Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


Prog Related

3.60 | 454 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Is it really ten years since Bruce Dickinson returned to Iron Maiden on their Brave New World album? How time flies. The last couple of albums to feature Dickinson before his departure had been somewhat lack-lustre as were the two in the Blaze Bailey years. Since then Iron Maiden returned to some sort of form with three good solid releases but with The Final Frontier they've not only topped them all by a considerable margin but have made their finest record since at least Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. It may be no coincidence that it was one of their most prog orientated albums as The Final Frontier can claim that distinction too.

Iron Maiden have never been afraid to include long songs on their albums but here there's no less than five that cross the eight minute barrier including the closing When The Wild Wind Blows which reaches eleven. Of course long songs alone don't make it prog but here Maiden are at their most inventive and least predictable for some considerable time with a collection of imaginative metal that frequently shifts from subtle restraint to powerhouse riffing in an instant with many twists and turns between. The riffs are much meatier and more satisfying, ditching those celtic sounding dual lead runs they frequently go into (though When The Wild Wind Blows does venture here at times) in favour of something more substantial. This is immediately apparent as soon as opener Satellite 15...The Final Frontier kicks in with its dark and brooding drawn out opening. This is Maiden as we've never heard them before and it's not until Dickinson's vocals kick in that you'd realise who you were listening to if you hadn't just put it in the Cd player. Around halfway it shifts into more traditional territory but nevertheless continues in fine style. Any metal album is only as good as its riffs no matter how good a performance and there's no shortage here, whether it be the shorter no messing around tracks like El Dorado or the longer pieces like Isle Of Avalon, an album highlight for sure.

As to be expected of a band that's been round the block a few times Maiden put in a fine performance with plenty of pleasing guitar work from the three pronged attack of Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janek Gers. Steve Harris's bass and Nicko McBrain's drums as always make a fine rhythm section, solid as a rock yet not lacking in dexterity. How McBrain keeps that fast right foot triplet kick drum pattern going (not unlike Somewhere In Time) on The Talisman I don't know and Dickinson's Air Raid Siren vocal chords are in amazingly good order for a man who's been stretching them to their limit for thirty odd years.

The Final Frontier is certainly a long album, only a few minutes short of the Cd's maximum capacity but fortunately down to the sheer consistent quality I'm confident it will hold your interest if you've ever had a liking for the band and most long term fans should be more than happy. I applaud Iron Maiden for not resting on their laurels and for stretching themselves so far into their career. The result is one of the best metal albums I've heard not only this year but in the last few at least.

Nightfly | 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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.