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Old 08-09-2010, 04:18 PM
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Iron Maiden-The Final Frontier

Have just downloaded the album, will be writing this track by track as I listen to it. If it's disjointed, it's because I'm literally writing my thoughts out as I go. It will read like shit because I am terrible at writing.

1.Satellite 15...The Final Frontier

The intro to this is just bizarre. Weird swells and guitar sounds over top of steady rhythmic drumming. It's very hypnotic. Definitely the strangest thing Maiden have recorded. After about two and a half minutes Bruce comes in, sounding exactly on form. After a less busy section under Bruce's vocals, the pulsating music comes back in full force. The lyrics and music convey a sense of loneliness, of being lost in space. At around four and a half minutes, The Final Frontier starts. This isn't exactly a massively epic song, however it is a great rocker. It reminds me of Bruce's solo work. While the sound might not be, the feel is definitely classic Maiden. The lyrics are nothing spectacular, but not glaringly bad either. The solos on this track are top rate. A good choice as a single. The only bad thing about this is that the intro doesn't really fit, it's like two songs were randomly mashed together. 4/5

2.El Dorado

Starting with the mash of instrumental noise that usually ends songs live was certainly odd. The galloping in this song is pure Maiden. Steve really comes out in force. Bruce isn't at his best on this song, he sounds somewhat tired, especially on the prechorus. However, on the chorus he returns to form. The chorus is just one of those epic bits it's easy to see twenty thousand people chanting. The solos are very good, but not as good as the previous track. Steve and Nicko's rhythmic work is top notch. The song feels like it drags somewhat though, like it was being rehashed a bit too much. That, with Bruce's subpar vocals during parts make it not as good as it could be. However, it is a good choice as a single, and absolutely kills live. While not great in the studio, it's one of the next reunion era live staples. 3.5/5

3.Mother of Mercy

I love the intro to this song. It sounds like classic Maiden doing a new thing. When Bruce starts singing, it is just chilling. You get the feel of a dismal battlefield. You can tell that it's building up to something great. Then the heavy part hits. Holy Fuck. It's mindblowing. I got chills when I heard it. This could be the darkest song Maiden have ever recorded. This is Paschendale part 2. The chorus is epically sinister. The lyrics and vocals are amazing throughout, some of the best Maiden have recorded. I just can't express how amazing this song is. It's dark, it's evil, it's heavy, and it's epic. This would slay live. 5/5

4.Coming Home

The intro sounds like classic Maiden. They definitely still have it. The slow parts, combined with Bruce's vocals, really evoke a feeling of loneliness. This also is one of the more rockish songs. It is moving, getting it's feeling not from heaviness, but from emotion. It proves that Maiden can do slow and emotional as good as galloping heaviness. The solos are excellent, full of emotion and really working towards the feeling of the song. The song is just about the right length, it comes close to dragging but doesn't end up doing it. Another great song, but one that really shows how diverse Maiden is. 4/5

5.The Alchemist

Opens with some amazing guitar harmonies. A really uptempo song. Bruce sounds great, if harder to understand then before. The song sounds cool, but does not immediately grab my attention. This will take repeated listens to get the full character of. It sounds really good, and would probably slay live. The musicianship on this song, like on every song so far, is top notch. More really great solos are delivered. The song has that triumphant, epic feel from classic Maiden. This song definitely needs more listens to fully capture. ?/5 (around a 3.5-4, but could go up to a 4.5-5)

6.Isle of Avalon

My first though: fuck, a 9 minute Maiden song. This is going to either be epic or suck. Starts with a clean section reminiscent of another Maiden song that I can't think of (I think). The clean buildup isn't amazing, but is not bad. It does go on for a bit long then needed. The lyrics make no fucking sense. At about 2:50 the heavy part hits. Again, it's nothing special. Some of the guitar work sounds like classic Maiden. The solos are good, but don't help the feel of the song as much as some others. It starts to feel like it drags. At around 5:50 the clean part returns. The song is pretty boring. It might improve next time I listen to it, but I don't think I'll ever like this song. Fucking Maiden, how do they work? 2/5

7.Starblind

The intro sounds cool, a very spacey clean bit. The guitar riffs is sweet when it kicks in. The verses are solid, but not spectacular. Bruce is again harder to hear then in the past. The chorus is alright, but not spectacular. It does definitely have epic parts after the first chorus. Another song that starts to drag a bit. It does have a cool bluesy-sounding bit about four minutes again, then some solid solos. Around five minutes, you get another cool instrumental bit. At 5:45 you get another cool clean bit followed by more of the boring electric part. This is another song that drags. 2.5/5

8.The Talisman

Ugh, what's with all the fucking 9 minute songs being grouped together. Surprise: another epic clean buildup. It sounds cool, but didn't they already record this and call it The Legacy? It sounds almost exactly identical. It does sound good, though. Also, I head backing vocals on this. The heavy part hits like a sledgehammer. Bruce delivers epic singing over these great heavy riffs. The song definitely feels epic. The guitar harmonies are really cool. This definitely captures the feel of classic Maiden once again. Janick needs to write more stuff. The chorus is amazing, as is the breakdown after it. The instrumental sections are good, but not as amazing as some of the other songs on the album. While a longer song, it has almost no drag. Sweet song, one that's sure to grow on me. 4/5

