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IRON MAIDEN

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Iron Maiden biography
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 Maiden's eighth studio album, "No Prayer for the Dying". He was replaced...
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The Book Of Souls [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]The Book Of Souls [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]
BMG Recorded Music 2015
Audio CD$15.89
$16.73 (used)
The Number Of The Beast [Enhanced]The Number Of The Beast [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$10.13
$6.99 (used)
Powerslave [Enhanced]Powerslave [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$10.89
$7.97 (used)
Somewhere In Time [Enhanced]Somewhere In Time [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$10.48
$4.90 (used)
Piece Of Mind [Enhanced]Piece Of Mind [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$9.28
$5.30 (used)
Fear Of The Dark [Enhanced]Fear Of The Dark [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$9.83
$6.99 (used)
Somewhere Back In Time - The Best Of 1980-1989Somewhere Back In Time - The Best Of 1980-1989
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$9.19
$5.79 (used)
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son [Enhanced]Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$9.64
$9.62 (used)
The Number Of The Beast [LP]The Number Of The Beast [LP]
Sanctuary 2014
Vinyl$15.48
$18.00 (used)
No Prayer For The Dying [Enhanced]No Prayer For The Dying [Enhanced]
Remastered
Sanctuary 2011
Audio CD$8.99
$10.69 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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44m 45s
Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden (CD, Jan-2006, Sony Music Distribution (USA)) USD $3.80 [8 bids]
46m 57s
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1h 36m
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Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills single CD (2002) EMI USD $14.24 [0 bids]
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Iron Maiden - Running Free / Run To The Hills single CD (1990) EMI USD $21.73 [0 bids]
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Iron maiden vinyl the clairvoyant 12 inch USD $3.41 [1 bids]
6h 20m
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6h 27m
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6h 46m
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6h 59m
Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast single CD enhanced EMI (2005) USD $6.74 [0 bids]
USD $14.24 Buy It Now
7h
Iron Maiden - Wicker Man single CD (2000) EMI USD $14.24 [0 bids]
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7h 3m
Iron maiden vinyl limited edition fist ten years women in uniform/twilight zone USD $6.81 [1 bids]
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Iron Maiden Eddie's Archive UK Six CD Box Set Japan Sold Issue USD $399.99 Buy It Now 7h 18m
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Iron Maiden,Run To The Hills,(EMIP 5263),b/w Total Eclipse,Picture disc,7" USD $20.43 Buy It Now 8h 2m
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8h 32m
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IRON MAIDEN 1981 TWILIGHT ZONE / WRATHCHILD 7" vinyl 45 (EMI 5145) USD $27.22 Buy It Now 8h 43m
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8h 56m
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9h
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IRON MAIDEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.85 | 514 ratings
Iron Maiden
1980
3.60 | 467 ratings
Killers
1981
3.81 | 589 ratings
The Number Of The Beast
1982
3.74 | 507 ratings
Piece Of Mind
1983
4.13 | 634 ratings
Powerslave
1984
3.94 | 544 ratings
Somewhere In Time
1986
4.21 | 676 ratings
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
1988
2.55 | 333 ratings
No Prayer For The Dying
1990
3.00 | 380 ratings
Fear Of The Dark
1992
3.23 | 288 ratings
The X-Factor
1995
2.32 | 271 ratings
Virtual XI
1998
4.01 | 485 ratings
Brave New World
2000
3.58 | 327 ratings
Dance Of Death
2003
3.64 | 383 ratings
A Matter of Life and Death
2006
3.63 | 361 ratings
The Final Frontier
2010
4.04 | 158 ratings
The Book of Souls
2015

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

4.20 | 210 ratings
Live After Death
1985
2.90 | 74 ratings
A Real Live One
1993
2.64 | 70 ratings
A Real Dead One
1993
3.21 | 58 ratings
Live at Donington
1993
4.08 | 38 ratings
Maiden England
1994
2.98 | 52 ratings
A Real Live Dead One
1998
4.10 | 101 ratings
Rock in Rio
2002
4.13 | 30 ratings
BBC Archives
2002
3.62 | 38 ratings
Beast Over Hammersmith
2002
3.63 | 61 ratings
Death On The Road
2005
3.71 | 61 ratings
Flight 666 (The Original Soundtrack)
2009
3.33 | 41 ratings
En Vivo!
2012

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

4.13 | 24 ratings
Maiden England
1989
4.05 | 75 ratings
Rock In Rio
2002
4.46 | 52 ratings
The History of Iron Maiden Part 1: The Early Days
2004
4.71 | 88 ratings
Live After Death
2008
4.31 | 77 ratings
Flight 666: The Film
2009
3.95 | 25 ratings
En Vivo!
2012

