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Iron Maiden Brave New World album cover
3.97 | 619 ratings | 42 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wicker Man (4:36)
2. Ghost Of The Navigator (6:50)
3. Brave New World (6:19)
4. Blood Brothers (7:14)
5. The Mercenary (4:42)
6. Dream Of Mirrors (9:21)
7. The Fallen Angel (4:01)
8. The Nomad (9:06)
9. Out Of The Silent Planet (6:26)
10. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate (8:27)

Total time 67:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Bruce Dickinson / vocals
- Adrian Smith / lead & rhythm guitars
- Dave Murray / lead & rhythm guitars
- Janick Gers / lead & rhythm guitars
- Steve Harris / bass, keyboards, co-producer
- Nicko McBrain / drums

- Jeff Bova / orchestrations (4,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Derek Riggs with Steve Stone

CD EMI ‎- 526 6052 (2000, Europe)

Thanks to ryper for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IRON MAIDEN Brave New World ratings distribution

(619 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

IRON MAIDEN Brave New World reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My first introduction to Iron Maiden only happened in year 2000 when I was listening to M97 - The Classic Rock FM radio station in Jakarta, Indonesia, while I was driving. I immediately called the station and got the song title and artist: It was "Flight of Icarus" from Iron Maiden "Piece of Mind". What an excellent song! To me, music is emotion and "Flight of Icarus" was successful in creating that emotion to me regardless the sub-genre of the music - and I didn't care, really. So I purchased the CD and I played track 3 repetitively - probably 6 to 8 spins only for track 3. Why do I like the track? It's really great music combining excellent guitar riffs, dynamic bass lines and great double guitar work. The vocal part is really clean and powerful. And of course. the chorus line is so memorable ."Fly on your way, like an eagle. Fly as high as the sun, on your way, like an eagle. Fly and touch the sun.". Wow! What a great music segment this one is!

"Brave New World" is the second CD that I purchased from Iron Maiden. It was influenced by friends of mine who at that time about Year 2000 / 2001 hung out together with me at the M97 Classic Rock Station in Jakarta. Mbah Sigit, my friend who'd been labeled as metalhead and die-hard fan of Iron Maiden from its inception, told me that "Brave New World" remarks the return of IrMa legendary vocalist Bruce Dickinson. So what? I did not know exactly but I purchased the CD anyway. To my surprise, it blew me away at first listen! The band is now six-piece with triple guitars. What a waste! What for hiring another guitarist while two is good enough? Well, I don't know. It's not my business anyhow.

The album opens nicely with straight rocker "The Wicker Man" with memorable lyrics "Your time will come". The following track "Ghost of the Navigator" is truly an energetic and impressive track. I like the combination of electric guitar rhythm, high register notes vocal line, and . stunning guitar solo. The band's mastermind, Steve Harris, also plays distinctive bass guitar. This is an excellent rock music that most rockers would adore. It's one of my favorite IrMa tracks. By this time I remember vividly how one of the bands that contributed to our regular monthly jam session i-Rock! Threelogy played wonderful cover of Iron Maiden. "Brave New World" is another excellent track with good melody, harmony and stunning guitar solo. Structurally, this track might be considered as prog - it's about 10% content only.

"Blood Brothers" is truly a prog track with excellent composition. It starts with great bassline and guitar. I really love this track as it has rich nuances with key rhythm section in the vein of Scotland traditional music. The flow of music is wonderful from start to end of the track. This is one of my favorite IrMa tracks! "The Mercenary" brings the music back to heavy stuff with great vocal line. "Dream of Mirrors" is another great track with prog elements even from start of the track where the music starts and stops immediately, allowing acoustic guitar to appear. The opening part is excellently and I cannot believe that band like IrMa opens the song with such style. It then moves to heavy music with higher vocal notes and rockin' rhythm section. "The dream is true ." segment reminds me to the music of Uriah Heep - David Byron era. Oh man .. I don't really care this band is prog or not but Iron Maiden really ruleszzzzz ...!!!! Sorry, in my locality expression I label it as top markotop! (meaning: top of the line! - in rock music, of course).

"The Fallen Angel" is another rocker with again with dynamic beats demonstrating excellent drumming, tight basslines and excellent guitar work. Judging from the duration of 9 minues, next track "The Nomad" is a prog one. Yes, my friend told me jokingly if a track consumes more than 8 minutes duration, it must be a prog song! But indeed, this track is prog one if I look at the non-linear structure and varied textures. Composition-wise, this is an excellent track. The long duration does not create any sense of getting bored with the stream of music this track is offering. I like the music interlude at approx minute 4:45 when the music turns mellow with bass guitar gives its fills combined with guitar. It's so cool man! Wow .!!! AT minute 5:45 (approx) the music turns symphonic at its best! I never believe Iron Maiden plays this kind of music! It's brilliant! Where is your music sense if you cannot enjoy this part, my friend?! Tell me! I'm totally nggeblak! (my mind is temporarily paralyzed enjoying the stream of music this track is offering).

"Out of The Silent Planet" starts wonderfully with combine guitars work. The music then flows in hard and heavy style, delivering powerful vocal line of Bruce Dickinson which sometimes augmented with backing vocals. The guitar solo parts at interlude are stunning. The album concludes beautifully with "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate" in straight hard rock style.

Overall, this album is a masterpiece of rock music: great songwriting, tight composition and great performance. Of course this is a masterpiece product because it's produced by Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Steve Harris (the band's mastermind and bass guitar player). This album has successfully stirred my emotion up - regardless being prog or not (who actually cares?). Even though I consider IrMa is a hard rock / metal band, but this album has at least 40% prog ingredients. This album is good to pump up your emotion and motivation. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by evenless
5 stars After reading many reviews on I decided to buy SOMEWHERE IN TIME, POWERSLAVE, 7TH SON OF A 7TH SON and BRAVE NEW WORLD all at once.

Why the heck didn't I discover IRON MAIDEN in the eighty's already? Maybe it was because I was rejecting the guys (and girls) who were rejecting everything that society had to offer. Usually those guys, dressed in their torn jeans, MAIDEN shirts, leather metal pin bracelets and sometimes even wearing dog belts weren't really the guys I was identifying myself with. Hence: I wasn't listening to "their music" either. Now I must admit: "what a shame!"

Maybe I still don't really like IRON MAIDEN's earliest albums (I wouldn't know cuz I haven't checked them out yet.), but I find the previously mentioned albums all very good and BRAVE NEW WORLD even excellent! Most songs are long compositions with a very "proggy feel" to them.

In this album you will certainly hear MAIDEN's "Prog roots". I think BRAVE NEW WORLD is the album MAIDEN always wanted to make, but in their early years they couldn't pull it off yet. THE WICKER MAN is a good up-tempo rock song and I really love the proggy keyboard intro of GHOST OF THE NAVIGATOR after which the song is transforming into another great rock track with massive guitars and once again the operatic voice of BRUCE DICKINSON. The title track BRAVE NEW WORLD is possibly the best track of the album: very catchy chorus which will make you sing along in no time flat. I certainly also love BLOOD BROTHERS. This song kind of takes you back to the time of the knights of the round table and minstrel boys. Great fun!

Also funny to know is the reason why BRUCE DICKINSON wasn't present on THE X- FACTOR and VIRTUAL XI. Around this time BRUCE started out a second career as an airline pilot and he's happily flying around in a Boeing 737 for a UK based charter company right now combining his piloting with singing for MAIDEN. The fellow airline pilots (like myself) are probably his biggest fans!

I could go on reviewing this album track by track, but what's the point as no track is bad, maybe there's just one track a bit weaker than the other. Over all an astonishing album! I didn't get to know MAIDEN as a rebellious teenager, but I'm glad I got to know maiden at the age of 35.

Review by Zitro
3 stars 3.5 Stars

Iron Maiden's come back!! The classic line-up is here but with an extra guitar player, Janick Gers. The music sounds confident and shows that the band still knows how to play together as a band. It is of no wonder why Iron Maiden celebrated while hearing the music of "Brave New World": Iron Maiden may be old, but their inspiration is not gone and they returned to where they left off in Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Yes, that means an album with touches of prog.

