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Iron Maiden - Powerslave CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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4.13 | 749 ratings

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3 stars 3.5 Stars

This album avoids the main problem of "Piece of Mind". The music here sounds a bit more original and the songs are a bit more different from each other. Most of the songs are strong and tight, with the 2 longer ones showing the future direction of the band. The progression the band went thru in this album is literally 'prog'. Here, the band started writing more complex songs, exploring ambient atmospheres, and incorporating egyptian scales in a couple of songs. Powerslave features Iron Maiden's longest song, being 13 minutes long. For me, it is the weakest track on the album, as it drags in moments and has some really unoriginal riffs.

Just like Piece of Mind, the album begins with a catchy metal song of high caliber. Aces High has terrific guitar playing and excellent refrains. 2 Minutes to Midnight is another accessible metal song with melody and power. It has an interesting tempo change where the slower section offers wonderful guitar playing. Losfer Words is an instrumental with good ideas scattered, as well as virtuosity. Flash of the Blade has an original idea for a riff, nice harmonized choruses, and a creative moment with many guitars playing at the same time. The Duellists is a more sophisticated song with excellent guitar performances and a longish instrumental section with plenty of good musicianship including the bass playing. One of my favourites of the album. Back in the Village is a straightforward fast-paced metal song, but it has good guitar riffs, saving it from mediocricy.

Now, to the more progressive part of the album:

Powerslave is my favourite song of the album. It has a very captivating main riff played on the verses which uses egyptian scales and excellent vocal melodies. The bridges feature nice melodies and the choruses combines a great vocal hook (as well as vocal harmonies) and another great guitar riff using low notes. After two choruses, a highly melodic (yes, I'm overusing the word melody) guitar solo sets the start of a long instrumental section with the band playing at its best. The bending down of a chord sets the song back again to the verses and choruses and the song finishes.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner does not grab me as much as it does to other fans of the band. However, it really has some high points. I just don't like that much the main riff played in the beginning: it's too basic and unoriginal. Luckily, a tempo change at minute three makes way for a new guitar riff that is more interesting and a more enjoyable rhythm. An unusual guitar line in a different scale leads way to an overlong ambient section with narration. Nothing really happens during it, just an acoustic guitar and an electric one playing the same thing over and over again, making it as boring as the first 3 minutes. Luckily, a more interesting and slightly heavier section wakes me up. Pay attention for the scream in this part, it is even better than the one in "Number of the Beast". Afterwards, some guitar solos appear and the boring riff of the beginning comes back and finishes the song and album on a low point. This song reminds me of the beginnings of the Death Metal band Opeth.

Overall, a very solid album with one huge blunder: Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which sounds like an amateur attempt to write an epic, failing miserable. The rest ranges from good to excellent and provides more complexity than the previous two albums.

Zitro | 3/5 |


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