9.The Man Who Would Be King

Can they not just start one of these long songs with the heavy part? The intro is good, but not amazing. Synths are pretty prominent in it. The lyrics aren't great. When the electric part hits, you are treated to another atmospheric part. The riffing on this song is not particularly interesting, and the lyrics are not very good. The solos are really good, but hard to hear at points. Another one of the more boring songs. This might grow, but I'm not sure. 2.5/5

10.When The Wild Wind Blows

An 11 minute song, longer then all but two other Maiden songs, and written entirely by Steve Harris? Sound the alarms, this has the potential to fucking suck. After an intro of sounds of wind, you hear the deceptively happy clean bit in contrast to the dark lyrics. The heavy bit sounds cool, if somewhat rehashed. The singing is top notch, the lyrics are good. The music does start to drag a bit. The song does capture the feeling of the movie this is based on well. You get a depressing feeling from the song. The song does drag a bit. Around 6:30 you get a cool heavy bit. The song had potential, and does bring the depressing feeling across, but drags. 3/5

The TL;DR Section

Standout tracks: Mother of Mercy, Satellite 15...The Final Frontier, Coming Home, The Talisman, El Dorado (when played live)

Potential to grow on me: The Alchemist

Alright: El Dorado (studio), When the Wild Wind Blows

Shit: The Man Who Would Be King, Starblind, Isle of Avalon

As is the case with every Maiden album, you can't form your final opinion with the first listen. My thoughts on the standouts are unlikely to change, my thoughts on the alright and shit songs easily could, and I need to listen to The Alchemist about 20 more times just to figure out my opinion. The album is musically great, everybody plays their parts well. Bruce, while still singing great, is harder to understand when he sings. The production is good, everything has it's place. The songwriting is good, but too often falls into the trap of the long-ass epic Maiden song, which is hit or miss, and on this, it usually missed. Some of these songs will probably sound better live. Also, holy shit Mother of Mercy is awesome.

RATING AFTER FIRST LISEN: 3.5/5 (in comparison, BNW was a 4.5 and DOD was a 2.75)
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2010, 04:33 PM
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idrinkwine732 idrinkwine732 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dissimulate View Post
6.Isle of Avalon
2/5

10.When The Wild Wind Blows
3/5
My two biggest WWWAAAAHHH???? moments, were these two. I lurve Isle of Avalon, both on first listen and on my second. I think When the Wild Wind Blows is the best song on the album as well, and a 3/5 surprised me. Mother of Mercy is fantastic as well though.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinkwine732 View Post
My two biggest WWWAAAAHHH???? moments, were these two. I lurve Isle of Avalon, both on first listen and on my second. I think When the Wild Wind Blows is the best song on the album as well, and a 3/5 surprised me. Mother of Mercy is fantastic as well though.
I really like Isle of Avalon also. Kind of an acquired taste maybe. I would rate King a 1/5 because of the godawful lyrics. I was so impressed with no cheeseball lyrics until that song.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:03 PM
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after 3 listen, Isle Of Avalon is my favourite song of it


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Old 08-09-2010, 05:45 PM
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I said somewhere in the wall of text that this was just a first listen, and my opinion on Maiden material is never fully formed after just one listen. My opinions of the songs and album might change after I listen to it a few more times.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:23 PM
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The 3 best tracks are the stretch from Isle of Avalon through The Talisman. All 3 of those songs (especially Starblind) absolutely rule. Honestly the only two songs that didn't really do it for me were the opener (great when it gets to the point, but the first 4+ minutes is completely pointless), and sadly the closer, which I had high hopes for.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
The 3 best tracks are the stretch from Isle of Avalon through The Talisman. All 3 of those songs (especially Starblind) absolutely rule. Honestly the only two songs that didn't really do it for me were the opener (great when it gets to the point, but the first 4+ minutes is completely pointless), and sadly the closer, which I had high hopes for.
agreed for the most part. i dont mind the Satellite 15 portion of the first song. and i love Mother of Mercy as well
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:45 PM
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My grades for each song:

Satellite 15...The Final Frontier: B-
El Dorado: B+
Mother of Mercy: B+
Coming Home: A-
The Alchemist: A+
Isle of Avalon: A
Starblind: A+
The Talisman: A
The Man Who Would Be King: C
When the Wild Wind Blows: B+
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:33 PM
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my scores on 10 so far , still early though


Satellite 15...: 10
The Final Frontier: 6
El Dorado: 8.5
Mother of Mercy: 8
Coming Home: 9
The Alchemist: 5
Isle of Avalon: 10
Starblind: 10
The Talisman: 9
The Man Who Would Be King: 7
When the Wild Wind Blows: 9


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Old 08-10-2010, 05:38 PM
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my scores after a few listens

Satellite 15: 8
Final Frontier: 4
El Dorado: 8
Mother of Mercy: 10
Coming Home: 7.5
The Alchemist: 9
Isle of Avalon: 8
Starblind: 9
The Talisman: 10
The Man Who Would be King: 5
When the Wild Wind Blows: 7.5 (starting to grow on me)
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