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IRON MAIDEN

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Iron Maiden picture
Iron Maiden biography
Founded in Leyton, London, UK in 1975 - Still active as of 2018

One of the most influential bands to have ever graced the heavy metal genre, IRON MAIDEN have always been proud of their prog influences, which include Jethro Tull and Genesis. Their sound, at the same time heavy and intricate, is characterised by Steve Harris's thick, propulsive bass lines, and by fast, furious yet elegant guitar riffing. The band can also boast of some of the genre's most intelligent, articulate lyrics, which range way beyond the usual topics covered by the average heavy metal band.

Formed at the end of the Seventies in London's East End area by bassist and mastermind Steve Harris and guitarist Dave Murray, the band (whose name comes from a medieval torture device) released their first, self-titled album in 1980, at the height of the musical phenomenon known as New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM for short), which IRON MAIDEN spearheaded together with the likes of Saxon and Diamond Head. At the time, their sound was still somewhat influenced by punk, especially due to lead singer Paul Di'Anno's raw, aggressive vocal style. Soon after their debut's release, second guitarist Dennis Stratton left, and was replaced by Adrian Smith, who was soon to become one of the foremost contributors to the band's musical output.

Di'Anno left the band after the release of their second album, "Killers": his replacement was one of the genre's most distinctive, influential voices, Samson's former singer Bruce Dickinson, nicknamed the "Air Raid Siren". The band's first album with Dickinson on board, 1982's "The Number of the Beast", still ranks among heavy metal's undisputed masterpieces. Drummer Clive Burr left after that album, to be replaced by seasoned drummer Nicko McBrain, who has been a member of the band ever since. It was the start of a very favourable period for IRON MAIDEN, which saw them become one of the hottest live acts around, as well as release a string of extremely successful albums, such as "Powerslave" (featuring a 13-minutes-plus take on ST Coleridge's "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner"), and the concept "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", considered by many one of the seminal works of the Prog-Metal subgenre.

The release of "Seventh Son. " - which, incidentally, was their seventh studio album - coincided with the start of a difficult stage in the band's career. In fact, guitarist Adrian Smith left to pursue a solo career before the release of ...
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IRON MAIDEN discography


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IRON MAIDEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 630 ratings
Iron Maiden
1980
3.61 | 565 ratings
Killers
1981
3.84 | 713 ratings
The Number Of The Beast
1982
3.76 | 619 ratings
Piece Of Mind
1983
4.13 | 780 ratings
Powerslave
1984
3.98 | 654 ratings
Somewhere in Time
1986
4.21 | 818 ratings
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
1988
2.55 | 413 ratings
No Prayer For The Dying
1990
2.99 | 469 ratings
Fear Of The Dark
1992
3.22 | 361 ratings
The X Factor
1995
2.31 | 341 ratings
Virtual XI
1998
3.97 | 575 ratings
Brave New World
2000
3.58 | 399 ratings
Dance of Death
2003
3.63 | 447 ratings
A Matter Of Life And Death
2006
3.61 | 427 ratings
The Final Frontier
2010
3.86 | 266 ratings
The Book Of Souls
2015
3.83 | 59 ratings
Senjutsu
2021

IRON MAIDEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.14 | 251 ratings
Live After Death
1985
2.93 | 92 ratings
A Real Live One
1993
2.73 | 87 ratings
A Real Dead One
1993
3.25 | 75 ratings
Live at Donington
1993
3.95 | 54 ratings
Maiden England
1994
2.99 | 67 ratings
A Real Live Dead One
1998
4.07 | 124 ratings
Rock in Rio
2002
3.95 | 38 ratings
BBC Archives
2002
3.64 | 47 ratings
Beast Over Hammersmith
2002
3.62 | 74 ratings
Death On The Road
2005
3.70 | 80 ratings
Flight 666 (The Original Soundtrack)
2009
3.38 | 51 ratings
En Vivo!
2012
3.61 | 18 ratings
Maiden England'88
2013
3.69 | 13 ratings
The Book of Souls: Live Chapter
2017
3.97 | 10 ratings
Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico
2020

IRON MAIDEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.80 | 5 ratings
Live at the Rainbow
1981
3.50 | 2 ratings
Video Pieces
1983
4.33 | 3 ratings
Behind the Iron Curtain
1985
4.00 | 3 ratings
12 Wasted Years
1987
4.11 | 28 ratings
Maiden England
1989
4.67 | 3 ratings
The First Ten Years - The Videos
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
From There To Eternity
1992
4.00 | 4 ratings
Live at Donington
1993
3.75 | 4 ratings
Raising Hell
1994
4.50 | 2 ratings
Classic Albums: The Number of the Beast
2001
4.04 | 84 ratings
Rock In Rio
2002
4.00 | 6 ratings
Visions of the Beast
2003
4.45 | 58 ratings
The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days
2004
4.25 | 4 ratings
Death on the Road
2006
4.70 | 96 ratings
Live After Death
2008
4.32 | 90 ratings
Flight 666: The Film
2009
3.92 | 33 ratings
En Vivo!
2012

IRON MAIDEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 4 ratings
The First Ten Years
1990
3.78 | 53 ratings
Best of the Beast
1996
3.04 | 26 ratings
Ed Hunter
1999
2.26 | 35 ratings
Edward the Great
2002
3.31 | 32 ratings
Best of the B'Sides
2002
3.60 | 20 ratings
Eddie's Archive
2002
2.83 | 27 ratings
The Essential Iron Maiden
2005
2.72 | 44 ratings
Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of 1980 - 1989
2008
3.40 | 38 ratings
From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990 - 2010
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Beast Collection
2014

IRON MAIDEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.36 | 42 ratings
The Soundhouse Tapes
1979
2.95 | 39 ratings
Women in Uniform
1980
3.00 | 25 ratings
Live!! +one
1980
2.89 | 37 ratings
Running Free
1980
3.08 | 38 ratings
Sanctuary
1980
2.90 | 29 ratings
Twilight Zone
1981
3.09 | 35 ratings
Purgatory
1981
3.32 | 53 ratings
Maiden Japan
1981
3.65 | 20 ratings
Wrathchild promo
1981
3.72 | 39 ratings
Run to the Hills
1982
3.98 | 41 ratings
The Number of the Beast
1982
3.12 | 40 ratings
Flight of Icarus
1983
3.59 | 44 ratings
The Trooper
1983
3.98 | 40 ratings
2 Minutes to Midnight
1984
4.39 | 44 ratings
Aces High
1984
3.64 | 14 ratings
Where Eagles Dare promo
1984
3.63 | 24 ratings
Running Free 1985 live
1985
3.94 | 25 ratings
Run to the Hills 1985 live
1985
4.39 | 41 ratings
Wasted Years
1986
4.11 | 36 ratings
Stranger in a Strange Land
1986
3.66 | 35 ratings
Can I Play with Madness
1988
4.11 | 36 ratings
The Evil That Men Do
1988
4.08 | 36 ratings
The Clairvoyant
1988
2.00 | 6 ratings
An Interview With Iron Maiden
1988
4.04 | 26 ratings
Infinite Dreams
1989
2.61 | 28 ratings
Holy Smoke
1990
2.90 | 29 ratings
Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter
1990
3.33 | 3 ratings
No Prayer for the Dying
1990
3.33 | 3 ratings
Tailgunner
1990
3.00 | 3 ratings
Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter
1990
2.00 | 6 ratings
Talking To Iron Maiden
1990
3.36 | 28 ratings
Be Quick or Be Dead
1992
2.83 | 23 ratings
From Here to Eternity
1992
2.96 | 24 ratings
Wasting Love
1992
3.25 | 28 ratings
Fear of the Dark
1993
3.63 | 24 ratings
Hallowed Be Thy Name
1993
3.38 | 29 ratings
Man on the Edge
1995
3.46 | 26 ratings
Lord of the Flies
1996
3.00 | 5 ratings
Virus
1996
3.33 | 3 ratings
Virus CD1
1996
4.50 | 2 ratings
Virus CD2
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
In Profile
1997
3.50 | 2 ratings
Maiden Hell
1998
3.40 | 5 ratings
Futureal
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
An Introduction to... Virtual XI
1998
2.30 | 23 ratings
The Angel and the Gambler
1998
3.56 | 25 ratings
Futureal
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
Wrathchild
1999
4.00 | 3 ratings
Out of the Silent Planet
2000
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Wicker Man
2000
3.87 | 30 ratings
The Wicker Man
2000
3.56 | 27 ratings
Out of the Silent Planet
2000
4.00 | 2 ratings
Run to the Hills (Live)
2002
2.60 | 23 ratings
Rainmaker
2003
2.87 | 23 ratings
Wildest Dreams
2003
3.33 | 15 ratings
No More Lies
2004
3.30 | 31 ratings
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
2006
3.35 | 26 ratings
Different World
2006
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Pilgrim
2007
3.00 | 33 ratings
El Dorado
2010
3.57 | 7 ratings
The Final Frontier
2010
3.60 | 5 ratings
Coming Home
2010
3.86 | 7 ratings
Speed of Light
2015
3.80 | 5 ratings
Empire of the Clouds
2016
3.33 | 12 ratings
The Writing on the Wall
2021

IRON MAIDEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Senjutsu by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 59 ratings

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Senjutsu
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by ElChanclas

4 stars First of all, thank God for letting these guys make such high quality music so advance in their lives and careers, there is a lot of great classic bands putting out top shelf records in the past 2-3 years, incredible! With that being said, let's dive into this exiting surprise, NWOBHM pioneers and their latest studio album "Tactics and Strategy", or better said, SENJUTSU. The title track opens the first album with a very clear statement: this is a concept album, not the heaviest/fastest in the catalog, clearly melodic and memorable and is going to be a long ride, but a real fun and enjoyable one. 8 minutes of grandiose and dense heavy metal with the use (a lot) of an ingredient not necessarily used too often by the band but that fits perfectly nowadays, Bruce's multiple vocals harmonizing to provide pitch and intensity to the genius musicianship. Did I mentioned the outstanding guitar soloing?