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

3.71 | 44 ratings
Best of the Beast
1996
2.98 | 22 ratings
Ed Hunter
1999
2.09 | 30 ratings
Edward the Great
2002
3.33 | 27 ratings
Best of the B'Sides
2002
3.65 | 17 ratings
Eddie's Archive
2002
2.82 | 24 ratings
The Essential Iron Maiden
2005
2.66 | 39 ratings
Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of 1980 - 1989
2008
3.39 | 32 ratings
From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990 - 2010
2011

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

3.11 | 34 ratings
The Soundhouse Tapes
1979
2.88 | 31 ratings
Women in Uniform
1980
2.97 | 20 ratings
Live!! +one
1980
2.78 | 30 ratings
Running Free
1980
2.82 | 29 ratings
Sanctuary
1980
2.78 | 21 ratings
Twilight Zone
1981
3.00 | 25 ratings
Purgatory
1981
3.33 | 41 ratings
Maiden Japan
1981
3.75 | 16 ratings
Wrathchild promo
1981
3.67 | 30 ratings
Run to the Hills
1982
3.98 | 32 ratings
The Number of the Beast
1982
3.06 | 32 ratings
Flight of Icarus
1983
3.53 | 34 ratings
The Trooper
1983
4.00 | 30 ratings
2 Minutes to Midnight
1984
4.41 | 32 ratings
Aces High
1984
3.83 | 12 ratings
Where Eagles Dare promo
1984
3.50 | 18 ratings
Running Free 1985 live
1985
3.89 | 19 ratings
Run to the Hills 1985 live
1985
4.37 | 30 ratings
Wasted Years
1986
4.09 | 27 ratings
Stranger in a Strange Land
1986
3.78 | 27 ratings
Can I Play with Madness
1988
4.22 | 27 ratings
The Evil That Men Do
1988
4.00 | 29 ratings
The Clairvoyant
1988
2.20 | 5 ratings
An Interview With Iron Maiden
1988
4.11 | 19 ratings
Infinite Dreams
1989
2.62 | 21 ratings
Holy Smoke
1990
2.96 | 23 ratings
Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter
1990
2.20 | 5 ratings
Talking To Iron Maiden
1990
3.36 | 22 ratings
Be Quick or Be Dead
1992
2.94 | 17 ratings
From Here to Eternity
1992
3.16 | 19 ratings
Wasting Love
1992
3.24 | 21 ratings
Fear of the Dark
1993
3.80 | 20 ratings
Hallowed Be Thy Name
1993
3.39 | 23 ratings
Man on the Edge
1995
3.52 | 21 ratings
Lord of the Flies
1996
2.37 | 19 ratings
The Angel and the Gambler
1998
3.65 | 20 ratings
Futureal
1998
3.96 | 23 ratings
The Wicker Man
2000
3.57 | 21 ratings
Out of the Silent Planet
2000
3.00 | 19 ratings
Wildest Dreams
2003
2.61 | 19 ratings
Rainmaker
2003
3.67 | 9 ratings
No More Lies
2004
3.27 | 24 ratings
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
2006
3.52 | 21 ratings
Different World
2006
3.02 | 28 ratings
El Dorado
2010

IRON MAIDEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 158 ratings

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The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Whilst Iron Maiden have never gone full prog metal, they've included progressive elements in their songwriting throughout their career to varying degrees with Seventh Son of a Seventh Son the high water mark of this tendency... until now. A sprawling double album replete with epic tracks, including the soaring 18-minute closer Empire of the Clouds, the Book of Souls finds Maiden taking their post-Brave New World purple period to new heights.

Inspired by Bruce Dickinson's love of aviation and completed despite the terrifying health scare he underwent during the process of preparing the album, it's another classic work in the band's discography which should silence any suggestion that they've been simply repeating themselves of late.

 Powerslave by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.13 | 634 ratings

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Powerslave
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Half powerful

Wow, what a stunning artwork! This must be top-notch middle-eastern heavy metal! Well, unfortunately not exactly....

"Powerslave" marks, for me, the transition from a pure, epic to a more prog-oriented metal. Thus, as for most transitional albums, it has both good and bad parts.

Good parts are tracks 1, 3, 7 and 8. "Aces High" is a powerful, typical MAIDEN opening, which shares some similarities with "Where Eagles Dare". "Losfer Words" is an aggressive instrumental track with interesting variations. However, the record highlight - and the main interest for proggers - are the Egyptian-like title track and the 13 minutes suite "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". These songs alone justifies the listen. Unfortunately, the rest of the album does not present the same quality and originality.

