm and it sounds good and it is wonderful to jam along with on guitar.

There are a few weak tracks on here such as Fates Warning, but I overall like everything on this album. Hooks in You is just sick and twisted(read the lyrics) and Bring Your Daughter is also very dark and grimy. And I f#ckin' love it.

Holy Smoke has some of the most kick-a#s sing-along verses Bruce has ever written and while it may seem a little jolly, it still rocks out. The breakdown riffs before and after the solos in Tailgunner are phenomenal. What can I say, I like this albums back to basics nature and to be honest even though the last 3 Maiden albums have been very good, Iron Maiden hasn't sounded the same since Martin Birch retired and I want him to come back for one more. Kevin Shirly just isn't cuttin' the mustard and I think Harris is puttin' his hands on the mixing board too much.

Anyway, I like this album and I think it is better than FOTD, X-Factor, V-11, and after that it's hard for me to say. It's hard to compare it to BNW, DOD, or AMOLAD so I won't go there.

Report this review (#130498)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars No Prayer for the Dying was the one of the first heavy metal albums that i got to listen to. I don't think there is much to be said about this record except that it's metal all the way. Guitar solo-s here and there, overhead vocals, dynamic rhythm, nasty and bad attitude, it's got everything a typical heavy metal album has to contain. Iron Maiden can do better than that but I guess this kind of music was never meant for meditation. It's just a fine audition while you are traveling by train, car, not plane (because the sound isn't loud enough). The best songs are Mother Russia, The Assassin and Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter. It has almost nothing to do with prog, but a good album nonetheless.
Report this review (#140737)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Iron Maiden returns to it's street sound.

Apperently sometime during the late '80s the fantastic metal band that it Iron Maiden decided to strip down the proggy-fantasy stories and sounds that had given us such albums as... well, everything from their "Number Of The Beat" album until this point. The result is... interesting. Us Maiden fans will appreciate the album much more than the average prog-goer, and as much as this is an underrated album in the metal realms, as a prog album this disc simply isn't as good as say "Seventh Son...", "Powerslave" or "Somewhere In Time".

There are a number of good songs on here, making this a good song-based record (something Maiden isn't as good with as they are solid-records). Good standouts here include the three singles, the religously rebeling HOLY SMOKE, the number one hit BRING YOUR DAUGHER... and the always bassy TAILGUNNER. But these song, though good, don't show off the band's grandeur side as much as previous albums did, other songs such as "infinite Dreams" or "Wasted Years" can claim to have much more potent music, even in the progressive realm. Other good songs off the disc include the semi-longish-but-not-really MOTHER RUSSIA, who's interesting beat always make it an interesting listen, and HOOKS IN YOU, which is just nice and catchy. All in all the songs here are good, but somehow the disc simply doesn't work together as a whole.

So, for some reason Maiden didn't want to do the fanasy realm, a strange thing, since both Dickenson and the rest of Maiden would both persue a fanasy sound while on their break from wach other and reform the sound when they reunited. Perhaps it was the looming '90s that did this to them, who knows. But, as I said before, this one is actually a good album for fans, it brings a lot of the table, prog fans on the other hand, won't find a lot to like here. As a prog album 2 stars, fans/completionists only, as a Maiden album, 3 stars, average at best, as a strait up metal album, 3.5 stars. But hey, prog is what matters here, eh?

Report this review (#143594)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars I believe it is time to pay tribute to this band.

They have released seven good to very good albums in a row. Even if some tiredness could be felt here and there during "Seventh Son". This type of performance is not frequently achieved and deserves to be mentioned. Especially when one of their weakest opus falls short.

But bearing in mind that they almost evenly travelled through the eighties is rather remarkable. The band was releasing one album every year up till 86. The rhythm (inspiration ?) will be less frequent after this productive period, but this has been mostly the case for all bands. So, the Maiden cannot be blamed for this in particular.

This album is not bad even if it is much more a simple and straight-forward heavy-metal one. Gone are the epics ("Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Alexander The Great", "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son") or simply the longer and most elaborate numbers which peppered their last three studio albums.

