2 Minutes to Midnight

How good is 2 Minutes to Midnight on a scale of 1-10?

  • Total voters


Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Definitely a more interesting song musically, this slows down the frenetic place of the album. The song is supremely topical, even today. Currently, we are at three minutes to midnight.

This is a truly great song, but I wouldn't put it down as a timeless classic. It is in the next one down though. 9/10


Educated Fool

It struck me whilst relistening to the Maiden discography that I just don't get why this song is so popular. Not that I think it's a bad song by any means, but I see very little special about it either.


Educated Fool
Decided finally that it is a textbook 7. Good song but one of the most overrated ones Maiden have ever done.


Previous Albums:

1980 - Iron Maiden - 6.67

8 - Prowler
6 - Sanctuary
7 - Remember Tomorrow
6 - Running Free
9 - Phantom Of The Opera
7 - Transylvania
4 - Strange World
6 - Charlotte The Harlot
7 - Iron Maiden

1981 - Killers - 5.91

6 - The Ides Of March
6 - Wrathchild
6 - Murders In The Rue Morgue
5 - Another Life
5 - Genghis Khan
5 - Innocent Exile
8 - Killers
5 - Prodigal Son
8 - Purgatory
6 - Twilight Zone
5 - Drifter

1982 - The Number Of The Beast - 7.56

6 - Invaders
7 - Children Of The Damned
8 - The Prisoner
7 - 22 Acacia Avenue
9 - The Number Of The Beast
10 - Run To The Hills
6 - Gangland
5 - Total Eclipse
10 - Hallowed Be Thy Name

1983 - Piece Of Mind - 7.44

8 - Where Eagles Dare
9 - Revelations
9 - Flight Of Icarus
7 - Die With Your Boots On
8 - The Trooper
7 - Still Life
6 - Quest For Fire
6 - Sun And Steel
7 - To Tame A Land

1984 - Powerslave

8 - Aces High
7 - 2 Minutes To Midnight


clap hands

Following closely on the heels of Aces High is 2 Minutes to Midnight, a darker, but equally catchy song about political warmongers and the Doomsday Clock. Adrian Smith’s main riff is simple, but driving, and the drums and bass fill out the intro beautifully. Dickinson’s lyrics are, as usual, a bit nebulous and intellectual, but he sounds great here. Bruce contributes to half of the material on this album, including two tracks he wrote entirely on his own, and I’d argue that his continued writing presence (along with Adrian’s) is responsible for ushering in a higher caliber of Maiden song. Speaking of Adrian, his solo in 2 Minutes is outstanding and the buildup from the gloomy bridge back into the main riff is inspired.


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Where Aces High is the short and simple rocker meant to kick things off with a quick bang, 2 Minutes To Midnight shows the band at their peak writing and performing abilities. Sure the main riff might be a bit simple, but it's the way they play it that makes it so special. The shaky vibrato, the way Steve's bass playfully weaves in and out of the chords, and the unmistakeable McBrain drum fills. And that's just the intro. Bruce's performance on this is dynamic and awesome with great lyrics to go with it. I love the way it plays with tempo changes and comes down for the prechorus only to be built up again into one of the most memorable Maiden choruses.

The magic of the song really comes with the instrumental section though and is what puts a song like this head and shoulders above virtually any other classic metal track from the same era. Both solos are among the two guitarists' best and the music underneath the solos is just as imaginative and dynamic as the solos themselves. I love how instead of going straight from the solos into the next verse, they take their time getting there with more melodies and riffs. They also mix up the structure a bit by not doing the standard twin harmony before or after the solos. This song didn't need that.

Then after another run of the original verses, they seamlessly go into an outro that nobody saw coming. This is a seasoned, confident Iron Maiden that you don't want to mess with.



Found this difficult to rank. It's better that a lot of stuff on Powerslave but i find the chorus nowhere near as good as Aces High.

There's some good depth to the song in terms of the structure and I really like the lyric. It's a really good listen but falls short of their best work.


Educated Fool
Cool main riff and nice solos and lyrics, but a bit overrated. It works nice as a single song, but just not a "live classic must have" in my ears


Travis The Dragon

Juggie for life!
Actually, my friend thinks Burn by Deep Purple sounds exactly like it. I hear a bit is similarity, but I can tell the difference as well.


Ancient Mariner
2 mins used to be one of my favourite songs when I started being a Maiden fan. On that day I would have rated it a 10. It has slipped down to the 8 through the years.
One subtle thing I love about it are the slightly out of key vocals on the bridge sections, which give it a tortured feel. Also all the little riffs are nice.



Automaton Sovietico
Simply one of the best rock instrumental tracks ever. And then enhanced by a great vocalist with meaningful lyrics. 10


Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
It's really hard to follow the High that is Aces, let alone stick out as a great song on an album that literally has nothing but great songs. 2MTM is low when ranking Powerslave's songs, yet out of Maiden's entire discography it's high up there. Great riff, great chorus, love the pacing. 9/10

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Brilliant lyrics on this one. Musically, it never lets up also. Great and memorable riff, nice solos, catchy sing-along chorus. Pretty solid and another Maiden classic. 9.


One of their best, probably my favourite Adrian song (Bruce’s is later in this album). I don’t think there’s anything that really stands out from this song, it’s just everything is perfectly placed, both in the song and in the album, from the energetic riff to the tempo changes. 10/10