The album begins with Wicker Man , a straightforward opener with a catchy guitar riff in the choruses. Nothing special. I think the album begins properly with Ghost of the Navigator with good melodies, tempo changes, excellent vocals (I missed Dickinson!), and inspired guitar playing. Brave New World begins and ends with a melodic soft section, an Iron Maiden trademark. The song is solid and contains great vocal performances from Bruce, showing that his voice hasn't deteriorated with the passage of time. Blood Brothers begins with an irresistible melody and then leads into a great song which is undoubtedly my favorite tune here. The choruses are very memorable. After a guitar solo, a more symphonic section makes up the second half of the song. This section shows that Iron Maiden is progressing from where they left off in Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The Mercenary is straightforward and very repetitive, making this a low point of the album. Dream of Mirrors is a very sophisticated song clocking at over 9 minutes. It has a very inspired soft arrangement throughout most of the first half and the song seems to have two types of choruses: a soft one and a heavier one "I only dream in black and white". The second half is faster-paced and both halves show some of the best vocals from Dickinson. The Fallen Angel is another sort of straightforward hard rock tune with its solos after the second chorus, the last one being the best of them. The Nomad is an attempt at creating an epic. It is closer in style to "Alexander the Great". Its verses/choruses play with arabic scales and are the least enjoyable moments of the song due to the lack of inspiration in the arabic guitar riffs and the choruses. However, there is a magnificent bunch of solos around minute 3 and the instrumental section on crescendo is one of Iron Maiden's most inspired moments musically in my opinion. Very symphonic and melodic, it recalls Seventh Son of a Seventh Son at its best. Out of the Silent Planet is a catchy fast-paced rocker that exceeds the duration it needs in my opinion, being quite repetitive. The Thin Line Between Love and Hate is another epic that in my opinion is not as captivating as the previous two longer songs of this album. It has some inspired moments throughout but for me is one of the least memorable songs of the album. The second half is pretty good though and manages to end the album in a strong note.

Anyways, to sum up, this is a solid 3.5 star album with the classic line-up. The songs range from mainstream fast-paced repetitive rockers to elaborated prog-metal epics and some songs in between (accessible melodic mid-lengthed tunes like the title track). This may not be Iron Maiden's strongest album, but man, isn't it good to hear that they are back in the act and releasing quality music? The following albums are better, and I am very excited to hear what may be next.

Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars Brave New World marks the return of vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guiatrist Adrian Smith to Iron Maiden. The lads in the band were nice enough to not sack Adrian's replacement, Janick Gers. After all, Janick had been with the band for a decade. Thus, Iron Maiden managed to return to the classic lineup and yet morph into the Lynrd Skynyrd of metal, with three of the top guitarists in metal in one non shred band. Maiden fans as well as fans of metal in general were salivating at the prospects of the reenergized band. The result was Brave New World, a step in the right direction away from the previous Blaze Bayley albums as well as No Prayer and Fear of the Dark.

The album opens with The Wicker Man, the most rocking Maiden tune since Aces High. Bruce's voice isn't the piercing siren it once was, but I defend his "matured" vocals; they still get you pumping like few singers can. Riff-heavy and straight-foward, but great. This is the most straight-forward song on the album. BNW is Maiden's most proggy album to date, even more so than the synth-in-metal experiment gone great 7th Son.

Songs like Blood Brothers and Flight of the Navigator have twists and turns plus synths, the chirf two ingredients of prog. As thrilled as proggies should be with this album, I feel it lacks some of the fun of earlier works. I believe the reason for this was that the band was trying to make up for lost ground. This is the most serious album in their catalogue. That's certainly not a bad thing, in fact it's pretty positive, but I miss the energy of Powerslave and the fun of NotB. Things would only get better from here with Maiden's next release Dance of Death. Highly recommended to Maiden fans and even to newcomers.

Grade: C++

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After the commercial and critical failure of VIRTUAL XI, Iron Maiden and vocalist Blaze Bayley mutually decided to part ways. The band didn't take long to announce what many fans viewed as the resurrection for The Beast: Bruce Dickinson, former front man, would be re-taking his spot as lead singer. To add to the miracle, Adrian Smith, last seen on SEVENTH SON (Dickinson's-Maiden last truly great album) was back again, but without any current member leaving, thus making the Irons a three-guitar outfit. The dreaded years of Bayley were over; a new, refreshed, re-vitalized Maiden was going to emerge from the ashes. That's what the fans thought.

And, to a degree, that's what actually happened. Sure, the old Beast was back. With Dickinson at the helm, everything was in place together; the band could once again focus on writing their traditional metal anthems, as now they had a singer whose voice could actually match the power of the instrumental machinery. Gone were the days when Harris had to think twice about how to build each song in a way that would suit their low-ranged singer the best, not to overpower it or create parts that would make it show its deficiencies. Yes, Iron Maiden could once again conquer the skies.

But, as I implied, the thing wasn't exactly a resurrection in qualitative terms but more of a re-birth for the old Maiden. Now with Dickinson holding the microphone, the band actually went back to their old sound. The music that made Maiden famous and loved around the world was here again, but at the expense of the progressive, more melodic arrangements that Bayley's weak voice forced Harris to write for the songs in the two preceding albums. Many of the instrumental and structural discoveries that the group had made in the past were thrown aside in favor of a return to old formulas, not completely, of course, but at least partially.

And that's the reason why I don't see the "resurrection" as such. I think Iron Maiden WAS alive in the Bayley-era, as much alive as it was now, in 2000, when they released their first album since Dickinson had returned. As my previous reviews showed, I happen to love both Bayley-fronted albums, so BRAVE NEW WORLD felt somewhat awkward for me the first time I heard it: it was like if the band I was getting to love suddenly disappeared and the other band I used to adore had came back from the dead. All of a sudden, it was like if from FEAR OF THE DARK Iron Maiden would had jumped forward straight to this album, bypassing that 1995-1999 era.

Of course, make no mistake: this album is great, leaps ahead of their last decent record with Dickinson and miles ahead of the one before that (NO PRAYER.). The music here is in traditional Maiden style but with more progressive arrangements, more instrumental parts, but nowhere as many as in X-FACTOR or even VIRTUAL XI. Individually, there are a few things to notice. First, Harris truly is back at the top of his game, playing as good as ever; Nicko McBrain continues to get better, now even adding double bass drum (?!?) to his arsenal. The guitars, well, now we have three guitarists, each one better than the other, so the album is a solo-fest and a delight for guitar lovers. And Dickinson. I have to say it: I think he has been getting better with the years; age hasn't taken a toll on him. His voice is a powerhouse that's a pleasure to enjoy.

The Wicker Man (10/10) Even if I said that some elements that were typical of the Bayley-era were lost in this album, nothing can ever top the "Dickinson-Maiden" for fast, lightning-fast tracks, and this is probably their best one of all time (not counting "Wasted Years" which is in a slower tempo). A guitar announces the main riff by itself, then the whole machine attacks. Dickinson enters the scene as the powerful star who knows the stage was set for him. After a great pre-chorus, the chorus is superb, with a guitar singing a little innocent melody while McBrain (for the first time ever) uses double bass drum to accentuate the glory of the music. Listening to this track I can understand why many fans saw this as the ultimate in resurrections, as it's magnificent. The solos by the THREE guitarists are fantastic, as is their playing throughout the whole track. As always, an excellent opener, maybe their best ever only after "Sign of the Cross" in THE X-FACTOR.

Ghost of the Navigator (10/10) The album starts really wonderfully. A great lamentation by a guitar opens this track, much in the vein of the first album of the Bayley-era. Then a crescendo, the intensity grows, and then the main verse, a riff not typical of Maiden. Powerful, imposing, the second section is more melodic, sounding a little like Queensryche but with Maiden written all over it; then a third section in the same tempo but different drumming; then a fourth section, in high speed, Dickinson singing over a playful ride cymbal and a crying guitar. After a repetition, the solo goes through all the speeds, the last one even enhanced by an accurate double-bass drumming by Nicko. A fantastic song, another check-mark for the resurrection list.

