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Maiden33
08-15-2010, 08:42 PM
I thank everyone who reads this in advance - this is the longest review I've ever written.

Well, it's that time again. For anyone who knows me, they know how seriously I take the release of an Iron Maiden studio album. This new record is only the third to have been released in my tenure as a fan, which now stretches about eight years. The new album is of course entitled "The Final Frontier", and there is of course much talk about it being their final studio effort, though for now the band is leaving things open-ended. But still, with this possibility at hand, there's no doubt that there's a good deal of tension and pressure for the band to release an album worthy of being the final one, should it wind up going down that way. Their previous album, "A Matter of life and Death" was met with much praise as well as criticism, mainly for sounding somewhat repetitive and one-dimensional. Though I personally really enjoyed it, both points were not terribly far fetched, and I, like most people, were hoping to see Maiden break the formula up a bit and bring a bit more of variety to the table with this album. So, without further adieu, let's get things started.

The album begins in a very strange fashion, with the intro "Satellite 15", which is certainly unlike anything the band have done before. Unfortunately I can't say it's all that thrilling to me. This intro is the first of a couple of ideas on this record that I don't think quite panned out like they should have. There's some very electronic sounding drum patterns, with some very dissonant and effect-laden guitar bits. There is supposed to be a bit of a building feel throughout, but overall it just doesn't go much of anywhere. There's some strange chords and weird vocals from Bruce, just adding to the chaos. The first 4 and a half minutes of this really could've been it's own track, for how disjointed it is from what follows it. I suppose some intro sequence was necessary to set up the song, but I think they could have and should have done much better than this. When the proper track "The Final Frontier" kicks in, it's music to my ears, in much better quality than heard in the promo video. Here we can even here some acoustic guitars jangling in the background. The song is very concise and straight forward. They certainly weren't trying to reinvent the wheel here, and I think it actually works the way it is, as just a simple and catchy tune. Bruce's vocals in the verses aren't spectacular, and I find myself wanting some vocal harmonies on the chorus, but overall I have no big complaints with the track. Some nice solos from Adrian and Dave, and the track signs off. In all honesty, this is probably one of the weakest opening tracks Maiden have ever done in context of "quality of the song versus the rest of the album", but it's enjoyable. It certainly sets a different tone for the album than we've grown accustomed to on reunion Maiden records.

Next up we have "El Dorado", which I figure by now, most people are familiar with. The song begins with a somewhat unnecessary "big ending" of sorts, before kicking into a bit of a cheesy gallop riff that worked considerably better live than it does here. Bruce keeps a very grim, storyteller-like vibe on the verses, not doing much in the way of melody. As with the first track, the band don't seem to be thinking too outside the box here, but at least they gave us a good bit of variety with key changes in the song, which is one area in which this album is a vast improvement over its predecessor. The extra guitar harmony added on the second half of the second verse is honestly probably my favorite thing about the whole tune, though all 3 guitarist's turn in pretty strong solos. "Mother of Mercy" opens with a very typical Maiden guitar figure, with some relatively clean guitars building a bit of a mood. This is the typical sort of intro you'd expect the band to use as a jumping-off point for a pick-up into a 7-minute song, but instead the band turns in a fairly heavy and very concise tune with some great lyrics and melodies. The chorus is very heavy and a bit chromatic/dissonant by Maiden standards, but serves as a nice contrast to the very melodic prechorus. Bruce strains a bit on the chorus here, but not much worse than fans should be pretty accustomed to hearing by now, especially on songs that Steve writes the vocal melodies for. Just one solo to be found here, and it's a typically great one from Adrian, no surprise since he penned the tune with Steve. Both the bridge and outro of this song offer some vibes and progressions that Maiden doesn't use too often, which leads to them sounding pretty fresh. This was the first track on the album where I started to feel genuinely excited to be listening to brand new Maiden material - a feeling that would grow exponentially as the record continued to progress.Ballads are something that have always fared well with me, though this is certainly not the case with the majority of the Maiden fanbase. I think the band knows this, which is why when they indulge their ballad tendencies, they usually dress up the song with some heavier sections to keep the wolves at bay. There's no doubt that "Coming Home" is a ballad at heart, but the band do a nice job of dressing it up with an excellent harmony theme with occurs a few times, and a very thumping prechorus. The chorus here is no doubt one of the most melodic and memorable sections of the entire disc, where Bruce is finally able to shine for the first time on the album. The timeless duo of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith turn in two more great solos on this track, and overall I think the band really struck gold with this. Reminiscent of "Out of the Shadows" from the previous album, though even better this time around I think. At this point something should be obvious to the listener. If you consider "Satellite 15" and "The Final Frontier" as two separate pieces, which is logical - we are now several tracks into a new Maiden record which has not had one long song, potentially bloated by soft and slow intros and countless solos. There seems to have been a conscious decision to put the hammer down on this album, and this is driven home by the next offering.

