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Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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2.99 | 488 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I guess they weren't quick enough.

While it's true that the '90s were going to be just as much of a change for the big bands of the '80s as was the change from '70s to '80s, but who knew that these cult giants were going to be affected so much? While No Prayer For The Dying showed a significant change in style with the band moving further and further away from the fantasy flavored music they'd become so good at playing, this one only further proved that the band were confused with what they were doing. The lack of Adrian Smith also proved to be a nuisance, even with a talented gent like Jannick Gers at the helm of one of the dual guitars, and with Bruce about to embark on his solo ventures it just sounds like the band is falling apart here.

What's unfortunate about this album is that it just feels, for the most part, like filler. Some of the songs simply lack the energy and passion that Maiden usually shows. Very few tracks really jump off the page, and while the music seems to have gotten darker (something that works for a lot of band such as this) it doesn't seem to help very much. Still with some catchy hooks (the same kind that saved No Prayer. from complete disaster) in songs like the blistering From Here To Eternity, the dark and eerie Judas My Guide and the heavy classic Be Quick Or Be Dead the rest of the album simply ceases to get some feet under it.

There's mixed feelings about the longer songs on the album. Afraid To Shoot Strangers is a mournful lament which really gains speed at the end. This one is definitely one of the standouts on the album, with Bruce's emotional delivery and the screaming guitars put forth by the ax-men. Fear Of The Dark is the other long track on the album, but really - this one was always better live. While complex and enticing in structure with that ever fun story behind it, it's always seemed that the studio version of this song just lacks that energy that the live performances of the song has. This is with the ability of hindsight of course, because without knowledge of impending blistering performances of this song, it would still be a great standout on the album.

Standouts aside, this one is full of filler. Still a good album for those who love the band, the rest of us should just leave it to them. If you're a huge fan of the title track after hearing live versions of it, then it's actually better to leave it that way unfortunately. This one is going to get a 2. Luckily (in a weird kind of way) the masterminds of this band would soon part to take on separate ventures leaving them completely reinvigorated come time for the next classic line-up album. Unfortunately, that's not until the turn of the century.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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