Brave New World (9.5/10) A pensive dialogue between guitars opens this song. Very melancholic, Dickinson's great singing helps to set the mood. The music gets more powerful and metallic, with a rhythm that speaks of battle, of struggle, of hope of victory. The chorus is very good, specially as contrast to the previous desperate rhythm. The second time that the verse appears, it would do so in faster speed, but with the same guitars singing in the background. The solo is a great axe-battle for supremacy, with all three contestants coming out as victorious. An excellent Maiden-riff serves as bridge for the last arrival of the chorus. It seems that, after all, this album is really the phoenix bird that Eddie climbed upon to raise above the ashes.

Blood Brothers (9/10) A good beginning, a conversation between all the electric-string instruments. Against a triple rhythm, Dickinson sings a very tuneful melody. After such an unusual prairie-ready moment, the chorus strikes as stormy, as a wake-up call. The tempo doesn't change even in the instrumental section, which features some great melodies and it's the best part of the song, with extensive use of the synth. Another success. Only the not-changing rhythm makes me give it "just" a 9.

The Mercenary (8.5/10) An energetic attack in the form of a riff, a fast track. The second section is very much like the chorus, which sounds like old Maiden, with great guitars beneath the surface. A very good speed-solo by the guitars open the way for the third appearance of the chorus, and the end of this great, if not brilliant, fast song.

Dream of Mirrors (9/10) A weird operatic opening with Dickinson singing over alike guitars. Then a guitar-solo section that seems to come from an Italian western; the mood changes when Dickinson comes back to one of suspense, of tension being built, of anger being saved for later, of water ready to break the levees. Then a short melodic chorus and it starts all over again. Until now McBrain has limited himself to use the hi-hat, now he finally jumps into the scene in full power to provide rhythm for a very Queensryche-like chorus (which is logical as Queensryche was, after all, a band prominently influenced by Iron Maiden). The very heroic but slow atmosphere changes when all of a sudden the tempo changes and we're in the middle of a throttling cavalry. Great solos fly like bayonets, the drums pound like horse's legs, and the vocals soar like the battle chants of the warriors. The chorus appears again, and then the song ends. Great song.

The Fallen Angel (8/10) The beginning of this song sounds like old, ancient Maiden, straight from the time of POWERSLAVE. The chorus sounds just the same, bringing memories of by-gone eras. This enjoyable little track is an exercise in time-traveling, The Beast walking over known-but-forgotten territories again. Good. Nothing else.

The Nomad (9/10) Another track in the vein of "The Clansman" in VIRTUAL XI in that it talks about a warrior from a different time. The guitars play great tunes, while the rhythm is like a zigzagging serpent. The chorus has an oriental flavor, but its third appearance is slower, more typical-Maiden. The solos are great, all in that same nomadic-desert-like style. Halfway down we suddenly go back to the brilliant times of THE X FACTOR, with some beautiful guitar melodies over synths and bass. A good song turned into a fantastic one. Excellent.

Out of the Silent Planet (7.5/10) Guitars open this song. When the vocals appear, the music sounds a little like a weird Guns N' Roses (?!?). That illusion lasts very short and we enter Maiden realm again. The chorus is good, a powerful chant, even though the verse itself is not that remarkable. When the song gets faster it also gets better. This one sounds like a GOOD track out of NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING (that's almost an oxymoron). It's actually a good song and even though it's the weakest of the album, it's not bad, just not AS good as all the other ones.

The Thin Line Between Love & Hate (8/10) The album was on its way to a perfect rating, so it's up to this track to decide, as the last one was not really a brilliant one. This one starts powerfully, with energy, then a battle-cry of a chorus strikes like a flaming sword. What unfolds is a rather typical Maiden song, with good solos and decent melodies. When we reach the instrumental section, we're a little tired of the music but suddenly the air gets smoother, everything gets calmer, more melodic, the guitars sing like big ladies and the drums mark the rhythm as implacable commanders. Then the music gets quieter again, the great melodies in the guitars are joined by Dickinson who sings a just a few lines but so well that it's as if he said "let me say the last word, I'M BACK". And the album ends.

This has seldom (if ever) happened to me before: I started to write a review with one rating in mind, only to end giving the album a different one (?!?). As I always hear the music while I'm writing, now I've had the chance to realize that, even though the music is not like in the Bayley-era albums and that the sound harkens back to the earlier days of the Beast, the album IS a masterpiece in the Maiden catalogue. I won't change my introductory paragraphs as what I said still applies, specially to the two following albums (DANCE OF DEATH and A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH), but I have to acknowledge that, in this course of this 70 minutes, I found out I was wrong. The album doesn't deserve a 4. It doesn't deserve a 5, either, as there are a couple of weak tracks; but just like in THE X FACTOR, there's so much quality to be found in the rest of the disc, that the correct rating is a 4.5, which translates into a 5. This is my fourth favorite album by Iron Maiden, just below SOMEWHERE IN TIME, X-FACTOR and SEVENTH SON.

Recommended for: Iron Maiden fans, metal fans, progressive metal fans (there ARE a lot of progressive elements), and specially, Bruce Dickinson fans.

.even though, for me, this is not a resurrection (as in my eyes Maiden was never dead), one thing's clear: Dickinson's regular speaking voice is much more powerful than Bayley's screaming at the top of his lungs; Dickinson is, after all, The Voice of The Beast.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars An outstanding entry into the band's catalogue, featuring not only the return of their iconic front-man, but also some of the band's most exciting songwriting and instrumental performances of all time. The songs on "Brave New World" pulse with Maiden's distinctive rock energy, containing classic subject matter mixed with genuinely smart lyrics from Bruce and guitar work that destroys expectations. Moreover, the songwriting is substantially improved over most of their classic albums, excellently handling extended and ambitious tunes and filling the spaces between with memorable material. There are enough moods, themes and power here to more than entertain longtime fans, and probably attract those interested in what is easily one of the coolest classic metal bands around.

Songwriting 4 Instrumental Performances 4 Lyrics/Vocals 4 Style/Emotion/Replay 5

Review by sean
4 stars This was my introduction to the modern Iron Maiden sound where they began to become a prog metal band. This album hearkens back to 1987's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and I think it is their best effort since then. Bruce Dickinson came back for this album and now they also had 3 guitarists, quite a unique set up. The interplay between the three is great, and it never becomes to muddy and confusing. The album kicks off with "The Wicker Man", a memorable rocking song with the uplifting chorus "your time will come". The great thing about this album is how Iron Maiden combines high energy metal with complex non-linear song structures, and also makes it memorable and catchy. Maiden is also well known for coming up with some of the best guitar riffs ever, and they don't disappoint on this album. Songs like Brave New World, Blood Brothers, Dream of Mirrors, The Nomad, and the oft-overlooked The Thin Line Between Love and Hate are all perfect examples of the aforementioned traits of Maiden. I highly recommend this album to any metal fan, and the more adventurous prog fans who don't mind heavy music.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars After a break and two Maiden albums without him, Bruce Dickinson is back on business with the band seven years after having left.

And I would say that this "Brave New World" is of another calibre than "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI" even if I didn't dislike these two. But this one is better.

"The Wicker Man" is a killer opening number like in the good old days. Fantastic metal beat as they should have always played. This album is nothing else than a juxtaposition of great and wild songs as any fan was expecting (at least during the first part of this album). And there is little deception here. Some very good fireworks for metal lovers of which "Ghost Of The Navigator" is one of the most sparkling part.

The title track is a dual song : tranquil and slow during the intro and the finale, it features a typical Maiden middle part. An explosion of guitars (no wonder with three guitar players) and powerful riff. A brave Maiden song. Another highlight.

Most of the songs are on the long side (only three are shorter than six minutes). This leaves time to develop them and create more complex and diversified ones. "Blood Brothers" definitely belongs to this category while "The Mercenary" is more on the pop metal genre (?). Catchy vocals and great rhythm guitars. A very good song after all.

The structure of "Dream Of Mirrors" is very much similar to "Dream Of Mirrors". A mix of quiet passages mixed with truly heavy metal ones. Not my fave I have to say, but still a solid piece of metal. Unlike the heaviest one of this album : "The Fallen Angel" is a rather dull number (but it is only the first one so far.).