Stratego, the 2nd track and coincidentally the 2nd promotional single. One of the fastest tunes in the record, sounding a lot more IM than the opener track and with Dickinson demonstrating how good of a metal singer he still is! I predict a long standing (at least for the future duration of the band) concert staple, it has everything a fan will expect and crave from the band. Gers & Harris marriage delivers a very good song, but is the overall playing by the band that really rockets the song some levels up!

The first promotional single, The Writing in the Wall. Another future concert staple for sure, I can picture the crowd singing along Bruce like reviving any old classic. What makes this song really unique within Maiden's discography is the use of that Celtic-cowboy-folky feeling guitar melody, it's basically enchanting. The three guitarists perform their parts perfectly and blend together in a way is difficult to picture another trio doing in rock history again. I'm not sure if I would have chosen this song as my first promotional single, but it sure enhances the experience of the listener and prepares him for all things to come in this incredible double album.

Lost in a lost world is the first solo statement by Harris here, and to be honest, I think that if this song was placed as opener for album two replacing the notable opener The Darkest Hour, not only would we have being given a Harris solo album, but alado a even better double effort by the band. The riffing is unequivocally prog and is one of the highlights of this track, then the orchestrally programmed guitars start kicking in, first two, then one, then 3, then one again, the two again, if that's not a wisely planned performance by Master H then, well, it just has to be, right? And the tone, the bass tone, the drumming, the storytelling being accompanied by the pleasant guitar licks. 65 year old (average) musicians do come up with this stuff, Long live [%*!#]ing rock and roll!

Days of future past is a guitar song, composed by the duple Smith & Dickinson, that resembles some of the early raw moments of the band some 35 plus years ago, with a modern twist at the beginning and at the end but witan classic Maiden structure in the centre: rapid and catchy riffs, galloping rhythmic section and memorable (with a surprisingly high pitch) vocals and lyrics, a classic, the guitar solo is a short but powerful one.

The Time Machine, the second song on this CD to feature Gers & Harris credited as writers and again a future concert staple for sure, this time more for the singalong-like guitar playing instead of Stratego's vocal melodies. It closes the first album of this double set evidencing that this band feels very conformable with the "new tempo" in which their music has surfed since... Brave New World maybe? Gers sounds great ant the twin guitar melodies bring back so many good memories from so many good songs from so many good albums, even the FOTD-style pause fits perfectly here, one of my favorites. I apologize in advance but this band is getting closer to the progressive metal genre as years how by, is undeniable.

Darkest Hour? beach and birds??? to open the 2nd album? Mmmm just a mirage, Smith's unequivocal guitar licks (and shredding soloing) lead the way to a heavy ballad, the perfect scenario for Bruce to display all that vocal power he still has, sounding more like a solo album (circa Tear of the Dragon) but preluding what's to come for the next 30 plus minutes.

Death of the Celts, the first epic on this record. An elegant and mature Maiden playing from beginning to end? I guess that's part of what Celtic-like melodies do to a bunch of musicians like these. Harris, the prog head of the band pumps his volume in the mix and brings his masterful playing upfront, leading everyone into this heavy metal nordic-like progressive tune. The twin guitars become a trio, because Harris has playfully united to the harmonic feast and that anthemic feel kicks in, to never let go. I've heard and read people saying that maybe this song (or any of the epics) should be a little shorter, I rather disagree, please give me more guitar solos like these, more triple-guitars/bass battles like these, bring me more epic storytelling, I just can't get enough of such greatness.

The Parchment, Harris again, and again, and again. This song and its melody has the mischievous "bad boy" imprint all over the place, like the atmosphere that surrounds a rainy day in the aftermath of a Viking battle, slowly upgrading the tempo with a wiser and serious sounding Dickinson who is co-leading the scene with the guitar licks. This is my favorite song from this album, the desperate and sometimes painful guitar playing just hooks me without any available remedy. Smith, Gers & Murray are simply fantastic together, period. Almost 13 minutes of perfectly crafted "mid tempo" heavy and melodic heavy metal! Again, the lyrical content is out of bounds!

Afraid to shoot strangers. Sorry, my bad! The almighty Hell on Earth, with the most accurate and actual track title in the whole double set! Traditional Maiden galloping brain designed by H, maybe the more hit single fitted out of the three epics, it just sounds like any song from the SSOTSS era?memorable, melodic, powerful and even just a little bit mainstream. Signature instrumental pause preparing the vocals reentrance at full and furious capacity! Guitar galore with a flawless Nicko and a more than cohesive band! This album is a grower, it just gets better with every listen, but is also guaranteed to grab your attention at first ride, and it might not be the best Iron Maiden ever, but is definitely the best new Iron Maiden ever! The End!

