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A Matter Of Life And Death turns 10

Discussion in 'A Matter Of Life And Death' started by matic22, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. matic22

    matic22 H is shorter for God.

    Oh god, how time flies. On this day we mark the 10th anniversary of releasing A Matter Of Life And Death. It is a special album for me. It's probably the album that made me a fan. It was September 2006 and I wanted to get my hands on some new music since I was developing my taste in music at that time. A friend at school brought me a copy of AMLOAD to listen to. So I can say that it is the album that is guilty of introducing Iron Maiden's music into my life. The next few days I asked him to bring me TNOTB, POM, SIT, SSOASS and BNW and I was hooked. So AMLOAD holds a very special place in my heart.
    Today, after I finished my studying for my exam, I decided to give it a listen. I instantly recognized the rawness of the sound and the dark mood that is so beautifuly created on the album. I haven't heard some of the songs in years. So here are my thoughts on songs after not hearing some of them in years.

    Different World
    A nice rocker with nice vocal lines and excllent guitar solo. This is the track that has sentimental value to me, because this is probably the first IM song that I conciously listened to. The "Don't want to be here..." part still gives me chills, because that was the first time I tasted the awesomeness of Bruce Dickinson's vocals.

    This Colours Don't Run
    Interesting I used to really like, but it is only ok now. The only section that is very interesting to me is the solo section with the interesting timing. This one wouldn't make it on my desert island Maiden compilation. An average Maiden song in my eyes today. I'm also not too crazy about the lyrics.

    Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
    What an amazing track this is. This is argubly one of the best songs from the album. If they ever do a gig with an orchestra, this is one of the tracks I would pick to be performed. The music amazingly portrays the lyrics. It is also the only song to feature Smith/Gers solo combo, which I would love to see more of in the future.

    The Pilgrim
    This track was a major grower on me. I didn't like it at first, but I like it now. I love the drum intro and the oriental themes and melodies in this song. Structuraly a classic Maiden rocker with some unique features.

    The Longest Day
    Another amazing marriage of lyrics and music. The galloping intro and the rise of the volume during the first verse is just so good. The "Sailing we go..." part has given me chills in the past and still does. The only downside to this track is the the repeating chorus. Another interesting solo section, because of the heaviness and the time signature (3/4).

    Out Of The Shadows
    One of my favourites of the album. Davey's blues licks and Adrian's acoustic guitar make an amazing atmosphere for Bruce to sing on top of. The heavy chorus is also nicely coloured with acoustic guitar. Adrian's solo is also excellent. On this track we can also appreciate Bruce's lower singing voice which is amazing (IMHO).

    The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
    Heaviness. This track has such an amazing power. Again the lyrics are again beautifuly incorporated into the music. The intro sets the mood nicely. Bruce delivers some nice vocals. Then it's full throttle. Love the unusual song structure (no choruses as such, especially the repeating ones :D). Again Dave's fills and solo are amazing. This track should be played live more often.

    For The Greater Good Of God
    One of 'Arry's best lyrics. I love that song. Again, quite different vocals in the beginning, which I really like. There are also quite interesting time changes during the song. The song has a very strong message which is delivered nicely. I also like what H is doing during the verses. He is playing arpegiated chords rather than doubling up the vocal melody.

    Lord Of Light
    One of the most progressive tracks that Maiden has ever done. I love it. It has some kind of different vibe to it. Again an unusual type of vocals for Bruce at the beginning and in the middle clean part (almost Ozzy like doubling chorus effect). I really like how the song flows through the verses and and stops for the chorus (which was possibly recreated less succesfuly later for When The Water Runs Deep). It is probably one of the "wettest" mixes in Maiden's history. There are a lot of effects on this track (Flanger (drums and vox), Chorus (vox)). It also features quite unique solos. I still like it.

    The Legacy
    No. 4 on the list of Reunion era songs penned by Harris/Gers (behind TBOS, DOD and The Talisman). Again a very unique track with the acoustic intro. The first part reminds me of TBOS. The "We seem destined to live in fear..." part is for me one of the best parts on the album. Again strong lyrics in a quite unique song. Wasn't too keen of it at first, but I love it now.

    There you have it. 10 years and 7 gigs later this is my look on AMLOAD today. I can say the album has stood the test of time. It's still one of the more unique and quality consistent Iron Maiden albums. It is unfairly overlooked in setlists today in my opinion.

    Happy birthday AMLOAD! I'll play the chord progression (e/C/G/D) in honour of it.