Quite normal for "The Nomad" to show some Oriental roots during the intro. Great off-beat drumming but I start to like it very much after the break around minute five or so. It turns into a beautiful and melodic tune for a while which leaves the place to a great instrumental and crescendo finale. The type of closing which I always appreciate. The Maiden is back in the good territories.

But the band is playing like a roller coaster. Not mentioning the rhythm but the ups and downs in terms of quality of the songs because "Out Of The Silent Planet" is way too long, repetitive and boring. But fortunately, the closing "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate" brings us back in the ups again. Pleasant vocals, nice rhythm and mood changes and a very good guitar solo to finish on a high note again.

This album weakens after "The Mercenary" but remains one of the very good Maiden album.

Four stars.

Review by friso
4 stars With the return of lead-singer and front-man Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith Maiden had this amazing momentum. Both were also good song-writers that made important contributions to the Maiden discography. Everything feels right, good songs, fresh sound, lot's of good guitar parts, great vocals and some nice new experiments along the way. Even the artwork is great! The vinyl version of the album is a real treat.

The Wickerman is an energetic opener with nice guitarsolo's, but the real fun begins with Ghost of the Navigator with it's story-telling lyrics and great guitar sound. The atmosphere of the track is distinctive. Brave New World, the title track, has it all. Great emotional parts and honest vocals, great instrumental parts and a memorable guitar-solo. Great! Blood Brothers shows some 'coming to age' influences and is a very very mature song. The middle section has a great melody and amazing lyrics. The Mercenary is nice up-tempo metal-track, but it could have been shorter IMHO. Dream of Mirrors has a progressive, intellectual form and atmospheric use of an acoustic guitar in the quiet section during the refrains. The songs has a lot of lyrics, but they are really good. The Fallen Angel is a song-type like the Mercenary. Short, catchy and some nice melodies. The Nomad is another very progressive type song with the heaviest Maiden sound ever. The heavy riff and the eastern-like distorted solo is really good. The tension building in the middle section is also great. Out of the Silent Planet is another catchy song, it could have been a bit shorter. The Thin Line Between Love & Hate has again good lyrics and a sound as if Maiden had come to piece. A good ending track for the album, but it took me some time to learn to appreciate it.

Conclusion. This is Iron Maiden most mature album. It shows true skill, a great collaboration by a six-man band and the best of metal compositions. Some tracks like Blood Brothers, Brave New World and Dream of Mirrors stand out as very good epical songs. A great offering, essential for the metal-scene and very interesting for most proggers because of it's melodic and lyrical approach. Four stars.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bruce Dickinson's comeback album ranks among Iron Maiden's best efforts ever, and is probably their most progressive - even more so than the celebrated "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". While it is not a concept album, it does feature numerous progressive elements, which mingle with the underlying metal structure of the compositions to create a very intriguing, complex sound. Those who still think Maiden are nothing but purveyors of mindless bludgeoning would do better to listen to the band's whole output with an open mind - they might be surprised. Though they might not be considered as fully prog, their relation to our beloved genre is nowhere more evident than on this album.

"Brave New World" boasts at least four songs of almost epic length, with frequent time signature shifts, complex arrangements, keyboards galore, and a monstrous, three-pronged guitar attack which provides melodic texture as well as aggression. However, the real stars here are Bruce's commanding vocals, richer and more expressive, matured by years of experience beyond his former screamer persona; and Steve Harris's powerful yet fluid bass, whose, deep rumbling sound has become the band's trademark over the years. Kevin Shirley's excellent, crisp production pushes both features to the fore, though without overwhelming the other elements in the band's music.

In particular, the role of the three guitarists is the polar opposite of the trite guitar hero antics that many have come to associate with heavy metal. Smith, Murray and Gers have different styles that nevertheless complement each other, their solos forming an essential part of the songs, and never feeling like sterile exercises in one-upmanship. In my opinion, Smith's return to the fold, even more than Dickinson's, is what really makes the difference on this album. Adrian is indeed a technically excellent guitarist, with a fluid, melodic style, and his contribution to the band's songwriting has always been essential - even if his erstwhile replacement Janick Gers often gives him a run for his money in the compositional stakes.

As a matter of fact, Gers is responsible (together with the omnipresent Harris) for what I consider to be the album's highpoint, the 9-minute-plus "Dream of Mirrors", an epic tour de force chock-full of time signature changes, galloping bass lines, dynamic riffing and sweeping keyboards, masterfully conducted by Dickinson's consummate vocal skill. "The Nomad" is another interesting song, rich in Middle-Eastern influences and spiced up by the presence of synthesisers - as is the melodic, occasionally ballady "Blood Brothers". On the other hand, album closer "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate", all too often overlooked in favour of other tracks, s a lively, variegated song which combines a hard edge with a beautiful, atmospheric close, dominated by Dickinson's unusually sensitive vocals.

Fans of Maiden's more metallic side will find a lot to appreciate in the double punch of opener "The Wicker Man," and its follow-up, "Ghost of the Navigator", which feature fast and furious riffing alongside more than a touch of melody, the catchy, energetic "The Mercenary", or the anthemic title-track. What all those songs have in common, though, is that none of them is a 'simple', standard heavy metal song. Iron Maiden have grown and matured in the course of their long career, and their never-disguised interest in progressive rock now shows as a clear influence on their songwriting.

While obviously not a masterpiece of progressive music in the strict sense of the word, "Brave New World" is nevertheless more than worthy of attention from all those prog fans who can look beyond labels and stereotypes. Almost thirty years after their inception, Iron Maiden are still at the top of their game, and they have been capable of evolving and progressing beyond their rough'n'ready, punk-metal roots. Approach with an open mind, and enjoy.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Not since "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" have IRON MAIDEN sounded so good. It's not surprising that the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith coincide with them putting out such a stunning album. In some ways it seems like this record is a continuation of the sound from "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". And as Ghost Rider explains, this one might be even more progressive than that 1988 release. I have to mention the album cover as probably being my favourite MAIDEN cover ever. The main evil face in the sky with other creepy faces around it looking down on the futuristic city is fascinating to say the least. What does make this different from "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" is that this album really comes off as being like a greatest hits record with one amazing song after another, and they are all very different from one another as well. Whereas "Seventh Son..." is a concept album with the songs being all connected somewhat. Some have mentioned the fact that there are 3 lead guitarists on this record, but keep in mind that all 3 also play rhythm guitar, it's not like 3 guys are soloing at the same time or standing there waiting for their turn to play when the other is done.

"The Wicker Man" opens with heavy riffs as vocals come in. Harris is incredible on bass.The instrumental section 2 1/2 minutes in is a highlight followed by some blistering guitar. Bruce does his famous vocal melodies 4 minutes in to the end of the song. "Ghost Of The Navigator" is even better in my opinion, especially the lyrics and the relentless rhythm. The beautifully tasteful guitar intro is run right over by the heavy riffs that follow. The vocals and sound 1 1/2 minutes in are beyond words.Themes are repeated. Ripping guitar after 4 1/2 minutes and check out Nicko on drums a minute later. "Brave New World" is my favourite track. I just love the contrast of the gorgeous mellow sections to the hell bent for leather passages.The intro is simply wondrous. Reserved vocals come in with beautiful lyrics. All hell breaks loose 1 1/2 minutes in as Nicko pounds it out and Bruce's voice rises in power. Chunky bass is so upfront during the chorus. A guitar solo 4 minutes in goes on and on,my God ! Another leads guitarist takes the baton and runs with it. The song ends just as it began.

"Blood Brothers" is the only song composed by Steve Harris all by himself. He does take part in writing on every song on this album but gets help from various band members. The rhythm to open is almost waltz-like.This song has some orchestration that comes and goes. Fat bass lines from Harris. A calm 4 minutes in that continues as we get some fantastic soaring guitar after 5 1/2 minutes. The chorus then follows as Bruce shouts "We're blood brothers" over and over. Hell ya ! "The Mercenary" is one of my top 3 favourites.This one is furious with classic MAIDEN lyrics. Such a full and powerful sound that is drum led. Vocals are aggressive. "Show them no fear show them no pain". Absolutely blistering guitar 3 minutes in followed by a second ripping solo. Nice. Nicko is relentless with the pounding drums. "Dream Of Mirrors" is such a ride. The intro is probably my least favourite part of the album but the rest of the song is outstanding. The tempo shifts are especially incredible to listen to. The song is fairly reserved until they start to power up 3 minutes in on the chorus. It becomes restrained again until before 6 minutes when it seems to get faster and faster,and check out the vocal melody after 7 minutes followed by some scorching guitar. It slows back down after 8 minutes. "The Fallen Angel" is so heavy with the ground-shaking bass and drums. Bruce sings passionately in this powerful tune. Check out the guitar solos 3 minutes in.