The other half of the album contains mostly what I consider as filler songs. "2 Minutes to Midnight" sounds rather flat, contrasting with the enthusiasm of the opening track. "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duellists" have strong intros, but afterwards becomes annoying and repetitive, missing at keeping interest. The worst moment of the album is undoubtedly "Back In The Village". This song may be one of their less inspired from the 80's. Compared to the epic tracks on the previous album "Piece of Mind", this is quite a contrast.

My least favorite 80's IRON MAIDEN album. Prog fans can give it a listen, but for them I'll rather recommend "Somewhere in Time", "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", or even "The X-Factor".

 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 158 ratings

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The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars "The Book of Souls" is the sixteenth studio album from heavy metal giants Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden is a band that needs no introduction, as those who aren't metal-heads have probably at least heard the name. Iron Maiden's long-awaited sixteenth studio album is an album of multiple firsts for the band. It's the band's first double-album and contains the bands longest song to date, "Empire of the Clouds", which clocks in at over 18-minutes.

Despite those facts, "The Book of Souls" is unmistakably the sound of Iron Maiden and continues down the path they've been on since 2000's "Brave New World". There are only four songs that are under the six-minute mark, and three songs that are epics longer than 10-minutes. Disc 1 and the album opens up on a grandiose note with the beginning of 'If Eternity Should Fail', which sounds like an ancient procession of some sort with Bruce Dickinson's heroic vocals soon coming in. Both 'Speed of Light' and 'When the River Runs Deep' are ass-kicking energetic heavy metal tracks with great riffs that instantly get you pumped, while the rest of the songs on Disc 1 are epic in nature.

The classical guitar/acoustic bass work featured on the opening song, 'The Red and the Black', and the title track is all really impressive and immensely beautiful and chilling. The Red and the Black's intro especially is killer with its menacing tone and bass reverb, it's a shame that it doesn't last longer. That's not to say the rest of the song isn't killer, as it is as are all the songs on Disc 1. 'The Great Unknown' is probably my favorite on the album, and while only six and a half minutes, has as much of an epic presence to them as the epics. Dickinson's vocal performance is stunning on this song and it has a darkly beautiful atmosphere. The title track has fantastic brooding stomping riffs and orchestration that really compliments the band well.

While not as amazing as Disc 1, Disc 2 certainly has some winners too. 'Death or Glory' is another great energetic heavy metal song, and 'Shadows of the Valley' and 'The Man of Sorrows' are both beautiful epic-sounding songs. The latter also has a nice bluesy tone to it adding some variation. 'Tears of a Clown' is a bit boring, but despite dragging on a bit in parts, 'Empire of the Clouds' is certainly quite the majestic epic finale. I think the first half of the song is the best, but it does do an overall great job at keeping the listener invested for 18 minutes. The many sound changes probably helps.

Overall, "The Book of Souls" is another killer album from heavy metal legends Iron Maiden with Disc 1 being among their best work. Like fellow legends Judas Priest and Saxon, Iron Maiden is another classic act that is still able to deliver amazing material after many decades of performing. Most metal fans have probably already heard it, but if you haven't and are a fan of post-2000's Iron Maiden, you should do yourself a favor and check it out.

 A Matter of Life and Death by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.64 | 383 ratings

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A Matter of Life and Death
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ever since the Dickenson/Smith reunion album 'Brave New World', Iron Maiden albums seem to have had some... I hate to say gimmick but some selling point, as if they needed that. Of course the return of Bruce Dickenson on vocals was the greatest thing that could have happened to Iron Maiden, and with Adrian Smith back in the line-up as well things couldn't have looked better as the band opened the new millennium. In 2003, 'Dance of Death' was recorded all on analogue tape, and 'A Matter of Life and Death', according to the Wiki article, was not mastered but just put straight to disc to give it that 'what you hear in the studio' sound. Later came 'The Final Frontier', which many thought might be the final Iron Maiden album, and then in 2015 we had Maiden's longest album yet with an epic song that featured Bruce on piano.

From my perspective, Iron Maiden spent the first four albums perfecting their sound. What we hear on 'Piece of Mind' is THE Iron Maiden sound. They added a long composition for their fifth album 'Powerslave', guitar synthesizers for 'Somewhere in Time' and a concept album for 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son'. After that, I don't know where they went, though I know many felt 'No Prayer for the Dying' was substandard and 'Fear of the Dark' was an attempt to keep Iron Maiden in vogue with the grunge scene happening all around. The Blaze Bailey albums, I don't know about. Perhaps I'll find out one day. I think many people agree, however, that from 'Brave New World' Iron Maiden were back in their soundscope and playing what us old fans love to hear.

Now honestly, I was not thinking to give this album four stars. After 'The Book of Souls' came out, I was impressed enough to buy the four albums from 'Brave New World' and on because I hadn't bought anything since 'Seventh Son'. Each album had some excellent songs with all the trademarks of excellent Iron Maiden songs. For a couple of weeks I listened to almost nothing but new Iron Maiden with a bit of the old classics thrown in for enjoyment's sake. But as months passed and loads of new music came to me, the thrill of many of the songs on this album faded. Recently I put some songs on mixed playlists and I found that I was not as impressed. The sound was too muddy. Dickenson's vocals were not clear and even sounded weak in parts, like he was straining his voice to keep the notes. When a song from this album followed a song from 'Powerslave' I really noticed the difference in recording clarity; 'Powerslave' sounded just so much better!

So tonight I cued up 'A Matter of Life and Death' and let it run through my ear buds and I found myself once more pleasantly surprised. The sound is a bit thick or muddy at first. I did feel that Bruce Dickenson's vocals don't stand out in the mix as they should. The band rocks out with the opening track 'Different World' and 'These Colours Don't Run' is slower but heavy as a Maiden song should be. Neither of them warmed my feelings toward the album though because of the recording quality.

So I notched the volume up one.

That made a big difference. From here on in, each song delivered things to impress. Some featured excellent heavy riffing like 'Brighter than a Thousand Suns' and 'The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg'. And many songs include what I call the Maiden musical journey. This is where the band go into an extended instrumental segment that is only partly devoted to guitar solos but is otherwise used for adding in new rhythms and riffs and changing tempo and meter. In a couple of tracks there were some surprise heavy riff parts like in 'The Longest Day' that don't crop up anywhere else in the songs. And in 'Lord of Light' I was surprised to hear a high wailing sound that turned out to be an electric guitar played in a way I've never heard done on a Maiden album. 'The Legacy' has an acoustic guitar and electric bass intro that I swear touches on renaissance music though I am no expert there at all. Bruce Dickenson still delivers his powerful vocals, and song after song just seems to sound great, some more so than others.

Where I feel there might be any reason to be disappointed other than the sound which could have been clearer is basically in the Iron Maiden formula approach to the song writing. I mean, Maiden established their sound and style over the first four albums and I feel that 'A Matter of Life a Death' treads barely any discernable new territory. Why should no mastering of the recording be a big selling point? This album is the same as the previous two with some long songs over seven or eight minutes and some shorter ones under six minutes. There's a standard approach of intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, repeat, instrumental journey interlude, pre-chorus, chorus, repeat the song title 8 to 12 times, and return to the intro to wind the song down. Six of the ten songs begin with a slower intro of clean electric guitars and bass and most of those end the same way, sometimes seemingly unnecessarily so. 'Let's just play the slow intro for the last few bars, gentleman, after the big thundering finish, you know, to make it all tie together'. The beginning of 'Out of the Shadows' harkens back to 'Revelations' from 'Piece of Mind'. And some of the drum rhythms are the same, in particular the "ONE... two... three... ONE... two... three" approach that's in 'The Pilgrim' and 'For the Greater Good of God', which is also in songs on their other recent albums.

In a way, Iron Maiden have what I call AC/DC syndrome, which is where the band basically follows the same approach album after album, musically and lyrically, and every album has its great songs that typify the band's ability and style but also have some songs that just seem to rely so heavily on that formula that they sound redundant.

Okay, that sounds like some harsh criticism and a reason to not buy this album. But as I mentioned earlier, once I started listening to this album all the way through, there were great moments in every song with some being greater than others. I was feeling really good about the songs and believing the album to be actually worthy of four stars after all.

Yes, I guess it is too late in Iron Maiden's career for them to pull an Opeth and go off in a very different direction and I think no one would want them to. Their fans know what they're going to get on an Iron Maiden LP and that's what the band is expected to deliver. And they do. Very well. And this album is no exception.

 Iron Maiden by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.85 | 514 ratings

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Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Amazing connection with various rock subgenre elements, they had (and have).

This album can be thought as one of the vanguards that merge punk, hardcore, (so-called) progressive, and especially pop, into heavy metal basis. Yes we should consider the reason they would have got to be a popular combo all over the world. Like to say that pop / melodious hard rock might be one of their early strategies for splashing their creation out into the worldwide rock scene in 1980s. Their methodological heavy riffs should addict us so slowly, gradually as if we might continue getting little poisonous liquid again and again or get a bunch of body blows.

Their artistic methods can be summarized and condensed into one of their masterpieces here "Phantom Of The Opera", we can get notified. Not only massive drumming expansion or violently explosive guitar sound bullets along with uptempo verse-chorus-interlude- verse-chorus repetitions but also intentional irregular rhythmical alterations via theatrical variations can be heard ... we must get surprised and amazed in such a musical development over 3 decades ago! Nope they were too innovative to avoid such an approach for metal freaks.

Anyway it's so cool to know their ballad number "Strange World" be beautiful and flowery, psychedelic, enough blended with hard, metallic sound delight. Wondering what essence should drive heavy metal combos to do such a gracious work, not only as for Iron Maiden but almost all HM artists. They might know how to control their melody-scape well, I imagine. Another metal outfit aside, they COULD navigate and manage their inner melody line upon stage and in a recording studio, unless they could directly got the revelation of Metal Guru.

As a result, the word "epochmaking" is pretty suitable for this eponymous debut, and why can we avoid the horrible and impressive sleeve? ;)

 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 158 ratings

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The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars As the heavy metal universe which i opine to have begun around 1970 is well into it's fifth decade as it has expanded from the initial big bang to a vast array of styles that continues to branch out and ever further expand, it is no longer sufficient for one to claim they are a metalhead for these days you have to broaden that statement to include which particular branches of metal you prefer. In my opinion IRON MAIDEN has somehow become the default setting and unofficial mascot of the entire metal universe for i have yet to meet any serious heavy metal fan whether they are into doom, death, black or simply old school classic metal that doesn't have a liking for a few classic MAIDEN albums. From their humble beginnings they were cranking out kick ass material that married all the best elements of heavy music and fast forward to 2015 to their 16th full studio release BOOK OF SOULS and this band that refuses to slow down releases another top notch high quality album that i find to be their best since their classic heyday period ending with "7th Son Of A 7th Son." While other bands that began in the 70s have mostly called it a day or are impudent shriveled foreskins in relation to their glory days, IRON MAIDEN surprises us with a sprawling double album that not only takes cues from every trick in the IRON MAIDEN playbook but expands those signature sounds and ushers them into 21st century relevance like few classic bands have. No viagra needed.

I have to admit that i have always seen MAIDEN in a sort of brotherly competition with the other NWOBHM heavyweight Judas Priest, but while Priest has been consistent in delivering albums that have many good tracks i more often than not find there to be a bit of filler that either should have been reworked or weeded out altogether not to mention they fail miserably when incorporating progressive ideas into the mix such as on "Nostradamus". MAIDEN on the other hand pretty much delivers on the goods with only the Blaze Bailey years being an aberrant twofer punch for albums that failed to present the high quality of musicianship and songwriting that we have become accustomed to. This brotherly competition between MAIDEN and Priest seems even more glaring as both bands released in the last couple of years albums with the "SOULS" in the title. It seems these two bands have reached a similar musical crossroads in their respective careers as Judas Priest seemed to revel in celebrating their entire canon of trademark sounds on their 2014 album "Redeemer of Souls" while a year later IRON MAIDEN manages to do the same by not only incorporating the various aspects of their past but sprinkles them with 21st century pixie dust and offers an album that is yet another milepost in the metal history books.

The album starts off with the classic "7th Son" type synthesized ambience (which is prevalent throughout the album) while Bruce Dickinson displays his mostly unaccompanied vocals that don't seem to have changed one bit since he first hit the scene with "The Number Of The Beast." With an ambience and metal performance that sounds a bit like "The Clairvoyant" from the "7th Son" album, it is clear that MAIDEN is back with a vengeance and with this album they can indeed revisit the past and one up the whole thing with their usual expected philosophical lyrics in top notch form along with the mandatory gallops, chord progressions and excellently executed metal delivery. This classic era lineup proves they have the chemistry that passes the test of time and their chops are immune to the corrosive properties that several decades more often than not erodes. After the super strong opener "If Eternity Should Fail" brings us back to their past and proves to us they still have that special musical mojo in play, the semi-progressive 8:28 track takes a turn with a strong percussive outburst and a little interlude that adds new musical twists and turns before resolving itself with the familiar established repeated chorus backed up by the addictive triple guitar harmonic assault of the three guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers. The track ends with an unaccompanied acoustic guitar with a highly processed spoken lyrics that add a bizarre outro. MAIDEN IS BACK!!!! This is for real :P