"The Alchemist" is probably one of the fastest and most driving tunes this band have recorded in quite some time. This track bears nothing in common with the solo Bruce Dickinson song of the same name, as it rips for its 4-and-a-half-minute duration. Each section feels like it continues to pick up from the last, and the chorus is just magical, featuring something else that this album has added into the mix - guitar harmonies and lines working their way into lyrical sections of songs. The guitar work on most recent Maiden work has been very riff-driven, with all 3 guitarists generally playing the same riffs aside from their solos on cue. This track is just the beginning of this technique though, we'll see much more as the album progresses. All in all, "The Alchemist"is just a great track that should please almost any Maiden fan. Track-wise, we've now reached the half-way point of the album, and almost as though someone flipped a switch, the band changes gears to more long and epic tunes. "Isle of Avalon" has our first token "slow intro", though it's a slow intro that shares almost nothing in common melodically with what has become expected from Maiden. A very creepy recurring guitar figure continues to build on itself. All in all, the whole sequence probably could've been a bit shorter, but it seems very justified when the band actually gets going. The pick-up section is brilliant,and the "chorus" that follows is just awesome. The next section features a descending chromatic melody that annoyed me a bit at first but is starting to grow on my ears. The instrumental section is downright magically, with the band starting to fire on all cylinders. There's no doubt that Adrian Smith pulled out every stop on this track, turning in some of the best guitar lines on the whole disc. His solo on this track is so atypical of what we're used to from Maiden records. Honestly I am most reminded of the style of King's X guitarist Ty Tabor - a genuine possibility as Adrian has previously cited his love of this band. The whole middle section just jams in a way that's very atypical of this band, and I love it. After revisiting the "bridge", if you will,the band return to the mellow build-up section, but thankfully not as long this time. When they get going again they ride out the song with some great stuff, including a nice little guitar lead. At this point in the record it has become obvious that each track has been getting progressively better in my eyes.



The aforementioned trend continues yet again with the band's next offering, "Starblind". Again, we are greeted with a somewhat typical slow intro sequence, featuring a very oddly timed vocal passage. Thankfully the band don't ride this passage to death for 2+ minutes, and get right to the riffage before being a minute in. The main riff of this song is probably my favorite on the disc as a whole, which is good because it is the clay from which the whole song was molded. The verses and chorus of this song just have such a great groove to them that again is not necessarily typical Maiden fare. I think Bruce's vocals sound fantastic on this track, and he penned some great lyrics as well. The sections that follow the choruses are oddly reminiscent of the classic "Infinite Dreams" to me, and really add a lot to the epic nature of the song. This track sees even more "outside the lines" guitar work, especially in the second verse in chorus. It really is not to be understated how much I think these little guitar lines add to the songs as a whole. After the second chorus we hear another great riff that dominates the instrumental section, which again has this absolutely great 7/4 groove to it. Adrian's soloing again paints a great texture for the whole tune, and the lead section following the solos is just undeniably epic. After a quick drop back to the slow section, the band find their way back to the epic groove of the verse/chorus structure, before ending with the great post-chorus section. As of this point, I have to say this my favorite offering from this record, and honestly, probably going to be a strong candidate for one of my favorite reunion Maiden songs, along with another track on this record we have yet to visit.

And the time to visit that track is now. "The Talisman" opens with an acoustic section undeniably reminiscent of "The legacy" from the previous record. Fortunately that similarity is nearly the only complaint I can register about this entire 9-minute opus. The verse riff of this track is fierce, and once it gets going, the song just drives forward immensely. This track has an absolutely great balance between pure balls and soaring melodies, and no shortage of great musical interludes. There's an excellent interlude in particular that paints a nearly perfect picture of being caught at sea amidst the chaos of a storm, far better than anything present in the band's classic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The guitar solo on this track is unfortunately a tad underwhelming, but actually serves as an appropriate vehicle for Janick Gers to deliver a somewhat awkward solo. It's very strange how the solo seems to almost perfectly compliment the section of the tune. The section immediately following the solo reminds me a lot of the band Kansas. Wait? What? I have now mentioned Kansas and King's X in a review of an Iron Maiden album. If this doesn't serve as proof that they were thinking outside the box at least a couple of times here, I don't know what will. All in all, this is just a fantastic track featuring some great lyrics, great melodies, and great instrumentation from pretty much the entire band. No doubt my second favorite tune on here behind the previous one.