"The Nomad" is my other top 3 track. I love the classic MAIDEN lyrics and the beat is the best on the album as the guitar plays over top. Mind-numbing stuff. Vocals after a minute. 2 1/2 minutes in he sings Nomad and holds the note like the good old days. Priceless.The guitar to follow is just outlandish. It's so good. A calm 4 1/2 minutes in is very cool. Some orchestration comes in as the song becomes full again. Wondrous guitar to end it. Great, great tune. "Out Of The Silent Planet" opens with guitar that is replaced by reserved vocals. The song kicks in after a minute. Harris is all over this one. Check out the lyrics "The punishment is death for all who live".The tempo really shifts on this song as well. The instrumental section 4 minutes in is a highlight,and then they start that galloping rhythm they're famous for. "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate" has this great heavy intro that starts to pick up speed as vocals come in. We find out why Bruce is called the human siren 2 minutes in and 3 1/2 minutes in. Inspired ripping guitar follows. A calm 5 1/2 minutes in is so beautiful as guitar is played mournfully followed by sad vocals. It starts to pick back up as a guitar solo rises up from the calm. Another calm ends the song and the album.

This hopefully is a brave new era for the band where everything old is new again. All i know is that this album is one of my top 5 MAIDEN records, and that's saying something.

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
5 stars From the time that Adrian Smith left the band, until he came back, I felt all the studio albums after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son were far from impressive. Iron Maiden, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son were all albums that represented the sheer genius of Iron Maiden to me, with Piece Of Mind and Killers not being too bad either. After the Blaze Bayley, a vocalist that was not a particular favorite of mine, left the band Adrian and Bruce would make a welcome return to the band, and a thunderous miracle that would prove for the band. The band would come to have 3 guitarists now, as well as Harris, Dickinson, and McBrain and a fantastic line up this was for Brave New World. This album to me, not only revived much of the classic Iron Maiden sound, but somehow among all the classic flavor of the sound it still had a comtemporary edge to it, which would only be a good thing to me and enhanced the listening experience even more.

The album doesn't start on a particularly strong note, but by no means is The Wickerman a bad song. It has a very classic fast paced Maiden vibe, and a superb emotional guitar solo from Smith. While none of the song are what we could really call progressive, I think that many of the songs on here are the most progressive effort yet by Maiden. The Ghost Of The Navigator and Brave New World give some similar feelings and thoughts as I listen, so I'll talk about them together. The Ghost of The Navigator is less straight forward in stucture than either Brave New World and The Wicker Man, but some of the melodies in Ghost of The Navigator and BNW have similar feelings to them and I just think there couldn't have been a better song other than BNW to be next after Ghost of The Navigator on the track. Both again have great guitar solos, but I favor the ones on BNW slightly more, although Ghost of The Navigator is a slightly better song due to the more creative lyrics and less use of lyrical repetition during the chorus that BNW has. My favorite on this album is surely Blood Brothers. Despite the chorus having repetitive lyrics, they seem to work well. The lush orchestral sounding arrangment of both the guitars and keyboards during the chorus positively just floor me. After the guitar solo, there is another insanely beautiful moment between the guitars and keyboards, and I love to just put this part on repeat and let it lift me above the ground. Just an absolutely perfect song and the unquestionable masterpiece of the album for me and very nice to see some relatively simple yet awesomely effective keyboards from Steve Harris. After Blood Brothers, The Mercenary just comes off as a bit disappointing, a good song at best but certainly not great. The only real highlight is the solo, and at the end of each of the two solos there is always a bent note with wide vibrato, and it sounds so effective and furious in this context. Fortunately the album picks up again with Dream Of Mirrors, which starts off fairly slow and even a little quiet and just before the 6 minute mark it picks up a lot of pace, and it was a great move to my mind. This song also has one of my favorite vocal performances from Bruce too. Although fairly straight forward, it's just a great and well written song that never fails to interest in it's nearly 9 and a half minute running time. Back to another more straight forward rocker with The Fallen Angel, which is nothing remarkable, but the instrumental/guitar solo section does capture my interest everytime, and Bruce sounds great in the chorus. Using the Phyrgian scale, The Nomad captures an Oriental feeling and this song has one of the best instrumental sections on the album. Great performances all round from the band. While being another of the less complex songs on here, Out Of The Silent Planet has some awesome melodies and the choruses towards the later part of the song are just so catchy and melodic I almost want to sing along, the only thing stopping me is knowing I couldn't do it without butchering Bruce's vocals. A heavier start for the album closer The Thing Line Between Love and Hate, which has everything from catchy verses and choruses to fantastic guitar solos, some nice bass lines from Steve Harris and a very nice instrumental section. Definitely a good album closer.

This is an absolutely top notch effort from Iron Maiden, and for those who are looking for something after the disappointing run of albums from 1990 onwards, can do a lot worse than to check out this fabulous return to amazing form by Maiden. If there is one complaint, it's that Steve's bass doesn't always stick out as much as some of the other albums, but that is a very minor complaint for this excellent album. One of my favorite Maiden albums and it has many progressive elements and I imagine this can appeal to a lot of people and not just metal fans.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Boy! Some of you are going to be really surprised, a Roxy/ Symph Prog fan reviewing Iron Maiden, "wow, we never thought you had it in you, T" . Well, the jokes on you, pals! Prog has turned me into a no-boundaries kind of music fan and this is my first Maiden album and review. Actually, I remember how it happened, I saw a TV show with Maiden live in Rio and I was sort of spellbound by the rather obvious instrumental talents of Steve Harris, Nico McBrain and Jannick Gers. "Brave New World" has your stereo-typical gloom and doom artwork, a futuristic London (yeah, the Bridge still hasn't fallen down) with the river Thames dividing a choking megapolis of surreal missile- like scrapers whilst the "beast" winks from the cloudy thunderclouds. "The Wicker Man" blasts forward featuring a rather classic triple (yes, 3 axemen!) riffing guitar attack, bruising drumming and dizzying bass propulsion. Nuclear-lunged Bruce Dickinson is really quite impressive, howling out anthem-like choruses ("Your Time Will Come"), not very proggy but quite enjoyable while driving down the concrete highway at full speed. "Ghost of the Navigator" is, on the other hand, what makes proggers stand up and pump fist and the first of numerous epics on this spellbinding disc. The near 7 minutes veer into rapid -fire movements that swerve controllably, speeding up and slowing down, twisting on a dime, the chorus is bombastically evoked, guitars buzzing, McBrain pummeling mercilessly. A hysterical guitar solo ensues (don't ask me who, I have no clue! < Nice rhyme, wot?) that blitzes furiously and then the windswept chorus is revisited . The title cut launches gently, almost minimalist with twanging guitars and a sober Dickinson reading, with a sudden upturn in the thrust, defining the theme even more until the massive chorus kicks in. It's obvious to this rookie fan that Iron Maiden really knows how to erect (sic!) multiple choral melodies and weave them into an instrumental package that certainly goes beyond your usual metal arrangement. This song is a perfect example, as the wild solo (Don't ask me who.) only highlights the power and the passion so inexorably expressed by the exemplary vocals. The magnificent "Blood Brothers" offers a fully orchestrated violin-laden intro, tossing in some suitably sweeping keyboard squalls played by Mister Harris, clearly defining the progressive element that magnifies this band's creative craft. The insistent story-telling chorus pushes hard, the guitars churn appropriately, with a short simmering solo (Don't ask me who.) and a colossal anthemic mid-section with more well-placed orchestrations. A Celtic-tinged dual guitar theme is lovingly expressed, with another solo creeping out with unashamed vigor and ceremony. Errr. I love this stuff! "The Mercenary" is a not the kindest subject matter, and the beastly pile driving rhythm is there to reinforce the rage and the nihilism ("No where to run, nowhere to hide, you got to kill to stay alive") , while entertaining, is too mundane for my tastes. "Dream of Mirrors" is another whopping epic, clocking in at over 9 minutes, hissing at first like an angry missile before metamorphosing into a stunning Spanish guitar motif with anxious vocals from Monsieur Dickinson, all restrained emotion waiting to explode into a maelstrom of sonic grandeur, with another gigantic refrain, passionately "colorful" lyrics ("I only dream in Black and White") and a hasty mid-section that pushes and pushes hard, faster and faster. Another warp-speed guitar solo (Don't ask me.) adds the obligatory six-string electric fury to the flurry. "The Fallen Angel" is a 4 minute romp, insistent bass leading the way, a demonic rant that is more classic metal than anything, thus giving Dickinson the opportunity to rant loud and apocalyptically. A wah-drenched solo adds some ass to it all. Cute, even amusing but a tad puerile "pour moi"! The 9 minute "The Nomad" props up a tent of Saharan guitar patterns that rekindle pleasant thoughts of Zep's "Kashmir" before Dickinson howls like the arid wind of a sandstorm, grainy, unrelenting and massive. The screeching guitar whirlwinds brilliantly evoke the isolation of desert perdition (the quiet mid-section is a reprieve, no "Camel" in sight or is it just a mirage?).The guitar crunch returns, fusing with an adamant North African flavored theme, the orchestrations adding even more bombast and mystic aura, proving again that these heavy lads can refine deliciously when prompted. The finale is expertly heavy and desperate, with Dickinson in fine form, while all the axe solos are impressive (Don't ask..). "Out of the Silent Planet" is at first an odd sonic detour that quickly explodes into a reveling instrumental mania that will please the harder-edged fans but again leaves me unchallenged. The final cut (sorry Roger) is the brooding pile driver "The Thin Line Between Love & Hate", an 8 and a half epic that chugs along mercilessly, with a classic lyrical depiction of one of life's obvious tests, a hopping chorus that somehow is not as convincing as the previous whoppers, even though the vocals are heavenly powerful (what lungs!). A series of zipping axe solos (Don't.) put this wild affair to bed. This Brave New World is quite an achievement and seemingly very much admired by the legion of Maiden fans. I started here and I am glad I did, as every "gentle" man needs a little metal fury in his prog collection and I would definitely recommend this to equally hesitant soft proggers. This is dedicated to my colleague and friend sinkadotentee who piqued my curiosity and paddled me to purchase this . I hope it blows your mind! 4.5 valiant, innovative planets
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Brave new maiden!