After the initial shock and awe sinks in, the band deliver their most retro of all tracks with "Speed Of Light" that would easily have fit in on the early Dickinson year albums such as "The Number Of The Beast" or "Piece Of Mind." The catchy 80s classic metal verse / chorus / bridge formula offers few surprises but does once again cement the fact that MAIDEN can easily match the best of their glory days and then some. The track ends very much like the style heard in "Run To The Hills" where the band finds a way to masterfully milk every last note and cadence until it is perfectly sacrificed to the silence that separates the tracks. "Speed Of Light" is also the first official single and one of the absolute coolest videos i've ever seen showing Eddie evolve throughout the history of video games. Simply brilliant. The album is now firmly established with a somewhat retro feel that liberally borrows from their entire discography. As we get to the third track "The Great Unknown" we are once again treated to the classic song structures that include all those addictive ingredients: metal gallops, wailing melodic vocals, pummeling bass and drums, alternating softer and heavier passages etc.

But then beginning with "The Red And The Black" we get a strange new style of guitar playing as an intro before breaking into a riff that reminds me a bit of cross between "Flight Of Icarus" and the chugging of "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" with excellent alternating sections of Bruce's vocals and a background chorus whipping out the "oh-oh-oh's." This track has lots of cool twists and turns but unfortunately the multi-minute soloing at the end is one of the few aspects of this entire album that wears thin on repeated listens. It's the kind of stuff that makes for a great live setting but when listening repeatedly in an album format seems to irritate me even though i love soloing in general.

As the album continues there are more references to previous past glories such as "When The River Runs Deep" with a riff that sounds like "Be Quick Or Be Dead," parts of the title track borrow from "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)," "Shadows Of Glory" starts out suspiciously like "Wasted Years" with that high guitar string riffage, "The Man Of Sorrows" vaguely reminds of "To Tame A Land" at times etc. but the album stays very consistent in delivering high quality riffing, bass abuse and lyrical content. While it may be true that perhaps Bruce Dickinson doesn't quite have the range he used to, the fact that the band has opted for a drop D tuning keeps him firmly in command of the range of the musical progressions that we expect. There's even an 18:01 musical behemoth that sees Bruce Dickinson playing piano and despite this first for the band in both the choice of piano and longest track ever, this still rings of a classic MAIDEN track melodically, rhythmically and in lyrical content. They seem to be unable to bugger up a song no matter how many new elements they throw out and to think that most of this album was created spontaneously in the studio with only a mere scaffolding of ideas at the work table.

So all in all, i love this album and have not been this excited about an IRON MAIDEN album since at least "Brave New World." Not that the others in between were bad by any means but they were not nearly as consistent as this one and haven't demanded repeated listens like this one has whispered in my ear. Like most of MAIDEN albums BOOK OF SOULS has the hooks that instantly grab me and the subtleties keep me coming back for more. This album cries out to me to be yet another classic that successfully reflects past glories and also establishes a relevant future but also casts a shadow of doubt upon the future of the band. With Bruce Dickinson's cancerous tumor rearing its ugly head which delayed the album's release it seems as if it could have possibly been the impetus for a creative spree that would be the perfect album to end a long career on. While i hope this not to be the case, a part of me fears it to be true. If this indeed turns out to be the last offering from one of the best bands in history then it would be the a pleasant note to end upon for they have set the bar pretty high here and what i fear more than the band calling it a day would possibly be a string of inferior albums that tarnish the greatness of the past. A near perfect album for me with only few minor blemishes. Yes, it borrows liberally from the past and is not an album that invents a new style of metal, but with a past so wonderful to meld together i really can't complain one bit when it's put together so very well. For me this is another classic album. Pretty damn good accomplishment for their only double studio album. MAIDEN!!!!!

4.5 but rounded down because it's not quite a perfect album

 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 158 ratings

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The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Iron Maiden, still relevant after all these years, when many of the their peers long faded away, returns with a double album that has three 10-minute songs, can only be good, right? Well, yes and no. Its nice to see that the epic metal veterans haven't lost a bit their knack for killer intros, vocal melodies and the smarts to know that when pushing 60, it suits to tone things down a bit (only slightly. of course, since this is Iron Maiden we're talking about). At the same time, the scope of the album sheds an even bigger light on the fact that the longer songs tend to last a verse and a solo too many. 13-minute The Red and the Black, for instance, has less variation than you'd expect and is basically an upbeat marching song almost all the way through. As for the epic that's on everybody's mind, Iron Maiden's first 18-minute song, Empire of the Clouds, it is quite good, with the lush 7-minute beginning part as perfect as any, but a boring instrumental section at the 7-to-10 minute mark bogging things down a bit.
 En Vivo! by IRON MAIDEN album cover Live, 2012
3.33 | 41 ratings