IMHHO, this album holds two very good songs "No Prayer For The Dying" and "Public Enema Number One", a great guitar solo during "The Assassin" and that's basically it. You can maybe add "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter" with its rather sexual oriented lyrics like : "If there's some living to be done , Before your life becomes your tomb. You'd better know I'm the one , So unchain your back door invite me around".

Rather explicit. This single will peak at the first spot in the UK charts. "Mother Russia" is also quite alright with its pleasant Oriental sounds.

Counting it correctly, that's still half of good to very good numbers. A lot of bands would be more than happy to reach this level after so many releases. Still, it would not be fair to rate it as a good album. Five out of ten probably. I will come back to this rating if ever the half star one will finally make its way (I'll have some homework to do in this case, but I'll do it with a lot of pleasure).

For the time being : two stars.

Report this review (#154634)
Posted Friday, December 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This LP is very surprising... and a bit disappointing. Released after the magnificent Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, what is more... All we get here is a bunch of shorter and simpler songs, sometimes with ridiculous chorus ("Hooks in you") or guitar riffs ("Holy Smoke" may have been a hit-single, it does remain very unworthy of Iron Maiden's talent). Killer songs like "Tailgunner" or "Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter" and the pretty "No Prayer for the Dying" save this album from a certain monotony. Overall, not a bad LP. But a very average one.
Report this review (#154660)
Posted Friday, December 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars When I saw this record in the shop back in 1990 I thought Hey, a new ony by Iron Maiden, let's hope it's better than SEVENTH SON... What I got was a whole lotta crap. Lord have mercy. Maybe Public Enema No.1 would have been an apt title track. And maybe there are two or three songs on it which are not completely worthless - by this I mean they are worth two stars. But the rest is a complete mess of so called ideas heard a thousand times on the predecessors and simple primitiveness. I only say Bring your daughter... to the slaughter. The title and the music of this song sums up the whole problem. Unbearable.
Report this review (#162746)
Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars One of the weakest Maiden releases, by far, but Virtual XI is far worse. Dickinson's voice seems to be a little alcohol-friendly, isn't it ? Raw voice.

Of course, there are good songs on this album, especially Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter, Public Enema Number One, Holy Smoke and No Prayer For The Dying (the best song on this album, and one of the most poignant Maiden songs). But there are also big fillers (Run Silent, Run Deep ; The Assassin ; Hooks In You), and the new guitar player, Janick Gers, isn't as good as the late Adrian Smith - different style, I prefer Smith.

Not their worse, but largerly average album. Nice cover art, censored in some countries (Eddie's victim vanished on some reissues). The last by Derek Riggs, innit ?

Report this review (#164990)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Iron Maiden triumphantly told the world that they were going back to their roots and street metal after the prog rock like album Seventh Son....... Well, more like the gutter, in my view...... As I always did, I bought the album on the release day. I got second thoughts when confronted with the artwork. This is probably their worst artwork ever, not including Live At Donington (white cover). On closer inspection, the music reflected the artwork. .........And that was my views back then and until I picked up this album again after a 15 years break from this album.

......But time does not heal. My views has not changed at all. The title track and the opener Tailgunner is OK. The rest is at best boring. Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter is directly cringe-worthy. The same goes for Hooks In You. Their epic song Mother Russia and their reference back to the Seventh Son album (a leftover song from that recording session ??) is OK, but not anywhere near their normal standard. This is without any doubts the worst album the Bruce Dickinson era Iron Maiden released. Even today, it angers me and I feel betrayed by Iron Maiden. This is an album best forgotten.

2 stars.

Report this review (#187596)
Posted Saturday, November 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Adrian Smith out, Janick Gers in. It seemed to be not a good move cos Adrian was excellent songwriter and musician. Who's Janick Gers? Dickinson introduced him to the band and to be honest he proved he was not worse than Adrian. Well at least in guitar playing. He didn't have a chance to prove his composing skills at the time and it was hard to believe he'd be alble to write better songs than Smith. Only thing that left from Smith was song Hooks In You which is good hard rock tune. Dickinson sings a bit different than he did on previous albums. This time he sounds almost like Brian Johnson of AC/DC. I really have very positive feelings about this album and good memories about that. I think songs like Public Enemy Number One, Fates Warning, No Prayer For The Dying, Assassin, Holy Some are very strong hard rock tunes and prove Iron Maiden were in good form in late 80's. Mother Russia is mostly instrumental track and it could be released on previous album cos it's same mysterious like some tracks of Seventh Son. No Prayer For The Dying is highly underrated release and I still don't know why. "Be it the devil or be it him, You can count on just one thing, When the time is up you'll know, Not just one power runs the show" sings Dickinson in Fates Warning. I really like this album.
Report this review (#217674)
Posted Saturday, May 23, 2009 | Review Permalink