    Up the Irons!
    terrell39, Spambot and mckindog like this.
  2. Spambot

    Spambot Nomad

    This thread deserves at least one reply! AMOLAD is the only album that I've been in love/hate relationship since the beginning and after 10 years I can't decide if I could give this album thumb up or thumb down.

    I was already a full-time fan when it came out and after single release I was really skeptic. I changed my opinion about the songs and album several times. At first I was so dissapointed after hearing first 5 tracks that I didn't listen to rest of the album for at least few weeks. Then the whole album was on constant play (every day or two I'd give whole album a spin) for about year. Now I can dissect it in 3 categories:

    The Legacy - my favorite on this one from the first listen and it still is today.

    For the Greater Good of God
    - I adore this one so much that with time it became overplayed in my ears. Still, it doesn't decrease it's epicness.

    Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
    - At first I didn't like this song - at all. Time stamp was really confusing at the time and I just couldn't get into it. With time my ear got used to more progressive music and now I really think this one is one-of-a-kind Maiden song, I really can't compare it with any other Maiden song. Also, not only that the 7/8 stamp doesn't confuses me, it now gives the riff an extra power making it sound more heavy.

    The Pilgrim - Gers never actually disappointed me, and this one was one of the highlights on first listen. With time it fell a little in average category because I can't really find an exceptional part of the song that has that "WOW" effect.

    Different World
    - Just like the album, after 10 years I can't decide if I like this song or not. It would be logical to say that if you don't know if you like something after 10 years - you probably don't like it. But I can not say that about that song. Choruses still confuse me, it's not like they unfinished but it's also not like they're "needed". Really hard to put my finger on this one.

    The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
    - Single left me really disappointed. At the time it felt really lackluster-ish, simple and poor-sounded. The only thing that raised this one from bottom is it's live performance and the fact that there are songs on this album that I rate even worse than this one.

    Bad (or crash-and-burn choruses effect)
    Longest Day - This is how it went. My friend listened to album before me (I only heard the single) and when I asked him how the album was, this was his approx answer:
    - "Damnit' it could have been so good!!"
    - "What's wrong with it?"
    - "There are perfect parts and then they are just ... crap. For example, Longest Day! Songs starts formidable, great atmosphere, you really get into it and then - you get chorus like "Dawson's Creek" title time."
    Of course, I thought he overreacted. So, on a first listen I decided to ignore his comment, and wow - the beginning is really awesome, you can really experience lyrics via sound. When the chorus kicked (or at the first listen I thought it was the chorus - the Silent we go... part) I thought: "What the hell is wrong with him?! This is awesome!" And then came the actual chorus... And it really is awful. 10 years have passed and there is not a single good word I can say about this one due to it's poor chorus construction. It's like: "STOP! SLOW DOWN TEMPO! DESTROY THE MELODY!" Even when 2nd verse kicks in (which is in the same tempo as previous verse), this song feels like 20 year old cat dragging to die. It's just... awful. 10 years have passed and I've give this one millions chances but everytime it starts I know that chorus is coming and it just downgrades the whole song, album even. It would be forgettable if this was the only song with this crash-and-burn chorus but...

    These Colors Don't Run - falls into same category. Intro starts nicely, verses kick in, bridge elevates the song and then - halt! Blah... This one was OK on the first few listens even, seeing/hearing it live gave it a few extra points, but IMO - to be it even average Maiden song I'd completely change the chorus. In my ears it's completely unfitting.

    Out of the Shadows - There is a bleak effect all over this one for me, I don't know what people see in it. A lot of you commented about numerous filler songs in 90's but to me this sounds like a classical filler. It's like there so emotion in this one whatsoever. No gravy, no gravy at all.

    Lord of Light - What I like about Maiden is that their music makes you travel to places you've never been. And this intro is one of the eeriest I've ever heard from them, it sets the atmosphere instantly. Verses really spitfire and then again - chorus. I'm not musically literate but I would be surprised if the tempo is double slowed down on chorus. Which is really a shame, because they manage to get into the mood of the song once again before the solos (We are not worthy in your black and blazing eyes... part) and even the solos are amazing, but to me it still feels like this chorus was copy-pasted from completely another song.

    Ah, there you have it. On one hand The Legacy which I listen more often than even a hard-core fan should and on another hand Longest Day which I put in the same sentence with Dawson's Creek. Confusing album as fu**!
    frus and SixesAlltheway like this.
  3. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    The first Maiden album I bought directly upon its release and the first album they released after I became a fan, this one is obviously special to me. It is one of my favourite albums, both for that nostalgic reason and because it just is a great piece of work. Both musically and lyrically, it has depth. Also, the sound is damn good. Perhaps the best sounding album after they became a 6-piece.