 Senjutsu by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 59 ratings

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Senjutsu
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Iron Maiden has consolidated its 21th century style since Brave New World with producer Kevin Shirley. He gives the band all freedom to work in a sort of live in the studio setting; recording bit by bit the tracks as they are written. That album - Brave New World - sounded fresh and modern at the time, but since then the progression of the band its style has come to a stalemate. As with all other albums since then I can't really stop thinking about all missed opportunities for the band. To me the songs sounds unfinished and under-produced. The importance of the overall arch of the songs is ignored, making the songs just 'long' without any build-up that justify the length. The mixing is awful and makes the songs ineffective; everything is just loud all the time. By taking back some gas during refrains or during bridges a lot of excitement could have been build. The recording of the instruments sounds however far better then on the sloppy 'Book of Souls', that sounded like a demo to me. This album has some strings / synths hidden in the mix. They could have been a welcome addition, had they been given the space to work like they did on the 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' record. The legendary vocalist Bruce Dickinson still has a very loud voice and manages to scream over most triple guitar riffing, but his voice sounds much better if doesn't have to do that all the time. My main concern with Iron Maiden latest records is however the lack of a recognizable style for each album like they had up to 'Fear of the Dark'.

Even the title track 'Senjutsu' has nothing more than a bit of ethnic war drumming to it. A good producer would have, by the way, strongly advised to give that song a short pre-chorus or break because the chorus comes out of nowhere and misses its opportunity to shine completely. 'Stratego', co-written by Janick Gers, is a relatively concise song and has some of the better melodies. Without the flat mixing this could have been a classic track for the band. 'The Writing on the Wall' has a nice folky intro and sets up the band to do something original here. The chord patterns and rhythms for the rest of the song are however Iron Maiden recycling its power chord patterns as they have done so often the last twenty years. "Lost in a Lost World' hints at how interesting a spacey folk song by the band could have sounded, but alas, after a few minutes we get boring hardrock riffs. The main melodic theme of the song (starting at 3:38) is the most effective part of the album. A bit like how the song 'Brave New World' struck at first spin. In the ending section we get to hear this part in a clean setting with Bruce not having to scream and it is really beautiful. A good producer would have forced Iron Maiden to rewrite the song and use that as an opening. The solo sections remind me of the X-factor album, though that album showed a nice restrained when it comes to the production - giving the themes a sense of depth. 'The Days of Future Past' is written by Dickinson and Smith and does indeed sound like a track that wouldn't have done badly on an album like 'The Chemical Wedding' (Dickinson solo). 'The Time Machine' is a leftovers song; it has a pleasant atmospheric opening section (where are the sound effects Shirley?) before the riffing starts. The verse riffs in the major key and vocals are among the most exciting of the record and the way Dickinson rises in pitch is very uplifting. At 3:03 another track starts out of nowhere and the form of the song is ruined. 'The Darkest Hour' has a nice opening section with a lead guitar lick reminding me a bit of the 'Somewhere in Time' period. The song has some clean guitars, which gives it some time to breath and work as a song. This is another composition by Smith/Dickinson and it sounds like a fine Dickinson solo recording like 'Taking the Queen'. Then begins the run of Harris' three epics. By the way, they all open with the acoustic bass of Harris. 'Death of the Celts' is basically a rewrite of 'Viritual XI' its 'Clansman' and you can't really blame Iron Maiden for recording it, on this album it is one of the least faceless songs. 'The Parchment' has little new to offer and it doesn't sound very memorable either. The album's closer 'Hell on Earth' fails to leave an impression on me as well. Just Iron Maiden galloping in the minor key and some simple lead guitar melodies.

In conclusion; Iron Maiden has become a band that has its success guaranteed since the return of Bruce Dickinson. They are confident and do what they feel like. They record an album the way they want to. With the song-writing talent they have, the vocals of Dickinson and instrumental prowess they can still showcase they are sure to have another well selling heavy metal album and sold out gigs all over the world. Progressive rock fans have shown great interest as well in this album because of the lengthy epical songs. I myself am not impressed by this record that should have - yet again - been so much more. Had I been given the choice; the full Senjutsu album or a single song like 'The Flight of Icarus', I would have probably chosen the second option. The overall production sound is however the best since Brave New World and it surely is one of the better records of their 21th century run.

 Senjutsu by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 59 ratings

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Senjutsu
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by The Rain Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Senjutsu" is the 17th album by English metal prog gods Iron Maiden. First of all a brief background of my history with the band. I remember buying "Brave New World" back in 2000 and liking it. But then lost track of them and it wasn't until 2010 when "Final Frontier" came out that I would listen to them again. That was my favourite album by them up until this year. I loved all the longer tracks on the album especially. Then their next album "Book of souls" came out five years in 2015 which I also bought and was a double album. For a band that pushes their sound and their own boundaries a lot this was ambitious even for them and featured their longest track to date which was in the 20 minute ball park.

Here we are though in 2021 and now finally after 6 years we have a new Maiden album. Obviously, there was an extensive "Book of souls" tour, but they also did a tour looking back at an older album too with their "Legacy of the Beast" tour. This year thanks to Tim's Twitter listening party where two of the albums involved were "Powerslave" and "Seventh son of the seventh son" has seen me really get into Maiden in a bigger way than ever before. While I haven't got into the whole back catalogue yet. I have listened to a lot of the 80s stuff and also bought a lot of the live DVDs they have released over the years.

In terms of the build up to "Senjetsu", Maiden did make it fun for fans by giving out t-shirts to famous music friends like Frank Turner and Tim Burgees and getting them to wear the t-shirts or post on social media to create this hype wagon. There was then a countdown to specific day and time at one point which ended up being the premier of a new song which was "Writing on the wall" which was soon followed by the album announcement. "Writing on the wall" I felt shows everything which is good about Maiden; great guitar work, great vocals and all round great song composition. I did see some reaction afterwards from reviewers saying Bruce's voice has gone but I have to disagree with that. I think he still has it.

