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Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.87 | 246 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I had to look it up after a couple of listens as I felt this must be a concept album but apparently it's not, rather the theme of "souls" does appear on many of the songs. Even the album cover with Eddie looking like a Mayan relates to the souls of mankind. This was recorded in Paris where they did the "Brave New World" record which was the last MAIDEN album I gave 5 stars to. Considering i'm an IRON MAIDEN fanboy it did take me several listens to even enjoy what I was hearing. I still feel this double album is hit and miss but thankfully more hit for my tastes. I'll list my top five tracks as I take a look at each song.

"If Eternity Should Fail" opens sounding like we're in the theater watching a Western as almost spoken words join in. It sounds really good when the song kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes, I love the rhythm section. The instrumental section after 5 minutes is amazing and it lasts about a minute. The song ends with words from the Harvester of Souls. "Speed Of Light" is okay, it's a five minute barn-burner and the chorus is repeated a lot like on the first track. These two opening songs are good but not great in my opinion and they didn't help in me getting into this recording at first. "The Great Unknown" is a top five song for me. I really like the intricate guitars and atmosphere to open as almost spoken vocals join in. It kicks in hard after 1 1/2 minutes. Nice!

"The Red And The Black" is another top five track. That classic galloping rhythm with those passionate vocals really impress me. Hey there's the vocal melodies as well that Bruce does so well. Killer track. "When The River Runs Deep" is another good one especially the instrumental section. Some ripping guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. "The Book Of Souls" is another top five and the final tune on disc one. This one is dark and nasty the way I like them. Again the instrumental section here kills starting before 6 minutes.

"Death Or Glory" opens disc two as a catchy uptempo track that cooks. "Shadows Of The Valley" is another top five that opens sounding like "Wasted Years" with that guitar intro. The drums and vocals join in and this is intense. I like the chorus and the guitar before 7 minutes. "Tears Of A Clown" is a tribute to Robin Williams and I like the deep bass and drum sound. Another catchy tune with another good guitar solo after 3 minutes. "The Man Of Sorrows" is my final top five pick. I really like how melancholic and dark this is. Check out the heaviness before 3 1/2 minutes.

"Empire Of The Clouds" is the 18 minute epic that most Prog fans love. I find it kind of wordy especially early on when the pace is slower and Bruce almost speaks the words of this interesting story. Lots of piano early on as well and later on too. The tempo picks up 8 1/2 minutes in and then it becomes more powerful 2 minutes later. I like the guitar before 12 1/2 minutes and when the vocals return they do sound a little strained. This song just doesn't convince me.

Still there's so much that I really dig about this album and I feel that 4 stars is the right rating for my tastes.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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