I remember hearing The Wicker Man on the radio around the time of the release of this album. I instantly liked it and rushed out to buy the album. In those days I was not too familiar with Iron Maiden even if I had heard some of their most popular 80's songs as well as the Fear Of The Dark album which I had listened to a lot some years previously. But by this time I had not listened to anything by Iron Maiden for several years. I also remember a talk show appearance by Bruce Dickinson on Swedish national television, where the interviewer commented on the metal singer now having short hair, and of course, on the reunion of Dickinson and the rest of the band. I also remember him saying on this show that the new album (this was before it's release) might not have an Eddie on the cover. It was clear that they had something special coming out.

I certainly wouldn't call myself an Iron Maiden fan - not then, and not now - and also not really a metal fan in general, but this album holds a very special place in my collection. I was impressed with this album when I first heard it and I still am today! Since then I have heard the band's entire discography and I still think that Brave New World is one of the very best Iron Maiden albums of all time. Indeed, only Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - to which it bears a significant resemblance - is better. These two albums clearly are the two most progressive albums by this band.

The progressiveness of Brave New World is strongly apparent in the arrangements and in the many interesting tempo changes and mood changes within the same song. Like on Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son there are discrete keyboards in the background on several songs that adds a greater depth to the music. The Prog fan probably notices immediately that most of the songs are over six minutes in length and three songs are over eight minutes. Song length is never a guarantee for progressive music, but here is can be taken as a strong hint as to the nature of the album.

By this time Iron Maiden became a larger band with as many as three guitarists! This is very interesting and they utilize it to the maximum - there are loads of great guitar solos. There are no ballads as such here, but there are many quieter sections and ballady moments within these songs, making for a diverse and very dynamic set. This is especially true of the excellent The Thin Line Between Love And Hate - which I love and not hate at all!

Brave New World is that kind of album that while playing it appears as if every new song is better than the previous one. There is just one great melody after another. It is hard to pick out favourites, since while listening to it every song is greater than the others. The music of Brave New World is highly melodic with very strong and memorable melodies and riffs. Indeed, the title track and Blood Brothers might have the most melodic choruses the band had ever made, which might turn some people off perhaps. In my view, however, there is not one weak song on this album. It would be useless to list my favourite tracks because I would end up listing most, or even all of them. But I would like to give special mention to the far eastern-flavoured The Nomad - brilliant song! Generally, I would say that the second half of the album is stronger than the first half.

This is simply an excellent addition to any Prog collection!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At first sight, there's nothing really wrong here and instrumentally it sound almost as great as ever before. It's just when these vocals kick in... The man has a great voice, but one sometimes wonders whether he couldn't do more than repeating those same old tunes. And what on earth is the point of these painfully annoying cheesy choruses throughout the album? Even though my hopes were high up for this one and although I wanted to like it so much, the total lack of progress in combination with the lacklustre song writing is a dispiriting and off-putting experience. Stay away from everything Maiden did after the 80-ties.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Brave New World is the twelfth full-length studio album by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. After two very disappointing albums in The X-Factor (1995) and Virtual XI (1998) ( the latter didnīt reach the million copies sold mark which was the first time in the bandīs history) with lead singer Blaze Bayley manning the microphone. In February 1999, Blaze Bayley left the band by mutual consent and Iron Maiden announced the return of lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson and maybe even more surprisingly guitarist Adrian Smith. As there where no further departures from Iron Maiden they now had three guitarists in the lineup. Iron Maiden embarked on a hugely successful re-union tour called The Ed Hunter Tour before going into the studio to record Brave New World. The album is hailed by many critics as a triumphant return to form.

After Blaze Bayleyīs weak vocal contributions to the two previous Iron Maiden albums itīs such a treat to hear Bruce Dickinson sing on an Iron Maiden album again. The music on Brave New World hasnīt changed much from those two albums though and IMO itīs actually one of the weaker efforts by the band. The next two albums Dance of Death (2003) and A Matter of Life and Death (2003) are much more exciting and well executed IMO. There are a few songs that stand out as being above average on the album and thatīs Ghost of the Navigator and the epic The Nomad. The rest are not bad. The songs are just pretty average run of the mill Iron Maiden songs. Iīm generally not too impressed with the quality of the songwriting on the album though. What saves the album is as always the impeccable and enthusiastic musicianship. The production is a bit flat and it doesnīt help on my already negative impression of the album.

While I wildy applauded the return of Bruce Dickinson to Iron Maidenīs lineup back then I have never been too impressed by Brave New World. Not back then and not now. A 2.5 - 3 star rating is deserved. Iīll recommend their next two releases anyday over this one.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars Like most Maiden fans, I was first exposed to the band through their ''hits'' ''Run to the Hills'' and ''Number of the Beast''. But as for the first album in whole that I listened to, logically I started with...BRAVE NEW WORLD. Surprised? Me too, considering how well these songs are played.

I'm glad Iron Maiden can still rock out as many of the shorter songs like ''The Wicker Man'' and ''The Fallen Angel'' can attest to. There are a few longer tracks that veer in the prog direction; all I can say is that they're decent prog compositions at best, but they run too long for me and suffer from hokey concepts. ''The Nomad'' is the best of these outfits IMO. There are even a few songs here like the title track and ''Ghost of the Navigator'' that don't do anything for me at all.

Bottom line: this is very good hard rock with only a few hints of prog rock. All musicians play well here and Bruce Dickinson can still hit the high notes just fine, but in the scope of progressive rock, this is somewhat marginal.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A tour de force of progressive instrumentation and conceptual lyrics.