In terms of the album, like "Book of souls" this is a double album which is roughly 40 minutes per CD. 6 tracks on the first side and 4 tracks on the second side. The first 6 tracks have what I would call some of the more accessible tracks on the album and ones which would appeal to more people. Tracks like "Writing on the Wall", "Stratego" and "Days of Future past" are the shortest tracks on the album. "Stratego" I thought was alright when I first heard it but I think it's a track which fits on the album better than listening to it as an individual track. "Days of Future past" for me is a better track. It has a fast tempo kind of like "The Trooper" without being a carbon copy. For me it's a lot more of a hit than "Stratego" and I think it deserves the single treatment and definitely an appearance in their live set.

Title track "Senjetsu" sets up them album well, being the first track. The big drum comes in straight away and the 8 minutes it lasts for feels like it's over all too soon. Much like other tracks on this album. Another track on the first side is "Lost in a lost world" which is the longest track on the first side at around 9 minutes. I would say this has one of the best outros on the album as it winds down with about a minute to go with Bruce's lyrics slotting in absolutely perfectly with the music.

To be honest I think they could have gotten away with just releasing the first disc as an album itself. Yes, it's 6 tracks but it's also 40 minutes which is more than acceptable for an album. It is nicely contained, has the longer tracks and has the more anthemic tracks. I certainly wouldn't have complained if this was the album. However, if you hear the 4 tracks on the second disc you would probably change your mind. The first disc is excellent, but the second disc reaches places and moments which are out of this world and for me arguably up there with best Iron Maiden have ever done.

The shortest track on this disc is "Darkest Hour" which is still 7 minutes long. Then you have "Death of the Celts" at 10 minutes, "The Parchment" at 12 minutes and "Hell on earth" rounding off the album at 10 minutes. Now I think the best way to get across how good these songs are, is that when you look across at say 5-6 minutes through any of these songs. I don't look at it and go "Oh no another 5 odd minutes to go". At these points I'm thinking "You absolute beauty 5-6 minutes to go". These songs are all absolute epics. I must pay particular attention to "Death of the celts" as this gives me major goosebumps. The long guitar instrumental section on this is just sensational. The way the track progresses and the change in pace along with the interplay between guitarists is this best passage of music I have heard all year. "The Parchment" I feel has an uphill task following this and I think on most other Maiden albums it would stand out a lot more as it well and truly still has its moments. And when I say moments, in Maiden terms moments equals minutes. The way this song builds up and finishes with an epic guitar solo is spot on.

Overall, I think and hope this goes down as a classic Maiden album. I think it's better than "Book of souls" and "Final Frontier which was my favourite album by Maiden for a long time has now been moved off its perch. It's harder to compare it to the classic albums they did in the 80s. This is a very different beast. I have listened to this at least twice a day for the last week and I still think there is more to discover and unlock. One things for sure, if I have an hour and twenty minutes to spare in the coming months I sure know what I am going to be doing with it!

 Senjutsu by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 59 ratings

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Senjutsu
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review #112.

I bought my first Iron Maiden album when it was released, back in 1981. Yes, it was the album Killers, and I was 13 years old. Since then, I listened to many different styles of music, but I was always following Maiden's releases.

Their last album, The Book of Souls wasn't good in my opinion, with the exception of the - very good - Empire of the Clouds. So, when I heard about this new album I didn't pay much attention to be honest, because I thought it would be similar (or worse) in comparison with "Souls" But I was wrong, very wrong!

No, it's not the new Powerslave or the new Number of the Beast, but is there a person who was expecting something like that?

So, in my humble opinion, Senjutsu is a very good and well made album, which includes not one, not two, but three epics! All three of them are really great songs; not in the typical style of Iron Maiden though. I listened to the whole album 4-5 times so far, and I believe that it is one of their best releases after Brave New World, which was released a long, long time ago! But have in mind that it needs some time to fully appreciate it, because it is not as easy going as some of their previous works. For me, this was a very pleasant surprise by Iron Maiden! I would like to give 3,5 stars, but since I can't I am going to give 4.0 (3.0 would be an unfair number to give). Enjoy! :)

 Senjutsu by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 59 ratings

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Senjutsu
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Jmgf

4 stars Despite long length in many songs and tempo and rythm changes it is still not prog metal, (but yes, is becoming even more prog related if you will) and still sounds like pure Maiden. With the 17th studio album Iron Maiden delivers one of the top 3 works since the 1999 reunion (the others being Brave New World and personal favorit AMoLaD). Three stand-out tracks Writing on the Wall, The Pachment and Hell on Earth are among the best they have done in their very long career. But the album is great to listen as a whole as there are really no low points here (specially for a Maiden fan). You love prog rock/metal and don't know Iron Maiden that good? Wouldn't say this is the best place to start though (try maybe Piece of Mind, Seventh Son or AMoLaD first). Senjustsu as its own vibe, its unique sound, mature and natural, not sounding too forced in the longer compositions as it did in previous works. Throughout the 82 minutes the long time fan can notice a re-capture and correction of ideias that didn't work well at the time in works like XFactor, Virtual XI or even the sloppy Book of Souls. Here and now Maiden is confortable with its evolved sound, the composition is inspired not trying to bring back old formulas of the successful 80s. And don't forget this guys are in their 60s (!), who would have thought after listening their brand new sound?!