Sadly, we have now reached the section of the album where the trend of the songs getting seemingly progressively better has died. "The Man Who Would Be King" is far from bad, though not up to snuff with the several tracks that proceeded it. The lyrics manage to be almost annoyingly direct and annoyingly ambigious at the same time - almost like I should know what this song is about, but yet I have absolutely no idea. The whole slow intro sequence is somewhat reminiscent of the (gasp) Blaze-era of the band. The harmony section when the tune starts to pick up is quite cool, probably actually the single best part of the song - the section builds amazingly well before kicking into the verse which somewhat brings back the aforementioned Blaze-era vibe. The chorus sounds a tad disjointed to me for some reason, though continues the pattern of being beefed up with extra guitar lines. The solo section of this tune is just bizarre - it honestly reminds me of something found in one of Journey's more proggy songs. Dave Murray turns in a very noodly solo that is a bit buried, before giving way to a cool harmony section. Eventually there's more verses and a chorus, and something heard for the first time this shockingly late on the album - a "slow" outro. This is something the band have drawn a lot of criticism for on recent records, so it's nice to see they've cut back on it. Overall the track has its moments, but comes off a tad inferior compared to the 5 or so tracks which proceeded it. Unfortunate, considering it's Dave's only writing contribution to this album.

And now we arrive at the closing track, the curious "When the Wild Wind Blows". There was no doubt that there was going to be huge expectations for this track, as it ends up clocking in as the third of fourth-longest song the band have ever done, at 11 minutes. Before getting into the actual music itself, I just have to mention that this track let me down. I was expecting something far more adventurous and creative out of a track so long and promising. Unfortunately, the sole solo-penned Steve Harris track ends up underwhelming me. Why? Sadly, I have to confess that this entire track consists of approximately 3 or 4 musical ideas, with nearly all identical chord structures. The rhythms and melodies change slightly throughout, but overall it honestly comes off like 11 minutes of the same vibe. It doesn't help matters that I find the lyrics of this song to be very silly. It bothers me to say this, but I just feel like Steve blew it here. This is especially painfully to say being that I genuinely believe that this track does have good parts and a lot of potential. If they had either cut about 4 minutes worth of repetition out, or replaced it with something considerably different, they probably could've salvaged it as a very, very good track. But the truth of the matter is that the best thing about this song is the instrumental section - while fairly pedestrian in arrangement, features some absolutely brilliant soloing. The Blaze-era vibe is definitely running through this tune as well - both in the guitar melodies as well as the vocal melodies, as Bruce stays relatively in his lower range throughout most of the track. I guess I'm partially to blame for my own disappointment here, I think I got a tad too excited for this, but the truth of the matter is that I just can't help being as underwhelmed as I am. The thought of this possibly being the final track on the final Maiden record is somewhat disappointing to me, compared to the previous couple of album closers.



So, 75 minutes later we have finished the musical journey known as "The Final Frontier", and it's time to reflect a bit. Despite it ending on a somewhat down note for me, I don't think this would be a bad final album for Maiden's great career. For ANY band's fifteenth studio album, this is an incredible effort. Is it rivaling their best work on the whole? No. But I genuinely believe they are by far the most enduring band in their age bracket. The fact that they cant still turn out tunes like "Starblind", "The Talisman", and "The Alchemist" at this point is incredibly impressive to me. I think the writing of Janick Gers and the soloing of Adrian Smith (as well as his writing) shown the most on this effort, with Steve Harris overall being much more of a background player than we're used to, I think it's very obvious that the band was thinking and writing a bit outside of their typical "box", or comfort zone with this album, as they really seem to have broke the mold that many people criticized the last album for. Sadly this band tends to attract a lot of people who are never happy, and so I'm sure this album will receive many negative reviews from stubborn old folks who want the band to keep rewriting Piece of Mind - but the truth is that for better or worse, I think this album is triumph for the creative side of this band. Though less consistent than its predecessor, the band has definitely yet again proven why they should still be making albums - because they can still write music that is worth being heard - and I can honestly say I am genuinely interested in hearing more of it, should the band bless the world with writing it.

idrinkwine732
08-15-2010, 09:23 PM
:fist:

I agree on all fronts with exception to your love of Starblind and your distaste of When the Wild Wind Blows. Seriously though, this was a great read.