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En Vivo!
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I first saw Iron Maiden perform live several years ago when they began their Final Frontier tour. Dream Theater was the opening act. This should give you an idea of how freaking amazing Iron Maiden remains - more than thirty years after their "hey day". Dream Theater was clearly apathetic about the performance (this was weeks before Portnoy left the band). This was a big disappointment, because even though I trash Dream Theater's recent works, they're still one of my all time favorites. The crowd was clearly ambivalent about their latest album's single, "Right of Passage." James LaBrie basically dropped the mic and ran off stage as soon as the final song concluded.

Then Iron Maiden came on stage... and the world exploded with spectacle and awesomeness and metal and excitement. Iron Maiden is a legendary performing act, and for the most part En Vivo! lives up to their reputation, but with a few strikes against it to hold it back from being the "must have" Maiden live album.

The first thing to note about En Vivo! is that it is a live album showing off the "new" Maiden. The setlist is about 60% material from their most recent four releases, with an emphasis on the excellent Final Frontier. Final Frontier is without a doubt the most "prog" album the group has ever released... yes, more than Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. This means that the songs on this live album feel long, dramatic, and are not jammed with those epic "live" moments that makes the crowd self-destruct in metal call and response. Not so say that the classic songs don't pull this out of the crowd, but that by in large this album feels different than other Maiden live releases because of it; it's not a hit-parade. Interestingly, there aren't any songs from A Matter of Live and Death; moreover, other song choices feel obligatory.

Next, is the musicianship. Iron Maiden plays incredibly tight, yet raw. There's an intensity here that is unique and just plain fun to listen to. The trio of guitar players keep the intensity high, but it's the rhythm section that steals the show this time. Harris' bassing is especially well-captured by the production, really letting his heavy axework sink in. A showcase of bottom-heavy metal riffs, energy, and precision; the guy deserves his reputation 100%. McBrain's drumming also impresses, especially on the band's newer material.

Unfortunately, Dickenson's epic vocals are beginning to show their age. Gone are the huge screams and throat shattering assaults of non-stop power. Bruce is still great, and does an awesome job, but En Vivo! feels like there's something missing, and I think this may be it. This is most prevalent on the cuts from "Number of the Beast," whose studio release featured Bruce at his most go-for-broke.

Highlights include the epic "Talisman," the runaway train of "2 Minutes to Midnight," the dramatic "Dance With the Dead," and the always amazing "Hallowed Be Thy Name."

A undeniably good live album, but not the "go to" in Iron Maiden's library. Great for fans of Final Frontier, especially, while others may be wondering why "Run to the Hills" didn't get into the set list.

Setlist: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Stage/Energy: 3 - Live Experience: 4

 Dance Of Death by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.58 | 327 ratings

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Dance Of Death
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Dance of Death" was Iron Maiden's 2003 follow-up to their successful "Brave New World" album, which saw the band's reunion with vocalist Bruce Dickenson and guitarist Andrian Smith. With much praise heaped upon that triumphant return to Maiden-hood, the band had much to live up to. It only makes sense that the classic 80's line up plus one Janick Gers sharing lead guitar duties with the Smith and Dave Murray would attempt to move ahead. The album sees a few firsts, including the first song-writing credit for drummer Nicko McBrain ("New Frontier"), the first album where all band members receive song-writing credits, and the first fully-acoustic Iron Maiden song ("Journeyman"). It could also be considered to be the first Iron Maiden album to have such hideous artwork that the artist himself allegedly asked not to have his name associated with it. According to the Wiki article on the album, artist David Patchett was not pleased when the band opted to use the unfinished version of his computer- generated artwork. Indeed, when I saw it up close I thought it looked like amateur video game artwork. A further note to mention is that the album was recorded on analogue tape.

Stylistically, the music maintains the traditional sound of Iron Maiden, the one that I feel was established with "Piece of Mind" and altered only with subtle variations over the next three albums, most notably the addition of synthesizers on "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". The synthesizers remain but are used in complement with the heavy guitar sound, creating a symphonic sound at times. Aside from the "fully all-acoustic" track "Journeyman", there are some other tracks that include acoustic guitar in parts, typically in the intro. There are the usual wonderful Maiden chugging riffs, more progressive instrumental sections, and outstanding guitar solos. Someone once mentioned Maiden's propensity to go almost "Celtic" and that certainly shows itself, most notably here on the title track, more than usual.