"Brave New World" is another of the most progressive of Iron Maiden's albums and this one comes after Bruce Dickinson's brief hiatus away from lead vocalist of the group. The previous singer, Blaze, could not hold a candle to the powerhouse vocals of Dickinson. So after two very mediocre albums Iron Maiden return with a vengeance on "Brave New World". All killer, no filler, the album is a tour de force of progressive instrumentation and conceptual lyrics. Smith returns with Murray who are joined by Gers and the triple guitar work is masterful, featuring synth guitars as well as traditional speed picking and high energy string bends. The band are highly motivated on this album and it spawned the Live In Rio DVD where I first heard a lot of this album. I was inspired by the DVD to get hold of this album as it is such a fantastic bunch of songs. I was taken with the masterpiece "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" but this album is even better; an absolute brilliant metal powerhouse.

'The Wicker Man' is the first track with a killer riff and a fast tempo. Dickinson's vocals are multi layered with harmonies. The lyrics are fast and tell a story, "You watch the world exploding every single night, Dancing in the sun a newborn in the light, Brothers and their fathers joining hands and make a chain, The shadow of the wicker man is rising up again, Your time will come, Your time will come..." The lead break is replete with very fast hammer ons and pull offs and high pitch notes. It ends with a "woah" section that I can imagine every member of the audience chanting along to with fists pounding the air. A great way to begin the album.

'Ghost of the Navigator', my favourite song on the album, stamps it's authority with a fantastic melody that locks in immediately with clean guitars. The distortion kicks in soon and then a chugging riff drives it along to Dickinson's enigmatic vocals, "I see the ghosts of navigators but they are lost, As they sail into the sunset they'll count the cost, As their skeletons accusing emerge from the sea, The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me." The time sigs change several times before we get to the familiar tune that once in your head will never leave, "Take my heart and set it free, carried forward by the waves, Nowhere left to run, navigator's son, Chasing rainbows all my days..." The verses continue after this with all the time changes till we get to the lead break, and what a break! Arpeggios and sweep picking at high speed. The fret melting work of Smith and Murray with Gers are backed by pounding drums of McBrain and Harris's awesome basslines. This is Maiden at their best! The power metal on display here is simply awesome.

'Brave New World' is another definitive Maiden track that begins with a solid guitar line that all Maidenheads love. It sets the pace and the strong melody. The tranquillity and soft vocals are so ethereal they send shivers down the spine. The guitars chug in and Dickinson's vocals move to 'Air Raid Siren' mode; "Wilderness house of pain, makes no sense of it all, Close this mind dull this brain, Messiah before his fall, What you see is not real, those who know will not tell, All is lost sold your souls to this brave new world, A brave new world, in a brave new world..." The time sig changes in the chorus and the audience will be singing along every time, as indeed they are on the live DVD. The pace really picks up in the next adrenaline charged verse. The drum and bass rhythm machine is relentless and motorvates along till we get to the lead break. The guitars trade off duelling in trademark style, with very fast speed picking and note for note perfect speed work up the frets. Then the wonderful melodic harmonics of the three guitars takes it to another level; it is sheer bliss when the band are in full flight.

'Blood Brothers' features a lot of bass and an orchestra reminding me of Ayreon or Therion. The strings are majestic and the vocals are more subdued. It almost sounds like a bizarre waltz feel. I am not a huge fan of this track but it does have a nice melody and is a different beast among all the intricate metal blasts.

'The Mercenary' is next with some effective riffing and strong powerful lyrics; "Toe to toe throw the line, Everyone's caught hand tied, Iron will iron fist, How could it have come to this?" It is creative songwriting and highly influential.

'Dream of Mirrors' is a lengthy track with a consistent rhythm and melodic chorus; "I only dream in black and white, I only dream 'cause I'm alive, I only dream in black and white, To save me from myself." This has a sombre feel but very welcome prior to the frenetic complexity of subsequent tracks.

'The Nomad' is an excellent 9 minute mini epic with a majestic sweeping lead riff. The pace quickens and slows at intervals. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along to; "Nomad, you're the rider so mysterious, Nomad, you're the spirit that men fear in us, Nomad, you're the rider of the desert sands, No man's ever understood your genius." The rhythm is kept by distinct 11 to 12 syllable rhyming verses; "Those who see you in horizon desert sun, Those who fear your reputation hide or run, You send before you a mystique that's all your own, Your silhouette is like a statue carved in stone." The middle section is a quiet guitar passage reminding me of the middle of 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. The guitar is rather pretty and melancholy. The melody is one that an audience can sing to with ease. There is a unique style in the melody that is foreign sounding, almost Egyptian or Spanish. The steady pace is maintained throughout, with a simplistic tune but one that is very effective, making this a definite highlight of the album.

'Out of the Silent Planet' begins with a solid lead riff that repeats for a while until a quiet vocal begins over acoustic arrangements. Metal guitars enter soon and another great song is belted out.

'The Thin Line Between Love & Hate' runs for 8 and a half minutes at a steady pace, with trademark chugging riffs, and multilayerd vocals. The chorus is infectious as ever; "There's a thin line between love and hate, Wider divide that you can see between good and bad, There's a grey place between black and white, But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes, I will hope, My soul will fly, So I will live forever, Heart will die My soul will fly, And I will live forever." The progression repeats again and then a scorching lead breaks in at 4:50 with high pitched sustained bends and sweep picking. The song quietens to a minimalist clean guitar and hi hat cymbal beat. The next lead break is wonderful, and Dickinson has a brief but strong vocal passage. The lead returns much faster with harmonics and arpeggios over a moderate paced riff. It slows again with that soaring lead break. It is incredible music and one of the highlights of this album.

Overall "Brave New World" may well be the greatest thing Iron Maiden have done along with "Powerslave" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". These three albums are the pinnacle of the proggiest albums from the band, as such deserve full recognition.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Although the return of Bruce Dickinson to Iron Maiden is something to cherish, Brave New World is equally special for offering the return of Adrian Smith. Indeed, arguably it's Smith's departure after Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, rather than Bruce quitting after Fear of the Dark, which really marked the beginning of the band's mid-career slump, because whilst the Blaze Bayley era is often derided it isn't as though the two Smith-less albums featuring Bruce on vocals were top-flight additions to the Maiden discography.

As it stands, Brave New World feels like the band picking up where they left off after Seventh Son, as though the intervening albums were just a bad dream. The expanded three-guitar lineup gives the band confidence to get back to more complex song structures and lavish, layered arrangements which they may otherwise have struggled to reproduce live, whilst Bruce sounds as fresh as ever. I wouldn't quite call it a classic, but I certainly like it better than Somewhere In Time, and that means it deserves to be embraced in the Maiden canon.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars Brave New Maiden?

"The return of Bruce Dickinson", "And Then They Were Six", "And Then They Were Three Guitarists"... All that's fine, but all that's for what? Much ado for nearly nothing...

The reintegration of IRON MAIDEN's historical frontman and guitarist Adrian Smith showed great promises for the band lovers. The entire "golden" line-up is back, furthermore with nineties' guitarist Jannick Gers! What else could any fan dream for? In addition, unlike the past decade, the revival of heavy metal of the 2000's were a favorable context of the genre! Unfortunately, even this is not sufficient to recover the inspiration vanishing since 1990. If you're expecting a return of the grandeur of the 80's, renewal, or just something refreshing and catchy, you may be quite disappointed. To be honest, the compositions even difficultly matches the troubled and uneven MAIDEN waters of the 90's.

Named after the well-known eponymous book by Aldous Huxley, "Brave New World" does not take many risks. Like "Virtual XI", the music is overall insipid and lengthy. It contains even fewer interesting tracks than its predecessor. A continuity, as "The Mercenary", "Dream of Mirrors" and "The Nomad" were initially composed for the 1998 album. A global impression is that IRON MAIDEN's asperities developed in 20 years are progressively disappearing: very few memorable melodies, remarkable bridges, breathtaking soli or galloping bass. The same dish, but without flavor. By the way, in case you're wondering about the three guitars, they are hardly audible and fail to bring something to the songs.