'No Prayer For The Dying' was my first Maiden album that I was bought in the same years wich was published. Great album I though. Then I was explore the theme 'Maiden'. But the idea did not changed in my mind.

This return to origins not was bad, at all because with Street Metal powerful energy and with more NWOBHM, in a Motorhead or Saxon field. And yes, also if Bruce is not perfect, the engine is all in motion. Also because the production and mix and recording is similar to Queen's 'Innuendo', another true surprise for me (My copy of 'Innuendo is no more in my hands.

The power of drums (great Nico) and the incredible carpet of guitars (Murray/ Gers and not Murray/ Smith) make listening the album really interesting ( 'Painkiller' of Priest, however, is something else!) as the voice of Bruce (that is not perfect) is perfect for the atmospheres of 'No Prayer For The Dying'. In this sense Bruce is no perfect also in the previous albums but is the production (in this case) that help the defects of Bruce's voice.

A song is formed also by melody. In this sense the melodic Classic Metal of 'No Prayer For The Dying' is extreme fresh, without complications or virtuosism, so that the pleasure of a good listening is all enjoyable. Sure 'No Prayr For The Dying' is, after all, a pure Rock album. But because Maiden is a Rock band.

Report this review (#240208)
Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Iron maiden's 'No Prayer For The Dying' sounds like an album in which the band totally stopped trying to reinventing itself; in stead offering a middle of the road modernized version of their earlier (street rock) heavy metal albums. Stripped from the sci-fi make-up of 'Somewhere in Time' and the synths of 'Seventh Son' the band sounds quite bare. The song-writing is also lacking the finesse of earlier tunes, with some songs sounding downright unfinished; for instance the messy 'Mother Russia'. Among the list of ok songs are some highlights. I've always loved the melodies of 'Public Enema Number One' and exciting dark moods of 'The Assassin'. On their next album 'Fear of the Dark' the band progressed massively towards a more mature style that I really like. Perhaps the biggest virtue of 'No Prayer' is the fact that it made Iron Maiden realize they just couldn't go back, but had to move on forward.
Report this review (#249461)
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars This really was a let down (and to be honest the bands only real stinker of an album) even though...ironically...their only number 1 'hit' was featured in this release (goes to show you that just because its in the 'charts' does not make it the best) I mean im not really talking about production wise or the fact that they ran out of ideas, there is still quite a lot of experimentation on this album the final song MOTHER RUSSIA being one such example another being HOLY SMOKE with its...Quo? like riffs, the experimentation is just lazy on here i think, but for a second lets focus on the positives, there is a couple of saving graces on here, the opener TAILGUNNER being one with its cool intro and soaring chorus and the title track is also quite cool, apart from that all we have here is a quite bland and boring album, too bad...thankfully they do get better :)

Tailgunner - 9/10 Holy Smoke - 6/10 No Prayer For The Dying - 9/10 Public Enema Number One - 7/10 Fates Warning - 5/10 The Assassin - 6/10 Run Silent Run Deep - 5/10 Hooks In You - 6/10 Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter - 4/10 Mother Russia - 6/10

CONCLUSION: This album just didn't do it for me, thankfully they get better from here on out...

Report this review (#305604)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars "No Prayer For The Dying" is considered as one of the weakest albums of Iron Maiden and I must agree that it is in my bottom top three as I exceptionally agree with the majority. There are multiple reasons why fans criticized this album. For the first time the band didn't develop further and created something new but focussed on their initial sound of the early years. There is no brilliant epic track on the record that crowned the previous albums. There is no clear guiding line within the record. The vocals are darker, harsher and less technical then before. There are no truly outstanding and emotional instrumental passages on the record. Many associate this with the departure of Adrian Smith that got replaced by the technically less impressive Janick Gers. The sound and production of the recording aren't as majestic and authentic as on the last and very atmospheric albums.