Senjetsu is without any doubt an excellent addition to any rock music collection ! (4 stars)

5 stars if you are an old-time fan, for whom this new collection of songs is a true blessing.

 The Number Of The Beast by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.84 | 713 ratings

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The Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars The Number of the Beast is probably the most famous heavy metal album in the strict sense of the world outside the classic listener circuit of the genre. This vinyl made a decisive contribution to clearing the movement in the official record industry, placing itself at number one in the UK charts and giving the real stura to N.W.O.B.H.M. and an avalanche of such products that literally invaded the market. With this work, moreover, the Iron Maiden placed themselves decisively at the head of the movement. Adrian Smith's contribution here is more personal and mature than the previous one, where he had worked on mostly ready-made material and the amalgamation with Dave Murray is definitely notable, especially in exchanges during solos. Also decisive for the fate of the group was the formation of Bruce Dickinson, who will become one of the most loved and well-known singers in the entire sector and beyond. The most studied songwriting, even if less fresh than that of Killers and for the most part signed as always by Steve Harris, is at the highest level, bringing the compositions on vocal tones that the good Di'Anno could not have supported and shifting the focus on much more refined levels. Also noteworthy are the performances behind the drums of the late Clive Burr, the last before his departure and remarkable the production of Martin Birch, who gave the band a fuller sound and more in line with the new course.

The work is introduced by Invaders, basically the continuation of Invasion, a piece already present on The Soundhouse Tapes. Assault song appropriately placed at the opening, which already highlights the voice of Bruce, whose text deals with the Viking invasion of England. Follows Children of the Damned, inspired by the 1963 film of the same name which dealt with the story of six children with supernatural powers and whose harmony is known to anyone who has listened to this music for more than an hour. From here on it's all a succession of hits, all full of high-level harmonic solutions, great taste and incisive solo crossings, linked and supported by the rattling bass of Steve Harris, always busy linking all the passages of the songs with his typical style. The Prisoner, inspired by a series from the 60s with Patrick Mc Goohan (a secret agent wants to retire, but is kidnapped and transported to the "Village", where he becomes a number, 6, who decides to rebel) to which the intro refers recited. 22 Acacia Avenue, continuation of the story of Charlotte The Harlot is particular in that it is hardly comparable to the standard production of the Iron Maiden, but it is a very successful episode that gives a certain variety to the platter. Then the famous The Number of the Beast, the second single extracted (No. 18 in the charts), is a curious mix of inspirations between the 1978 film Omen 2 and a dream of Steve. Intro performed by Barry Clayton and piece that is a candidate for a single manifesto of the 80s. Unforgettable, also for its ingenuity, the accompanying video. Criticized at the time of its release because it was accused of commerciality (?) Run to the Hills, the first single (n ° 35) dedicated to the wars of the Indians seen from both points of view, whose bass triplets want to simulate a ride and will become a trademark of the Virgin. Gangland is a vaguely jazzy-inspired piece signed by the Burr / Smith firm and generally a little underestimated, but at least Bruce's vocal line is remarkable. So remarkable as to be difficult to replicate live. The closing is for the best song: Hallowed Be Thy Name. Great atmospheres, great accelerations, great solos, beautiful lyrics, great emotional participation, the sum of all that a metal song must be.

As you may have noticed, the analysis does not go into the description of the individual pieces from a strictly musical point of view, given that these have been ultra-contextualized for decades, but instead provides some historical notes perhaps less known to most. That said, it is undisputed that the entire work represents a notable turning point in the history of heavy, if contextualized with respect to the state of the art of metal from the 1982 year of grace to the vocal possibilities of Bruce Dickinson, conveyed in the first place by a single like Run to the Hills, actually easier than the previous production, more impetuous and less elaborate, but still immensely less commercial than what could normally be heard at the time on mass media in England and beyond. This brought the name of Maiden and therefore of heavy on everyone's lips, bringing people into contact with elaborate songs such as Children of the Damned and above all Hallowed Be Thy Name, real aptitude tests to establish who was really led by nature towards the 'heavy metal. We have already said about Bruce's voice and Harris' bass, but it should be added that this is where the guitarism of the Smith / Murray duo really begins to announce future developments, while one more word must be spent on Clive's latest powerful performance Burr, whose story will end bitterly years later. The Number of the Beast simply established a new canon, a new point of reference that stimulated an entire movement to evolve towards more mature shores, sometimes also to detach itself from the style of the band and find its own expressive forms, thus resulting absolutely essential both for the story of the group that, more importantly, everything for heavy metal. There are not many records that can boast such qualities.

 Powerslave by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.13 | 780 ratings

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Powerslave
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

3 stars 'Powerslave' by Iron Maiden is a good example of what a decent 80s metal album sounds like... but not much more. The follow-up to 'Piece of Mind', one of their more successful releases, is a somewhat disappointing venture into common ground, as the British new wave metal legends present a collection of eight songs, recorded at Nassau Point Studio in the Bahamas, that does not necessarily expand their sound. It has to be said that up to that point Iron Maiden had been gaining momentum, with each release reaching a wider audience, performing better commercially, and so on. However, what I think is that out of their first five studio albums, 'Children of the Damned' is the one that deserves the most attention, as the rest seems a bit incomplete still, maybe lacking this crispy cohesiveness that they would later develop, with albums like 'Seventh Son' or 'Brave New World'.

As for 'Powerslave', it is a powerful, energetic and uplifting recording, kicking off with two awesome and kickass singles, those being 'Aces High' and '2 Minutes to Midnight'. As usual, the primary writer (or rather, contributor) to the essence of the album, is the band's brilliant bass player Steve Harris, undoubtedly one of the most important and influential bassists of his generation, the rest of the band is performing not worse. Bruce Dickinson also sounds like a beast on this album, and there is a very strong Ian Gillan influence on several moments of his phrasing and screaming throughout the album. 'The Duellists' is an interesting song, the title track is really good, and the 13-minute 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' has to be the big winner of the album, as it can be safely said, Maiden went full on prog with this one! A multi-section epic, with shifting moods and tempos, it is a severely promising composition, and a side of the band's sound that would be best developed on the aforementioned 'Seventh Son'.

What I know is that 'Powerslave' is a bit polarizing for fans and critics of the band alike; For me - I know I have heard heaps of better albums, and I am certain that they have released much stronger LPs. Not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, but not a mind-blowing and game-changing either.

 Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico by IRON MAIDEN album cover Live, 2020
3.97 | 10 ratings

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Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is a live double album release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through Parlophone Records in November 2020. The material featured on the album was recorded on 27th, 29th and 30th of September 2019 in Mexico City, during the Legacy of the Beast World Tour. The tour wasnīt in support of a particular album, as the band had wrapped up The Book of Souls World Tour in 2017, but rather in support of, or maybe more correctly accompanying the "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast" mobile game. This meant that the band played quite a few legacy tracks on the tour and even revived a couple of older tracks they hadnīt played in years.

So while itīs no surprise to see that the tracklist includes tracks like "Aces High", "2 Minutes to Midnight", and "Hallowed Be Thy Name", itīs a bit more surprising to see tracks like "Where Eagles Dare" and "Flight of Icarus" included. The latter hadnīt been played by Iron Maiden since the tour supporting "Somewhere in Time (1986)". Whatīs even more suprising to me is the inclusion of the two Blaze Bayley-era tracks "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". The last surprise on the tracklist is "For the Greater Good of God" from "A Matter of Life and Death (2006)". Itīs not as such a surprise that the track is included, but itīs just the first recorded live version to be released of the song. So itīs a well balanced tracklist with both great legacy tracks, and a few more deep cuts to spice things up, and the combination works great on "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City".

The sound production is not surprisingly of a high quality featuring a powerful and organic sound, and audience responses/noises when that is called for. While this is certainly a hi-fi quality live production, youīre never in doubt that itīs a live release, and thatīs how the best live productions usually work. The band are in fine form too and deliver the music with great skill and conviction. I think Bruce Dickinson struggles slightly on the faster-paced tracks, but other than that slight issue his performance here is as commanding as ever. Itīs quite frankly amazing how he is able to control his voice and sing the high notes without sounding strained.

Some of the highlights of the album (other than the legacy tracks, which weīve all heard a thousand times before on preceding live albums), are "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". I realise Iron Maiden have released live versions of the two songs featuring Dickinson on some of the preceding live albums, but every time I hear those songs with him on vocals, Iīm in awe of how great those tracks actually are, with a more unique vocalist performing them. Upon conclusion "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is yet another high quality live album release by Iron Maiden to help make the waiting time before the band release a new studio album more bearable for the fans. Itīs not the most necessary release in their discography, but itīs greatly entertaining and high quality release through and through. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 The X Factor by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.22 | 361 ratings

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The X Factor
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars The 90s were a brutal time for established metal acts with almost all of them suffering a significant decline in popularity. It was both pathetic and amusing to see the most regal kings of the 1980s stumbling around like blind men as the alternative 90s swept away everything that the 80s had excelled at. While a few bands like Metallica adapted with some commercial success, most of the giants of the past were floundering about like fish out of water and so too was the case for one of the greatest of them all, IRON MAIDEN.

When asked which era is one's favorite in the mighty MAIDEN history books, absolutely nobody will point to the Blaze Bayley years as their highlight. After an incredibly successful decade with one amazing album after another and incessant touring that no mere mortal could sustain, by the time IRON MAIDEN reached the eight album "No Prayer For The Dying," it was beginning to be obvious that the band was burning out a bit and although that album had some excellent tracks on board, the album itself was much weaker than anything that came before. While "Fear of the Dark" was a bit of a step up, it too failed to reach the sheer perfection of the 80s output.