In addition, this will be the last collaboration with historical artist Derek Riggs, and he only illustrated the top half of the cover. Furthermore, Martin Birch, the band's producer since 1981's "Killers" has been replaced. There are signs that do not lie...

Concerning the rare good passages, the rocking "The Wicker Man" clearly does the job as an MAIDEN opener with its powerful theme, but it's just an illusion. The only genuine originality here is "Nomad" with its mystical Middle- Eastern-ish atmosphere. We haven't heard this since 1984's "Powerslave"! Recovered creativity? In fact, the calm beautiful section borrows an extract from 1974's BECKETT's "Life's Shadow". A bit lengthy, but overall quite good. "The Fallen Angel" average but has its moments. The rest of the disc rather flat and boring.

As a fan of IRON MAIDEN's eighties' albums, from their first self-titled opus to "Seventh Son", and of "The X-Factor", I was really disappointed by what was announced as the resurrection of an iconic and influential metal institution. I felt like if I was fooled by the product.

Steve Harris and co. were one of the few to entirely redefine the genre in the 80's. The 90's musical melting pots were a difficult context for traditional metal bands, and MAIDEN didn't make exception, delivering just a few interesting tracks inside average albums. The departure of high-pitched vocalist Bruce Dickinson was an occasion for renewal, seized with the dark and progy "The X-Factor". However, this evolution divided the fan-base, so the musicians decided to return to a secure path by going back to their original recipe, but without the inspiration and the spiciness.

Since the controversial 1995 opus, it seems that the band is on auto-pilot (no pun intended), gave up their creativity and will to try something new. This had to happen, "Brave New World" clearly marks the turning point: IRON MAIDEN has lived and now became a pale copy of itself. For sure, same can be done for other numerous artists of all genres, but here the difference is that the music doesn't match what was proclaimed as a renaissance.

"Brave New World" is an aseptic and overrated album. Too polite, neither raging, nor really epic nor adventurous compared to what modern progressive metal bands were proposing at the same period. A new MAIDEN yes, but not very brave...

Latest members reviews

5 stars Album number 12 from British metal legends. The disc debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard album charts and was generally well-received by critics and fans. "I think that this is genuinely the best-sounding Maiden album there's ever been," Dickinson said. All but three of the songs are more than six m ... (read more)

Report this review (#2375895) | Posted by nikitasv777 | Thursday, April 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On occasion of the release of Iron Maiden's new album, I wish to share some thoughts on the reincarnation phase of their career, starting with the return of vocalist Bruce Dickinson on Brave New World. Rarely has a metal band aged so well (and we're talking about a band that scared countless par ... (read more)

Report this review (#1474006) | Posted by Progrussia | Friday, October 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars honestly, i nearly didn't even listen to (let alone buy) Brave New World. i was so disappointed with The X Factor (terrible) and Virtual XI (even worse, if possible), that i wasnt really excited when the new Maiden album came out in 2000. i believed that i had lost one of my favourite bands to ... (read more)

Report this review (#468739) | Posted by sv_godspeed | Friday, June 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now THIS is more like it, Bruce's triumphant return along with previous guitarist Adrien Smith in tow the band become a 3 guitar tour de force to be reckoned with, right from the opener THE WICKER MAN things kick off in a big way, its just full throttle like it was in the earlier days, real st ... (read more)

Report this review (#305614) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The first time that I hear this album the first thing that impressed me was the return of Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, the next question that came to my mind, 3 guitarists?, How their sound it will be with 3 guitarists?, and actually their sound more in rich and full in composition. and hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#267643) | Posted by JgX 5 | Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Wow. Dicksinon back in the band. And it wasn't end of good news. Cos also Smith re-joined Iron Maiden becoming their 3rd (sic!) guitarist. And even this wasn't end of good news for me cos I was finally able to see Maiden with their most famous singer and my favorite Maiden's guitarist (and songw ... (read more)

Report this review (#217776) | Posted by LSDisease | Saturday, May 23, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Back to form again ! After the two albums with Blaze Bailey, both Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned on this album and Iron Maiden was back to the good old days. But even they did not believe that this reunion would herald their best period ever. The trilogy of albums starting with thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#201033) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, January 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Expectations were high before the release of "Brave New World". First of all, because Bruce Dickinson returned to the band and many people wanted to see if he was able to transform the band into the heavy metal machine that it once was. Adrian Smith also returned, forming a trio of guitarists to ... (read more)

Report this review (#176660) | Posted by Nhorf | Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars in every first rain i listing to this album from the beginning to the end. its actually one of the first original albums that i ever had, my x girlfriends cat screeched this album 6 years ago, and i still have it. in this album Bruce Dickinson and the guitarist Adrian Smith have returned to t ... (read more)

Report this review (#165122) | Posted by bluesynight | Thursday, March 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Brave New World STUNNING ....... One of the best releases in progressive hard rock genre since Budgie , Saxon & Uriah Heep - The Nomad , brilliant track made to satisfy your hunger to the real hard rock genre . In fact Bruce Dickinson voice sound like Uri ... (read more)

Report this review (#164836) | Posted by trackstoni | Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Well, I'm afraid I have to offer a dissenting view and rating of this album than most reviewers. With this album Maiden tried to recover from the maelstrom they went through during the nineties. The lesson learned is the employment of simple themes in mid-tempo, repeated over and over again. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#164006) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Brave New World is a truly great comeback album from the Irons and seriously kicks some ass. After Somewhere in Time this is probably my second favourite Maiden album. With Bruce and Adrian back on board not much can go wrong, and it doesn't. 'The Wicker Man' starts of the album in the band's ... (read more)

Report this review (#159654) | Posted by burtonrulez | Thursday, January 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars And there was much rejoice. Yay! Like a phoenix raising from the ashes of a really big dead bird, Maiden were reborn with the return of Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson. The first release of the 2000s, "Brave New World" saw a partial return to the style of the 80s, a retention of those good t ... (read more)

Report this review (#142721) | Posted by Time Signature | Monday, October 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In a brave new world. Iron Maiden, after two disappointing albums with vocalist Blaze Bayley get their glory days singer, Bruce Dickinson back for a smashing return to form. For the first time with three guitarists - Janick Gers, Adrian Smith, and Dave Murray, and with Steve Harris on bass and ... (read more)

Report this review (#137161) | Posted by jikai55 | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this being one of my favorite albums by iron maiden next to a matter of life and death this is kind of there turn to proggieness the songs on this album usualy start out mellow but get stronger such as dream of mirrors and the nomad this cd an excellent cd for prog metal fans and not so much prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#100700) | Posted by #1floydfan | Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Iron Maiden's second life clearly started with this album. "Brave New World" sees the return of frontman Bruce Dickinson, guitarist Adrian Smith... and even master illustrator Derek Riggs is back. The result is... strange. It's *heavy*... I mean forget "The Number Of The Beast", "Brave New Wor ... (read more)

Report this review (#98436) | Posted by zaxx | Sunday, November 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Reunion time was one of the band's best moments. The roaring of their three guitars makes a fresh input into the listeners' experience of Maiden music. The lyrics are adequately themed, with a few particularly standing out (my chioce for the best lyrics on the album would be Blood Brothers). But ... (read more)

Report this review (#95381) | Posted by Ampersand | Sunday, October 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The return of Dickinson, and what a return. I have heard every Maiden album and nothing quite compares with the level of Brave New World. The album is uses epic tracks far more than previous albums, and also avoids songs that are long for the sake of being long (like the Angel and the Gambler), ... (read more)

Report this review (#94992) | Posted by G_Bone | Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the first album Iron Maiden made really showing their progressive roots. Dreams of Mirrors was the most progressive song they have done at this point. This is also the first album they made after the return of Bruce and Adrian in the band. Critics says that they continued their music e ... (read more)

Report this review (#93756) | Posted by proglil49 | Sunday, October 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Iron Maiden are a band with whom most right minded people at some stage in their lives, suitably obsessed (myself included.) With retrospect, most of their material isn't actually that good. There are however a handful of Maiden's works that tower over the rest of their discography and survive t ... (read more)

Report this review (#93243) | Posted by Ktrout | Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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