JLRedWing13
08-16-2010, 03:24 PM
I love thorough reviews. I will read it once I listen to the album tomorrow.

IrritatedTrout
08-16-2010, 03:34 PM
Great review, can't wait to hear the album tomorrow. I've only heard El Dorado, The Final Frontier, and Starblind as of now.

powerslave_85
08-16-2010, 03:52 PM
The sections that follow the choruses are oddly reminiscent of the classic "Infinite Dreams" to me, and really add a lot to the epic nature of the song. Glad I'm not the only one who noticed this.

jerry1013
08-17-2010, 09:55 AM
Fucking great review! Good job!



With Iron Maiden albums for me the only albums that I could form an instant opinion on is when I first heard the classic 80's ones. Since No Prayer on (which I got all at relatively the same time as the two Blaze albums) it usually takes a good number of listens to write a review or rank it with other Maiden albums. The Final Frontier is no exception, I can say right now that When the Wild Wind Blows is fucking brilliant though! :party:

NecroRob
08-17-2010, 11:51 AM
Excellent review.

I gotta say this album has grown on me from when I first listened to it.

jhdeity
08-17-2010, 01:06 PM
Very well written.

I figured the prog/power people would like Starblind but most wouldn't. I didn't think anyone could find something positive to say about TMWWBK. I just can't get past the lyrics personally. The rest of the album gets better with each listen.

Just curious am I the only person who totally hears Scorpions - Make it Real in When the Wild Wind Blows? That 1st riff is almost identical to me. I'm expecting Klaus to start singing the "Make your choice don't be blind" verse at every moment.

Sanitarium78
08-17-2010, 01:19 PM
I can say right now that When the Wild Wind Blows is fucking brilliant though! :party:

Yes it is!!

Nice review Maiden33. Give WTWWB another chance because it's a great epic. My favorite is playing right now, Isle Of Avalon. Just an awesome tune:horns:

It's deffinitly one of those albums that needs a few listens but there is some great stuff on it. Mother Of Mercy is excellent and I know Bruce's voice sounds a bit strained on the chorus but I would be disappointed if once they "officially" tour for this album it wasn't in the set.

Along with Rush there aren't any other bands that I know of who still produce music this good when their primes were supposedly 25 years ago.

IrritatedTrout
08-17-2010, 01:28 PM
I love the intro to TMWWBK. Too bad the rest of the song isn't as good.

Sanitarium78
08-17-2010, 01:32 PM
I love the intro to TMWWBK. Too bad the rest of the song isn't as good.

I didn't think it was too good at first either. While it's far from the best on the album it's still a decent song. Give it a few more tries.

Maidenmagic
08-17-2010, 03:29 PM
Mother of Mercy and Starblind are classics.

Maiden33
08-17-2010, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the positive words people! I actually am now noticing quite a few typos in the review that I'll probably start to correct.

For those curious about how much I listened to the album prior to writing this: At least 15 complete listens, plus a few random listens to individual tracks. So we were pretty past the "first reaction" stage when I wrote this.

powerslave_85
08-18-2010, 08:24 AM
I gave it my first "proper" listen last night (with lyric book in hand), and I think that Starblind has the best lyrics by a mile. Also, I think the slow intro on The Talisman really serves a good point: the lyrics during that part sort of describe calm anticipation about the journey ahead, and then when the heavy part kicks in he's singing about the violent storm. Great stuff, if you ask me.

Fe Maiden
08-18-2010, 08:44 AM
Nice review!

My impressions after the first listen were easily summed up as WTF?

Second listen was a bit better.

There is just something about they way the lyrics are "sung" on most of the tracks that is just, I don't know how to phrase it, like Bruce is doing a poetry reading or something. I can't quite put my finger on it but I am not liking it as much as the more "melodious" style I am used to from him.

DethMaiden
08-18-2010, 09:13 PM
Presently I would rank the tracks as follows:

1. Starblind
2. When the Wild Wind Blows
3. Coming Home
4. El Dorado
5. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
6. Isle of Avalon
7. The Alchemist
8. The Man Who Would Be King
9. Mother of Mercy
10. The Talisman

EDIT: Also, the album cover has grown on me a lot. Probably their best cover since the 80s.

EDIT2: I think the top 7 of those are absolutely fanfuckingtastic, by the way. 8 through 10 have their moments, too. Not one song on this album sucks.

Maiden33
08-18-2010, 10:58 PM
Presently I would rank the tracks as follows:

1. Starblind
2. When the Wild Wind Blows
3. Coming Home
4. El Dorado
5. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
6. Isle of Avalon
7. The Alchemist
8. The Man Who Would Be King
9. Mother of Mercy
10. The Talisman

EDIT: Also, the album cover has grown on me a lot. Probably their best cover since the 80s.

EDIT2: I think the top 7 of those are absolutely fanfuckingtastic, by the way. 8 through 10 have their moments, too. Not one song on this album sucks.

This list makes my head hurt. My take:

1.Starblind
2.The Talisman
3.Coming Home
4.Isle of Avalon
5.The Alchemist
6.Mother of Mercy
7.El Dorado
8.When the Wild Wind Blows
9.The Man Who Would Be King
10.The Final Frontier

powerslave_85
08-18-2010, 11:01 PM
Oh, what the hell.

1. The Alchemist
2. Starblind
3. The Talisman
4. Mother of Mercy
5. Isle of Avalon
6. El Dorado
7. When the Wild Wind Blows
8. Coming Home
9. The Final Frontier
10. The Man Who Would Be King

The first three are pretty interchangeable, though.

IrritatedTrout
08-18-2010, 11:05 PM
Since we're making lists....

1. Coming Home
2. The Talisman
3. When the Wild Wind Blows
4. Starblind
5. Mother of Mercy
6. The Final Frontier
7. Isle of Avalon
8. The Alchemist
9. El Dorado
10. The Man Who Would Be King

maidenpriest
08-18-2010, 11:54 PM
1. Mother of Mercy
2. The Talisman
3. Starblind
4. Isle of Avalon
5. The Alchemist
6. Coming Home
7. El Dorado
8. When the Wild Wind Blows
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. The Final Frontier


great review btw!!!!!

DethMaiden
08-19-2010, 07:39 AM
Damn, I am the only one rooting for a couple of those songs. :lol:

I guess it's fair to say that Starblind is the early fan favorite though.

PowerMaiden
08-19-2010, 09:20 AM
for me (not including Satellite 15)


1. Starblind
2. Isle Of Avalon
3. El Dorado
4. Coming Home
5. The Talisman (too bad about that first 2 m 22 sec intro that makes me wanna go to sleep)
6. When The Wild Wind Blows
7. Mother Of Mercy
8. The Final Frontier
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. The Achemist (the only bad song on it imho)

powerslave_85
08-19-2010, 09:36 AM
I have to say, I'm really baffled at the mediocre response that The Alchemist is getting.

youngandaspiring
08-19-2010, 10:22 AM
1. When the Wild Wind Blows
2. The Talisman
3. Starblind
4. The Alchemist
5. Isle of Avalon
6. Coming Home
7. The Man Who Would Be King
8. El Dorado
9. Mother of Mercy
10. Final Frontier

zgodt
08-19-2010, 12:52 PM
Everyone's omitting Satellite 15 from their lists. I think it's possibly the most interesting thing on the album. Huh.

powerslave_85
08-19-2010, 12:58 PM
Everyone's omitting Satellite 15 from their lists. I think it's possibly the most interesting thing on the album. Huh.
I was just too lazy to type out the whole title :dorky:

maidenpriest
08-19-2010, 05:54 PM
i was also too lazy to type out Satellite 15 lol

DethMaiden
08-19-2010, 07:10 PM
I typed it out, and meant it. Both parts of the song rule.

Satellite 15 is just Mars Within Part 2 though. :dorky:

Maiden33
08-19-2010, 08:29 PM
The Satellite 15 intro brings down the title track, and probably the album as a whole for me. I just don't think it works.

powerslave_85
08-19-2010, 08:38 PM
Here's a thought: I think that if you took out Satellite 15, El Dorado would make a better opener than the title track.

Crionics
08-19-2010, 08:54 PM
Good review Maiden, here's my list

1. Mother of Mercy
2. Isle of Avalon
3. The Talisman
4. Starblind
5. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
6. Coming Home
7. When the Wild Wind Blows
8. El Dorado
9. The Alchemist
10. The Man Who Would Be King

Like Dethmaiden, I don't think any of the ten tracks are bad.

zgodt
08-19-2010, 10:09 PM
The Satellite 15 intro brings down the title track, and probably the album as a whole for me. I just don't think it works.

Ha! For me it's kinda the other way around.

I guess my list might go something like this.