Frustrated and exhausted, guitarist Adrian Smith left all the way back before the "No Prayer For The Dying" album. He saw the writing on the wall and the next to depart was lead singer Bruce Dickinson who left after the "Fear of the Dark" tour in order to embark on a solo career. With such impossible boots to fill, Steve Harris was forced between breaking up the band or finding a replacement. After an incredible amount of searching the new singer was former Wolfbane vocalist Blaze Bayley who appeared on what many have deemed (including myself), the nadir of IRON MAIDEN's otherwise stellar career. Yep, the 90s were not kind.

THE X-FACTOR was the first of two albums to feature Bayley behind the mic and appeared in 1995, three years after "Fear of the Dark." The album was a departure in many ways. Longtime producer Martin Birch retired and left another void in the band's status quo as well as the album cover art being the first not created by Derek Riggs. The band's darkest days were reflected by the darker cover art and subject matter that was partially inspired by Steve Harris going through a divorce as well as an established 80s band suddenly losing its way in the alternative 90s wilderness.

THE X-FACTOR was released to lukewarm response and for great reason. The band simply was unable to adapt to the 90s and clung on to many of the aspects that made MAIDEN such an excellent 80s arena metal band. Only a few problems with that approach. First of all Bayley's vocal style doesn't quite have the range required to bring out the best of IRON MAIDEN's musical approach and secondly the music which is excellent, heavily borrows from the "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" playbook and THAT was just not cool in the year 1995 when Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots were dominating the heavy metal world. It also didn't help the band that more extreme forms of metal like death metal, black metal and doom metal were making MAIDEN sound a bit outdated.

This 10th album by IRON MAIDEN is somewhat of a mixed blessing. The band said that one of the singers they auditioned sounded shockingly identical to Bruce Dickinson but they wanted to find a different styled singer. Bad choice. MAIDEN sort of paralleled Judas Priest not only as the metal gods of the 1980s but also in the fact that both bands lost their lead singers about the same time and decided to replace them. While MAIDEN was a superior band in consistency, Priest actually made a better decision once they added The Ripper as their top screamer. Priest got the memo and learned how to adapt the music to the singer whereas MAIDEN simply added a singer and went back to the coffers to pad the music with ideas already presented.

Musically THE X-FACTOR is actually really, really good with the best tracks presented on the first half of the album and some weaker ones providing filler on the second half. Another problem with this album is that it is WAY too long and at almost 71 minutes could have been trimmed down by about 20 minutes. The opening "Sign of the Cross" is a powerhouse and by far the best track on the album with creepy keyboards and Gregorian chants ushering in a very progressive track that features dark lyrics and some of the most interesting instrumental workouts since "Seventh Son."

The single "Lord Of The Flies" provided the catchy single but once again Bayley lacked the vocal dexterity and larger than life charisma that Dickinson exuded in abundance. Despite the weak vocal performances, musically this is an excellent album but due to the lack of a top dog like Dickinson at the helm feels woefully unbalanced due to MAIDEN's failure to adapt the music to the singer's ability. The fact that Harris dropped Paul Di'Anno due to his inability to keep up with the band makes it all the more surprising that this didn't turn out so well. The rest of the album musically speaking is like the sequel to "Seventh Son" with keyboards provided by guest musician Michael Kenney adding eerie atmospheric backdrops to Harris' idiosyncratic bass playing and the twin guitar harmonies of Dave Murray and Janick Gers.

For the seasoned MAIDEN fan, you will hear snippets of past ideas ranging from the intro of "Children of the Damned" providing a recycled riff on "Look For The Truth" and many other examples of MAIDEN mining their past however the band also offers some interesting new ideas to their roster such as the bizarre guitar riffs on "Judgement of Heaven" which sounds somewhat familiar but slightly different. The album is certainly not a waste of time on the music side of the equation and if this one happened to be rerecorded with Dickinson i would dare to say that this would be an excellent album and a major return to form. However as it is the incongruent nature of Bayley's vocals not strong enough for MAIDEN material brings this down a lot.

Basically this album has 4 star music and 2 star vocals but it wasn't really Bayley's fault. His style just wasn't compatible with this demanding music that needed an operatic singer to bring it to full life. What i would like to see happen is this album to be rerecorded with maybe a bunch of guest singers who could hit the higher notes. I rarely listen to this one due to the frustration of wanting Bayley to step up to the plate but alas it never happens! Any true MAIDEN will want this in their collection despite its flaws. It's not unlistenable and is by far a better album than the absolutely awful "Virtual XI" that followed. All i can think of when i listen to this one is "Where was Ronnie James Dio when we needed him?" HA, if only :D

 Fear Of The Dark by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.99 | 469 ratings

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Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by fabien

3 stars Some amazing epic highlights ( Afraid to shoot Strangers and Fear of the Dark), some solid Iron Maiden short songs (be quick or be dead, and at a lesser degree Judas my guide), some original but non maiden material like Wasting love or fear is the key whicjh have their good moments, some classic maiden but not very inspired like the fugitive, chain of misery, childhood end) still good songs though. But you have fillers and quite mediocre hard rock average songs like weekend warrior and The apparition or from here to eternity. It does not sound like Maiden, it's uninspired, weak songs overall. Stripped off of those songs, the album deserves 4/5, but with them clearly a 3/5 maybe less
Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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