Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Iron Maiden - Powerslave CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


Prog Related

4.13 | 753 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Iron Maiden's fifth album is generally considered to be one of their best, and while I disagree with this, finding some of their reunion efforts to surpass this, along with some classic ones, this is still a great album. The energy on this album matches that of Number of the Beast, with great musicianship all around. Bruce Dickinson is an incredible singer, being able to combine power with good range and have a dramatic flair to it as well.

This album has quite a definitive duality to it, with half the songs being fairly straightforward such as 'Aces High' and more involved, complex songs, particularly 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. Both types of songs are of high quality, with the traditional metal tracks being fun and up tempo, full of great riffs and the amazing basswork of Steve Harris. 'Aces High' is especially great in this regard, being one of the fastest and most energetic songs the band has ever written, with an extremely memorable hook to go along with it. On the other side of things, the more involved works manage to keep many of the traditional heavy metal elements to it, while also having some fairly interesting ideas thrown in as well. The title track, while the lyrics are very theatrical, are still interesting and tell a great story within the short song length. Along with the lyrical content being interesting, the mild Egyptian touches to the main riff, along with the incredible guitar solo, make this a very worthy song. 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is where the album really picks up, being one of the best songs Maiden has ever written, with a great sense of progression to it, becoming more intense as the song goes on before completely dropping out, leaving nothing but eerie bass and Bruce reading poetry, all before picking up once again, not wasting a single moment within the 13 minutes of the song.

The album does have an issue with consistency however, as the middle four tracks are considerably weaker than the rest, especially 'Back In The Village' which while fast and energetic, is fairly uninteresting, with Bruce's vocals sounding unimpressive during the chorus, and the song being overall very weak. 'Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)' is the other major weak point, simply because while the riffs are immediately catchy and enjoyable to listen to, the structure of the song leaves a lot to be desired, with it building up quite well. before just... ending, leading to disappointment. Other than these two songs, the album is of high quality, even if 'Flash of the Blade' and 'The Duellists'' aren't anything amazing.

Overall, this is a great album full of great riffs, great energy, and great songwriting. I believe that despite the weaker moments on the album, notably 'Back In The Village', the album is still more than worth listening to.

Best Songs: Aces High. Powerslave, Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Weakest Songs: Losfer Words (Big 'Orra), Back In The Village

Verdict: A great album full of equal parts traditional, straightforward heavy metal, and more unique, experimental moments, all culminating in the 13 minute epic. One of the finest moments for Maiden (In which there are a lot) despite the occasional missteps.

Kempokid | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this IRON MAIDEN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives