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Iron Maiden - Powerslave CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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4.13 | 753 ratings

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4 stars On Powerslave, Iron Maiden dished out a huge heap of excellent classic metal. To many people, this album is one of the greatest albums of all time. Of course this is because of the top-notch metal found on the album, but it could also be because of a few progressive elements thrown in. Of course Maiden has always been about intricate melodic lines, interesting chords for their epic style, and throwing in technical musical flashes. However, the last two songs on this show Maiden't ability to have an interesting progressive side to their music.

Metalheads and classic rock fans are of course already far too familiar with the two opening tracks and singles, "Aces High" and "Two Minutes to Midnight". The former has an interesting non-standard song structure and a soaring chorus, starting of the album with an excellent show of Maiden's strong songwriting. The second track is also very strong, in a standard Maiden style and structure. Both are tracks that make an awesome case for excellent singles by an already great band.

The middle of the album may be more unfamiliar though. That being said, they are still good tracks and make the album still a worthwhile listen. The instrumental song "Losfer Words" is exciting, and "Back in the Village" is quick and possibly the most 'rocking' song on the whole album. "Flash of the Blade" and "The Duelists" are also good tracks and worth a listen, both written in standard Iron Maiden style.

The next song "Powerslave" is also interesting. Although it may seem rather straightforward in the first couple of verses, and it is. However, it leads into an instrumental break filled with haunting atmospherics and several interesting time changes, fully showing Maiden's progressive influence. The epic closer "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" follows in the same vein, but even more embellished. Once the energy and speed dies off after the first couple of high power metal, the listener is presented with an eerie atmosphere, accented by Steve Harris' intelligent use of the whole tone scale. A somber narration flows across the sea of ominous sounds, until everything builds up again. Bruce Dickinson's mile high voice bursts in, and an epic flowing climax shows up. Within the final two songs of Powerslave, any fan of progressive metal will hear where most of the ideas of the more melodic genres of power and prog metal came from. The compositions are simply that good.

In summation, Powerslave is of course an excellent album. As a metal album, it contains everything great classic metal should have. As a progressive album, though it contains lots of straightforward albeit exciting tracks, contains plenty of progressive ideas that influenced an entire genre that bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X picked up on. That is what separates Powerslave from many other standard metal of the same era.

topofsm | 4/5 |


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