But the main reasons why one tends to dislike this record is that it has the style of a compilation album where old ideas are rehashed. "Tailgunner" sounds like a weaker version of "Aces High". "Holy Smoke" and "Hooks In You" could be b-sides from the first solo album of Bruce Dickinson just like the very successful but overrated "Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter" with a little touch of the first two Iron Maiden records when Paul Di'Anno was still in it. The title track "No Prayer For The Dying", "Public Enema Number One", "Run Silent Run Deep" and "Mother Russia" copy the style of the two previous records. My favourite tracks from those ones are the really beautifully sung and underrated title track "No Prayer For The Dying" that easily happens to be the best song on this album and that would have merited a place on the last two records as well as the atmospheric "Run Silent Run Deep" that would be my hidden gem on this record and a song worth to get discovered over and over again by anyone that hasn't listened to this record for a while.

"Fates Warning" and "The Assassin" try to be a little bit darker and experimental and are the only tracks that present us something new. The first one is quite atmospheric and indicates the way that the band would take on the next two records and after a while I happened to like this song. The only thing that misses is a truly catchy chorus or addicting instrumental part. The second song has another interesting and atmospheric introduction and remind of the sound of the great "Powerslave" album. The verses are interesting, mysterious and atmospheric but the chorus turns out to be amongst the most horrible ones the band has ever written. The vocals are really annoying and weird and the whole thing is repeated too much. The guitar solo is just [&*!#]ty shredding. But at least the band tries out something new.

This record has the style of a compilation album and that's why it is difficult to get compared to the seven previous albums that all had a certain style and clear direction. The band seems to have wanted to satisfy all their fans by getting inspired by anything they have done before including songs in the key of the earliest works with Bruce Dickinson on the vocals this time. The problem is that the band wanted to spread in too many directions and styles and focussed on quantity instead of the quality and most people simply get lost on this record. Another problem is that the songs that try to connect to the previous styles simply aren't as hooky, fresh and passionate. There are three great songs on the record with "No Prayer For The Dying", "Fates Warning" and "Run Silent Run Deep" and I also happen to like rock party tracks like the funny and energizing "Holy Smoke" but half of the album is rather weak and simply doesn't touch me.

I still think this is album is more than just ordinary, it's actually rather good but by considering the high quality of the band's records a pretty good album isn't just great enough. I would like to add that the recent "The Final Frontier" is even weaker than this record and gets completely lost while this album is at least short and sweat and leaded to a new style that the band developed further and better on the upcoming two records. That's why this record was still an important step in the band's career.

Originally published on on May 1st of the year 2011.

Report this review (#379082)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars seeing that "No Prayer For The Dying" came between "Seventh Son..." and "Fear Of The Dark", it could be forgiven for being rather mediocore in comparison. but then, its not only mediocore when compared to its succesor and predecessor, its just plain mediocore.

there are, however, a few good tracks - Tailgunner, Fates Warning and, very surprisingly, one of my favourite Maiden tracks The Assassin, showing that the band had not woken up one day and found their talent and creativity missing. it just seems to be that they seemed to be in a hurry to finish up and release the album and didnt really bother to get the songs to sound as good as they could.

there are numerous songs in here that could have been so much better - Holy Smoke, Hooks in You and Mother Russia are stand-out examples. this was an album i first heard on tape (CDs were not really very easily available, not to mention extremely expensive where i come from in 1990). the fact that i haven't bothered to pick up the CD since then is quite the best judgement i can give to this album.

however, there was worse to come...(= The X Factor)

Report this review (#468571)
Posted Friday, June 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars There has many discussions about the album that disappointed the fans of Iron Maiden was this one "No Prayer For The Dying". Even though for those who like hard music, this might not be something bad at all, the fans of the band felt this was the kind of not as good as compared to previous releases despite the fact the leaving of Adrian Smith and the entrance of Janick Gers. When you play the opening track "Tail Gunner" you still find it good. But the rest are not quite Maiden sound as per fans standard. The song itself isn't outstanding, but also not too bad. With the first single "Holy Smoke" follows one of the sparely spread highlights of "No Prayer..." Most of the songs are straight forward and contain those typical MAIDEN music. The track "The Assassin" is is no keeping up the spirit of Maiden sound. "Run Silent Run Deep" and "Hooks In You" are not that good. They are not really bad, but something is missing. The second single "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter", is then another highlight. The song was able to be on the top of the English charts for two weeks. Well ...the guitar playing of Janick Gers is not bad at all but in someway it misses typical Maiden spirit. But if you are a die hard fan of Maiden, you must have a copy of this album.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#1134743)
Posted Friday, February 21, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars Iron Maiden's 'No Prayer For The Dying' is generally considered by fans to be one of the weaker outputs from The Beast. It's even worse when you put this record in its chronological context, coming off the back of the utterly sublime 1988 album 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'.

After reviewing 'The X-Factor', perhaps my favourite Iron Maiden record (shock!), I thought it would be fun to re-visit 'No Prayer', which like many fans of The Beast I consider to be their worst record by a long way. Its not that the songs are bad, so much as a lot of them are utterly uninspired. This is a record from a band running on empty and struggling to find direction after having a hugely successful string of albums in the 1980's.

According to the band this record was an attempt to go back to the garage band sound found on their first albums, notably the self titled 'Iron Maiden' and second album 'Killers'. The problem with this approach is that regression isn't a great strategy for any band. I'd have preferred them to carry on their progressive metal styling from 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' rather than try to recapture something they did a full decade prior. I'm glad to say that the most recent incarnation of Iron Maiden, starting in 2000, does return to progressively influenced metal music.

But back to the album in question, there is no doubt about it, 'No Prayer For The Dying' has some pretty fun Maiden moments, there are lovely Steve Harris bass-lines, great twin guitar action and Nicko McBrain is as creative as ever behind the skins. Bruce Dickinson sounds in good, not great form in this album. There are some good progressive moments on here, but there is also a lot of filler as well, and some really insipid songs on this record like the painful 'Holy Smoke' or the even more painful 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter'.

There are good songs on here though, its not all bad. 'Mother Russia' is perhaps the stand-out song. 'Tailgunner' is a very good song also, the bass-line in that song is a lot of fun! 'The Assassin' has some progressive moments. Like I say its not all bad. Ultimately you have to review an album within the context of what band has produced it. For some metal bands 'No Prayer For The Dying' would be considered a crowning achievement and a highlight of their discography. But this is Iron Maiden, a bunch of extremely talented musicians led by probably the best heavy metal bass player and composer, Steve Harris. For Maiden this album sounds ordinary and uninspired. And for that it deserves no more than 2-stars.

Report this review (#1434734)
Posted Saturday, July 4, 2015 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING, the much loathed 8th album by the legendary IRON MAIDEN was truly the band's first great fumble after a decade of ruling the world and becoming the equivalent of The Beatles in metal with one masterpiece best-selling album after another. There are many things that make this album much different than any other from their canon but the most obvious is the departure of Adrian Smith, the main songwriter and second half of the classic twin guitar attack that gave the band that satisfying melodic edge. Smith was unsatisfied with the band's sudden 180 from the progressively themed and executed albums they were cranking out and went on to form his own projects such as ASAP and Psycho Motel. Meanwhile crisis management attempted to repair the damage by asking Janick Gers to join the party. He was recruited by Bruce Dickinson after playing on his debut solo album "Tattooed Millionaire."

This album seems to mark the point where like many a successful band, bad decisions emerge from simply being out of touch with the world which inspired them in the first place. After a decade of unfathomable success the band just seemed to start making all the wrong decisions. The most hilarious of these ideas is the fact that this album was recorded in Steve Harris' barn. Apparently the band was fearing the continuation of their ever growing progressive tendencies and got cold feet and made an attempt to regain their "street creds" of their early years. What a backfire. This caused Smith to leave and the fans to peg this as the biggest faux pas that a successful band could possibly make. Well, there are always worse things (Blaze Bailey anyone?). Despite all the negative press about NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING, it still debuted on the charts quite successfully and actually produced a number one hit in their native UK with "Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter" despite being banned by the BBC.