Song topics remain largely with the historical, socio-political, religious and science fiction, and the title track's lyrics seem to revisit "The Number of the Beast" as Dickenson sings about being out one night and encountering a strange scene. "Montsegur" is of particular interest to me as I read and have on my bookshelf a book about Montsegur and the Cathars. Dickenson still belts out the notes and holds some decent operatic hollers.

For perhaps most people, this album doesn't receive the same degree of praise as "Brave New World"; however, I think it makes for an excellent. Together the two albums make a great pair, the blue and the red as it were, considering the dominant colours of each album cover.

For me, one of the attractions to this album is the progressive side. The first two songs are short rockers, but several others take time to stretch out over six minutes, and you know that's when Iron Maiden really stretch out their composition-writing wings. "Paschedale" is my favourite and has a symphonic quality about it at times. The title track is also interesting for its "dance of death" riff. "Montsegur" has a terrific heavy riff and as a Maiden historical piece, you know there's going to be some great developments in the music. "Face in the Sand" blends synthesizer and another almost folk-inspired guitar riff at the intro. The chorus melody to "Age of Innocence" is one of those catchy Maiden choruses that crop up from time to time like on "Can I Play with Madness" from "Seventh Son".

When I tried to make a selection of "best songs" from the five most recent albums (2000 to 2015), "Dance of Death" shared the highest number of selected songs with "Brave New World". Highly recommended as a companion to "Brave New World" or simply on its own.

 The Book of Souls by IRON MAIDEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.04 | 158 ratings

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The Book of Souls
Iron Maiden Prog Related

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "The Book Of Souls" is the 16th full-length studio album by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through Parlophone (UK) and through Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG (US) in September 2015. It's been five years and a lot of touring since the release of "The Final Frontier (2010)", but the release of "The Book Of Souls" was also postponed slightly as a consequence of Bruce Dickinson's cancer treatment. "The Book Of Souls" was recorded with producer Keven Shirley at Guillaume Tell Studios, Paris from September to December 2014. The same studio the band used when they recorded "Brave New World (2000)". Iron Maiden opted for a slightly different recording and writing method than usual as all members came in with about an hour of material, and many tracks were then constructed or finished in the studio based on that material. So many of the tracks were recorded in a few takes and with very little time to practice or perfect parts, which was an intentional choice to allow for a more organic and immediate sound.

At the end of the day Iron Maiden had enough material for a double album release, which is a first in their discography (not counting live albums). Featuring 11 tracks and a full playing time of 92:11 minutes, it's also the longest studio album yet released by Iron Maiden. Stylistically the music on the album pretty much continues the band's post 2000 style, which means the album features only a few fast paced rockers, a good portion of heavier mid-paced tracks, and quite a few long epic tracks. Among the latter their longest track yet in the 18:01 minutes long closing track "Empire of the Clouds". It's fair to say they've developed a taste for more proggy/epic compositions over the years. They used to only have a couple of slower epic sounding tracks on each of their albums, but now that's more or less the dominant style.

It's no surprise that the musicianship is of high class on all posts. Iron Maiden are seasoned heavy metal veterans and they know how to play and sing. While they are veterans, they are certainly no dinosaurs, and their performances are delivered with both passion and conviction. So it's mostly in the songwriting department that things have changed over the years.

The material on the album is generally of a high quality. To my ears the highlights are "If Eternity Should Fail", "Speed of Light", "The Book of Souls", "Death or Glory", "The Man of Sorrows", and the Bruce Dickinson penned epic closing track "Empire of the Clouds". The rest of the material ranges from good to decent, but doesn't stand out as much as the mentioned tracks. The overall quality and flow of the album is good though. Stylistically most of the material doesn't feauture anything surprising. As always there is a strong emphasis on melody and memorability. There are a few surprises in store for the listener though. "The Man of Sorrows" is for example a very dark sounding Iron Maiden track, which is refreshing, and "Empire of the Clouds" features piano and orchestra, which as far as I remember is a first for Iron Maiden.

"The Book Of Souls" features a pretty well sounding production. The guitars could have packed a bit more punch, but other than that the sound production is well sounding and suits the material well. So all in all this is another quality release by Iron Maiden. As with most Iron Maiden releases post 2000, you should adjust your expectations to what it includes though. There are only three relatively fast-paced rockers featured on the album, and the rest of the material is mid- paced or slow building and epic (although some sections can be faster paced). It means that the material generally requires more attention and more spins to settle, than the more immediate material from their "classic" 80s period. But if you can adjust your expectations to that "The Book Of Souls" is quite the enjoyable listen and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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