    It was a daring move to play the entire thing on the tour, but if they were going to do it with one album, this wasn't a bad choice, because it flows really well from start to finish.

    Here's to the ammo lad!:cheers:
    Brigantium likes this.
  4. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    Why not rather play the E-C-A-F progression, which is rather special to this album (to the extent that I can't think of a single Maiden song outside of this album using it)?
  5. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    This one has withstood the test of time.
    Loaded with good parts, but also the band's most unified whole.
    Killers is their most aggressive effort. This is their most heavy.
  6. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Two albums later and I think every album they make going forward is going to have to live in its shadow.
    terrell39 likes this.
  7. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    What are the other moments on the album where this chord progression is used other than the "Bury your morals" part in Brighter Than a Thousand Suns? I'm sure there's some more, but this one was the only one I could think of at the moment.
  8. Cornfed Hick

    Cornfed Hick Electric Eye

    You, sir, are nuts. I will concede that the chorus is too repetitive and the weakest part of the song, but this is nonetheless the best track on the album. The verses, the "sliding we go" pre chorus, the guitar riffs and melodies are unsurpassed. No hyperbole: I think the instrumental passage from 4:29 to 6:39 is the best 2 minutes (and change) of music Iron Maiden has ever recorded. It's majestic. Beethoven would have been proud to have written it.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
    JudasMyGuide and terrell39 like this.
  9. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Seeing how (almost) universally this album is loved, I still thinks it is a human error that the accompanying tour (the 2006 one) was not filmed and officially released on DVD. They were very proud of this album and the tour. Instead we get DVD's from every other album tour this line-up did. :nuts2:
    terrell39 likes this.
  10. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary, since we did not get a live dvd STILL, I bought the special edition with the bonus dvd used from Amazon. Watched the making of AMOLAD from the dvd last night which was a very enjoyable look behind the scenes. I have two questions:

    1. I was surprised the Abbey Rd performance of BTATS was not on the DVD. Where was this first shown? On the band's website?
    2. I noticed they recorded the songs in the same order as the track listing. I assume this is not the way most bands (including Maiden) usually record studio CDs.
  11. Perun

    Perun Climbing like a monkey Staff Member

    It was first broadcast on British TV IIRC, and then made its way to YouTube.
    terrell39 likes this.
  12. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

    One of my first posts to the forum was about this subject. Your reply was: "The zillionth topic on a live DVD release". Now however, you seem to agree with me. Why the change of heart?
  13. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Hmm, that doesn't make sense indeed, does it? I think I misjudged the topic and thought it would be about Maiden's 2007 Download performance. It was seriously planned as a release (I thought) and that subject was brought up several times.

    Perhaps there's some change of heart as well. This tour, rather the 2006 one, since it covers the whole album, deserved to be documented. The more years pass by, the more odd it feels.
    terrell39 likes this.
  14. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Even Download 2007 would be good. Of all the tours not to document, I feel Maiden has chosen the worst ones. AMOLAD 2006/7, TFF 2010, Early Days 2005, all tours with really interesting setlists and no live DVDs. I wish they would've gone the Rush route and release every tour on DVD.
    terrell39 likes this.
  15. TheMeat

    TheMeat Invader

    Everyone's favourite......... Hooks in you! (The end of the song has the ECAF progression!
    You're welcome!!
    Forostar likes this.
  16. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Hooks in You was a tremendous influence on A Matter of Life and Death. All bow deep for this piece of originality, co-written by His Holiness, who got agitated and left the band when he found out the rest of the band didn't want to do more songs with this progression.
    TheTalisman and terrell39 like this.
  17. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    My feelings towards this album are very strong and deeply visceral. I might try to make a fool of myself and try to explain it all intellectually, but I already know it would be a failure. I'll post more here later.
  18. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    The chorus in the same song, both the arpeggio and the power chords. Also in The Legacy. There's also a part in Lord of Light where a rearranged version of that arpeggio is used, with the chord sequence E-C-E-C-A-F-A-F.
    Bloody hell, you're right! I remember it now.
    TheMeat likes this.
  19. Spambot

    Spambot Nomad

    The dog or the deaf guy?
    Just kidding. I may be nuts and we even agree on some other parts of the song, but to me the chorus is most off-putting piece of music they recorded post reunion, it just so out of the place.

    I think Abbey Road was recorded in autumn '06 or later when the album was already out.

    I agree, but I'd rather see proper AMOLAD live recording from '06 than Download '07 half AMOLAD, half NOTB setlist.
  20. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

    Can't get Out of the Shadows out of my head!

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