While the lyrics stray away from the literary and fantastical and delve into the contemporary social issues such as religious zealotry and other social ills, the music isn't too far off the cuff from early MAIDEN releases, in fact the hooks and melodies are quite enjoyable and the salvation of this album which i personally don't find to be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Certainly a step down from previous efforts especially coming after the string of brilliance that peaked with "7th" but certainly not a flop that deserves to walk the plank. There is no doubt that this album despite several strong tracks evokes a sort of disappointment. It almost seems like a tribute to the good old days that ended with "7th Son." Even the title infers a decline. I dunno. Certainly not as good as every other release before, yet this album still blows away a good portion of other melodic metal albums that came out in 1990. I still find myself listening to this one despite the mountain of masterpieces that eclipse its very existence.

While my favorite tracks are "Tailgunner," "Holy Smoke," "Mother Russia" and the title track, there are really no horrible tracks here but as we all know, when a favorite band reaches great heights and falls down a few notches we take it out on them with cutting critique and infra digs. Agreed that this effort is not their day in the sun, but neither is it the worst thing ever to grace the metal kingdom. Personally i find this to contain rather well written MAIDEN tracks that would have fit well in their earlier years but if you listen to this after "7th Son" then you will surely be for a let down. While the dying may have no prayer left, at least there's still a pulse on this release. 3.5 rounded down

Report this review (#1462554)
Posted Friday, September 11, 2015 | Review Permalink
2 stars The King of NWOBHM is (almost) naked

Or how IRON MAIDEN will never be the same again... For sure, the beginning of nineties were a turn difficult to negotiate for most traditional heavy metal bands, but here, internal musical divergences led to this half-failure. Adrian Smith, the second guitarist since the great "Killers", wanted to pursue the progressive approach started at the end of the 80's, whereas Steve Harris' intention was to go back to the rawer and raging tonality of the early years. Consequence? Smith left the quintet, replaced by Jannick Gers, guitarist on Bruce Dickinson's solo studio album "Tattooed Millionaire". As a result, "No Prayer For The Dying" logically abandons the fantasy melodic atmospheres developed in the two last records.

The problem is that, despite simplified and shorter compositions and more political lyrics, musically speaking, this 1990 record doesn't possess the ferocity and the explosiveness of the first opuses either. Those who expect a quality and originality matching the Di'Anno era's will be greatly disappointed. So, what happens when the band leaves both its primal ardour, its epicness, and its progressive composing? Not much really...

To be honest, there are 3 tracks worth to rescue. The title song is the best one, slow and melancholic. IRON MAIDEN hasn't lost his science of powerful bridges and breaks yet, although a loss of inspiration can be perceived. The dark "Run Silent Run Deep" is quite haunting and epic. If you like it, I recommend checking "The X Factor" out. Finally, the ending track, "Mother Russia", remains in the pure tradition of MAIDEN's long suites concluding their albums. In relation to the country just leaving Communism, its tragic ambiance and borrowing from the Aranjuez Concerto resembles very much "To Tame A Land". A powerful song which can remind the band's (already) past glory with its Russian choruses, but tends to become slightly repetitive.

The other songs are mediocre and flat heavy metal fillers. For the first time on a MAIDEN album, the opener is not very catchy. "Tailgunner" is rather average and fails at really lifting off. Composed by Bruce Dickinson, the hit single "Bring Your Daughter ... To The Slaughter" is simply irritating...

"No Prayer For The Dying" will neither please progressive / epic heavy metal lovers, nor old-school fans expecting a return of the Di'Anno years. This is not a transition record either, as it does not open new perspectives. Not much inspired and definitely not on the same level as the 80's opuses, the disc only offers a few good songs, and not the most remarkable the band will compose in the new decade.

In conclusion, basic and lacking genuine hymns, "NPFTD" cannot be considered as an essential album. Steve Harris and co.'s least interesting studio release in the 90's...

Report this review (#1674248)
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2016 | Review Permalink

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