1. The Man Who Would Be King
2. Starblind
3. The Talisman
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. Isle of Avalon
7. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
8. Mother of Mercy
9. El Dorado
10. When the Wild Wind Blows

I don't know, I'm just not feeling this album. Given it three or four listens now. It's okay. Nothing special. Sorta mediocre really. I say this as a person who loved AMOLAD. There's nothing here with the exuberance of Different World or Brighter than a Thousand Suns. No breakout instrumental moments like the center section in The Longest Day (except maybe the brief guitar harmony part toward the end of TMWWBK). Nothing like the insanely killer groove when The Legacy kicks in. Instead it all sounds sorta familiar and half-baked. Competent, but not exciting. Sigh.

zgodt
08-19-2010, 10:12 PM
as far as the review... did you actually type "far better than anything present in the band's classic 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'"?

I mean, dude. srsly?

Maiden33
08-19-2010, 10:20 PM
as far as the review... did you actually type "far better than anything present in the band's classic 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'"?

I mean, dude. srsly?

No. Well, yes, but you're taking the quote out of context to mean something different than I did.

There's an excellent interlude in particular that paints a nearly perfect picture of being caught at sea amidst the chaos of a storm, far better than anything present in the band's classic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner".

I meant that the music paints a much better picture of the atmosphere than any of the music in Rime.

zgodt
08-19-2010, 10:24 PM
No. Well, yes, but you're taking the quote out of context to mean something different than I did.



I meant that the music paints a much better picture of the atmosphere than any of the music in Rime.

All right then. I still think it's crazy talk though. :)

Dissimulate
08-19-2010, 10:35 PM
After about seven listens...

1.Mother of Mercy(Contender for best reunion era song)
2.Starblind(Ditto)
3.The Talisman
4.Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
5.Coming Home
6.The Alchemist
--------------------------------(All of these at least 4/5, the 'good' songs)
7.Isle of Avalon(Very close to 4)
8.El Dorado
9.When The Wild Wind Blows(Way too fucking long)
--------------------------------(All of these at least 3, the 'alright' songs)
10.The Man Who Would Be King(Only bad song on the album. Contender for worst reunion era song. Eats copious amount of dick)

It's in a dead heat with AMOLAD for second best reunion era album. Will write up a bigger track by track review tomorrow.

jhdeity
08-19-2010, 11:33 PM
Ha! For me it's kinda the other way around.

I guess my list might go something like this.

1. The Man Who Would Be King
2. Starblind
3. The Talisman
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. Isle of Avalon
7. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
8. Mother of Mercy
9. El Dorado
10. When the Wild Wind Blows

I don't know, I'm just not feeling this album. Given it three or four listens now. It's okay. Nothing special. Sorta mediocre really. I say this as a person who loved AMOLAD. There's nothing here with the exuberance of Different World or Brighter than a Thousand Suns. No breakout instrumental moments like the center section in The Longest Day (except maybe the brief guitar harmony part toward the end of TMWWBK). Nothing like the insanely killer groove when The Legacy kicks in. Instead it all sounds sorta familiar and half-baked. Competent, but not exciting. Sigh.

I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw TMWWBK at the top of somone's list. I'm still shocked they released the song with those goofy lyrics but someone actually liking that better than Talisman, Isle and Alchemist blows my mind. Kinda like how I think asian girls are hot and my friends don't I guess.

idrinkwine732
08-19-2010, 11:53 PM
I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw TMWWBK at the top of somone's list.

I will kill you.

I'm still shocked they released the song with those goofy lyrics but someone actually liking that better than Talisman, Isle and Alchemist blows my mind. Kinda like how I think asian girls are hot and my friends don't I guess.

In other news, I agree.

zgodt
08-20-2010, 07:16 AM
I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw TMWWBK at the top of somone's list. I'm still shocked they released the song with those goofy lyrics but someone actually liking that better than Talisman, Isle and Alchemist blows my mind. Kinda like how I think asian girls are hot and my friends don't I guess.

The lyrics aren't good, but then the lyrics for the album as a whole are fucking dire. Steve Harris has become the George Lucas of songwriting -- the story he's trying to tell may be epic but every single line is abysmal. Also, dude needs to take a grammar lesson. The way he tortures lines to fit his syllable counts is killing me.

To complain about the lyrics of The Man Who Would Be King but then celebrate the lyrics to Isle of Avalon makes no sense to me. Isle of Avalon's lyrics may be the worst I've ever read for a metal song.

As for The Man Who Would Be King... After the soft intro, I like the opening bit, with the 15/8 guitar harmony overlaid on the 4/4 sustained chords, with Nicko's odd little tom lines. And I like the way the prechorus and chorus build. And I like the unusual middle section, especially when it speeds up and the harmony guitar line kicks in. And I like the outro, with that (all too brief) Prophecy-esque guitar harmony bit. Basically, out of all the tunes on the album, I think it's the most musically interesting. It's not that I think it's so great... it's just that the rest of the album isn't so great either.

:)

powerslave_85
08-20-2010, 10:40 AM
Also, dude needs to take a grammar lesson. The way he tortures lines to fit his syllable counts is killing me.Oh god, this. There are numerous lines I read in the booklet that literally made zero sense grammatically. I thought they were typos, but then I heard them in the song and went :(

Fe Maiden
08-20-2010, 01:10 PM
After more listens I pretty much like everything except TMWWBK!

Favorite so far: The Talisman although the slow intro part is a bit long. Once it gets going though it is spectacular.

Wrathchild_84
08-20-2010, 01:42 PM
Well I haven't finished the album yet but so far I'm not very impressed. And has anyone else noticed that the intro to Isle Of Avalon is basically the middle of Seventh Son

Crionics
08-20-2010, 02:38 PM
Well I haven't finished the album yet but so far I'm not very impressed. And has anyone else noticed that the intro to Isle Of Avalon is basically the middle of Seventh Son

Yeah, I noticed the similarities, I wouldn't say a direct rip though. I did think that around 7 minutes into the song there was one part that sounded like No More Lies.

JLRedWing13
08-20-2010, 07:57 PM
I am pretty surprised that Coming Home is so high on everyone's lists and The Alchemist is so low. Maiden's music isn't exactly hailed for its lyrics in the reunion era, so it's a moot point for me.

Either way, I love this album and find it to be so much better than AMOLAD, and AMOLAD was quite good.

jhdeity
08-21-2010, 11:06 AM
After more listens I pretty much like everything except TMWWBK!

Favorite so far: The Talisman although the slow intro part is a bit long. Once it gets going though it is spectacular.

Totally agree

zgodt
08-23-2010, 10:11 PM
I have to say, I'm really baffled at the mediocre response that The Alchemist is getting.

I think it lacks a signature riff. It's a pretty well put together song -- the progression of key changes is really nice. But all the individual riffs are pretty stock, so nothing stands out, especially.

I like it, but I find it lacking. It could have been more.

This is the story of the album for me as a whole.

Citatet
08-24-2010, 03:19 AM
Been listening to it many more times since last.

And this album is totally the shit. Best album by Maiden since Seventh Son and top5 of all time in Maiden albums.

I really didnīt think that this album could be so good. But it is truly outstanding in every way. And lyrically itīs probably the best Maiden-album of all time.

Quite remarkable for a bunch of old english geezers if you ask me..

zgodt
08-24-2010, 08:22 AM
And lyrically itīs probably the best Maiden-album of all time.

:eyes:

EvilCheeseWedge
08-24-2010, 08:26 AM
Steve Harris has become the George Lucas of songwriting

:lol:

I couldn't agree more.

I'm assuming it's Steve Harris that's responsible for the songs being way longer than necessary (Satellite 15 stopped being interesting at least half way before it was over), and for making sure that basically no song exceeds 120 bpm and is mostly locked down to 4/4.

Even the excessive length of the songs can't really hide that the album is lacking in a lot of ways...

I definitely think the quality of the production on The Final Dance is a huge increase over Dance of Death and A Matter of Life and Dance, but I really wish they had a producer with the balls to challenge them on their ideas. I'm thinking Shirley doesn't.

powerslave_85
08-24-2010, 08:41 AM
Adrian soloed first! :mad:

EvilCheeseWedge
08-24-2010, 08:42 AM
Adrian soloed first! :mad:

:bliss:

ADD
08-24-2010, 03:18 PM
I was bummed. It was a strain to make it through one full listen.

EvilCheeseWedge
08-24-2010, 06:31 PM
I was bummed. It was a strain to make it through one full listen.

:eek:

JRA
08-24-2010, 08:10 PM
I was bummed. It was a strain to make it through one full listen.

http://cdn.videogum.com/img/thumbnails/videos/qqmiigy92qu.jpg

Wrathchild_84
08-24-2010, 08:50 PM
I was bummed. It was a strain to make it through one full listen.

Agreed

jhdeity
08-25-2010, 12:21 AM
Lyrically Revelations and Hallowed By The Name make both of those albums better lyrically overall to me. A case could be made for Powerslave being 3rd and the new one 4th maybe. It is a MAJOR improvement over recent Maiden lyrics so I get the point.

The Alchemist is one of my 3 favorite songs on the cd. Talisman was my favorite on my 1st listen and still is. Both songs would be better live and that means a lot to me when judging music.

DethMaiden
08-25-2010, 07:54 PM
After about 20 listens to the whole record I'd rank the songs a little more accurately like this:

1. Starblind
2. Isle of Avalon
3. When the Wild Wind Blows
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. El Dorado
7. Mother of Mercy
8. Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
9. The Talisman
10. The Man Who Would Be King

I actually do really like every song on here, but the top 5 are masterpieces.

IrritatedTrout
08-25-2010, 08:28 PM
After a week of listening I'd say this album is not as good as AMOLAD or DOD but better than BNW. As for individual tracks:

1. The Talisman
2. Coming Home
3. When the Wild Wind Blows
4. Starblind
5. Mother of Mercy
6. Sat 15... The Final Frontier
7. The Alchemist
8. El Dorado
9. Isle of Avalon
10. The Man Who Would Be King

1-5 are great, 6-8 are really good, 9 and 10 are decent. Something about Isle of Avalon really bugs me but I can't put my finger on it. I might grow to like it more in a few weeks or something.

Wizzbang11
08-25-2010, 08:41 PM
I thought the album was ok, I enjoyed it. Not nearly as good as Maiden's previous work, but not bad.

Didn't read the lyrics until now. Holy shit. Isle of Avalon especially is really embarrassingly bad. You'd almost think they weren't native English speakers at times. That said, I listen to enough bands with broken english that it doesn't really phase me.

jhdeity
08-26-2010, 01:38 PM
I thought the album was ok, I enjoyed it. Not nearly as good as Maiden's previous work, but not bad.

Didn't read the lyrics until now. Holy shit. Isle of Avalon especially is really embarrassingly bad. You'd almost think they weren't native English speakers at times. That said, I listen to enough bands with broken english that it doesn't really phase me.

Yeah I like Isle of Avalon as a song but lyrically they use the word "corn" 6 times in 3 different ways I think. Yikes.

DethMaiden
08-26-2010, 02:32 PM
See, it might just be because I'm a huge Wicker Man fan (1973 version, thank you) but I absolutely love the lyrics to Isle of Avalon.

Dissimulate
08-26-2010, 06:31 PM
The lyrics are bad, but the real problem is that they make no fucking sense. Same thing with TMWWBK and WTWWB (if you haven't seen the source material).

zgodt
08-26-2010, 11:31 PM
The lyrics to TMWWBK make sufficient sense to me. So do the lyrics to WWTWB. I don't think, in either case, that the lyrics are good. But they aren't the worst ever.

With Isle of Avalon, it's not just that the lyrics don't make sense. It's that they're fucking horribly cheesy. I hear the planet earth (fertility mother goddess) crying the tears of angels. Really, Steve Harris? Cause that's just some motherfucking dumb bullshit that most 9th grade girls would have the sense not to write in their journals.

powerslave_85
08-26-2010, 11:53 PM
Even if the lyrics for WWTWB aren't all that well-written, I like the story it tells. Apparently it's based on a graphic novel, but after reading the plot summary on Wiki it seems like Steve put his own twist on the ending.

zgodt
08-27-2010, 12:06 AM
Even if the lyrics for WWTWB aren't all that well-written, I like the story it tells. Apparently it's based on a graphic novel, but after reading the plot summary on Wiki it seems like Steve put his own twist on the ending.

Fair enough. It's just too bad about the melodies and riffs.

When I hear that intro, I can't get this out of my head:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4CRkpBGQzU

SomewhereInTime72
08-27-2010, 08:14 AM
I noticed that basically all the songs on this album that have good lyrics instead of decent to wow cheesy range lyrics are the ones that have Dickinson listed in the songwriting credits. :tongue:

Which is weird because Steve didn't have any lyrics this ridiculous on AMOLAD. Mother of Mercy still hasn't grown on me the way the rest of the album has. :(

Fe Maiden
08-30-2010, 08:44 AM
I was bummed. It was a strain to make it through one full listen.Yeah first listen was tough. It was like being with a hot chick that leaves you with blue balls. This album while it has some nice moments provides no eargasm:eyes:

The_jman
08-30-2010, 02:06 PM
Yeah first listen was tough. It was like being with a hot chick that leaves you with blue balls. This album while it has some nice moments provides no eargasm:eyes:
This post made me laugh... in the middle of class no less... awsome comparison there.