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Dance Of Death - the album

Discussion in 'Dance Of Death' started by NavigatorsSon, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. NavigatorsSon

    NavigatorsSon Prowler

    I know that
    'A Matter Of Life And Death' "blows it away" as far as comparisons go, but what I want to know, is


    What number between 1 and 10 do you give this album?

    1 = not good.
    10 = perfect.

    I give it a 10.
  2. MFC

    MFC Trooper

  3. Crimson Idol

    Crimson Idol Caveman

    I'm listening to it this second as it happens.. Wildest dream was about 30 seconds in when I spotted this topic (I'm totally stalking you btw).

    I believe I ranked it 3rd on my album list. I can't quite put a number to it because feelings and moods change faster than the weather, and I don't have the songs ranked either so I can't go via that route... for me to rank things out of 10 I need to have a "what is 10" "what is 0" baseline otherwise it takes me an age to decide... maybe if I think reallllllly hard I'll find a number soon. I do have a standalone track order though (it has changed today twice already though..):

    Dance of Death
    Face in the Sand
    Age of Innocence
    New Frontier
    No More Lies
    Wildest Dreams
    Gates of Tomorrow

    Anyway, my opinions. In short: Best bit = P-A-S-C-H-E-N-D-A-L-E no contest, worst = artwork.

    This album was the first Maiden album I ever heard in its entirety, I had just started listening to music around the time it came out and a friend lent me Eddie the Great, and then Dance of Death. So there will be a slight bias no matter how I try and ignore it, but everyone will be biased in a review of any album, because that's what it is... opinions.

    The first thing to get me on the album was the title track, I played it over and over and over until I knew all the words, the next real grabber for me was Montsegur.. I was really into the heavier material back then compared to now where I like things that flow and have some emotion to them. When I heard Paschendale... it eclipsed everything else completely. My first year of university with a friend who was equally into Maiden, Paschendale would be blasted out at max volume every day much to our fellow block-mates frustration.

    Track by Track.. hmm.

    Wildest Dreams can be reasonably fun to play on guitar but as a track it has never struck me as brilliant, it's um just.. not anything amazing. As a short rocker, I prefer...

    Rainmaker, although I do think that the heavy chord into of WD makes for a better album opener Rainmaker just has a far more catchy lead. The chord sequences change around a lot more and it's got quite a fun chorus imo, but that main leadwork is by far the best bit of the track.

    No More Lies could do with being a touch shorter, but for a long time it was at the top end of the album for me. The main thing that lets it down is that Bruce's singing of the chorus, it's the same melody for each line there's no variation. It's got the length of an epic, but not the feel of one. It is odd to see what I consider to be an aggressive track with such length.

    Montsegur, aaah yes, it blew me away the first time I heard it and it's still an awesome track. It's place in my track listing is not because it's bad, far from it. The intro really punches you hard and I really, REALLY love the tone of the guitars here. Verse is so incredibly simple... the real gem of the track though is the melody that runs under the chorus. Now I just need to stall my thought's long enough to let the track (playing as I type) get to that awesome ending before I move onto writing the rest :p

    Dance of Death. I was pretty much already hooked on Maiden after hearing Wickerman and (yes, I know) RTTH on Eddie the Great.. but this song pretty much sealed the deal back then. It changes so much that no matter what mood im in, something softer or something heavy.. it works. What it's also good for is getting me into the mood for other songs, if I'm only in a mood for soft, emotional acoustic ballad's (Arc of Space ftw lately) then Dance of Death really works wonders for bringing me into the frame of mind for sharp punchy straight up metal due to the way the song flows. One of my favourite Janick solo's too.

    Gates of Tomorrow, I do like it.. Dance of Death is one of those few albums that I can always think back and remember melodies and music, so many other albums I need to dig out to remember exactly how a track goes. That being said, this is imho the worst of the album... intro reminds me a little of Lord of the Flies in a way. Gah.. Just listening to this now (I skipped DoD because I know it well enough to write about it without needing a refresher on any part of it).... I want to put it higher in the list but trying to push it past the other tracks is hard cos I like them just as much! I think the only thing I don't like about it is Bruce's voice sounds a little strained on the chorus?

    New Frontier. Okay so I've skipped the rest of GoT (Even if I can remember tracks, it's easier to write about them while they are playing).... I know Nicko didn't contribute heavily but I think this gets bashed a bit because it has his name on it and they expect it to be bad as a result - or people look back and think "Which was NF? Oh Nicko's track.. yeah that must've been off". It's a decent little rocker track, and given he helped write parts of it... Nicko's drumming is awesome on it, there's some nice little fills in there I'd forgotten about, and that little guitar lick under the chorus. Best bit of the track though is the instrumental bit around 2:50 leading into the solo, kicks ass. Come to think of it, if it had a bit less of a sudden start... this would've been my choice to open the album.

    Paschendale... do I really need to say anything about this other than epic? Okay fine. I love the cannon's going off throughout the track that I honestly never noticed till a few weeks ago because I was usually too busy yelling along to it :p Love the S.O.S cymbals just adding that extra touch of war. There is nothing about this track that doesn't scream perfection for me... I don't have much of a track ranking atm, but this is #2 or possibly #1. It's possibly the best piece they've written from all angels, musically, lyrically, emotionally, the imagery etc is fantastic... the only reason it potentially sits at #2 is cos whilst I think it's a less outstanding piece of music... I just really love Hallowed! Orchestral version of Paschendale is fcking awesome too... can't quite decide which I prefer - it adds more atmosphere but it's so good already I'm not sure if it's going "over the top" (see what I did there?).

    Just noticed in Pasch actually... during the "In no mans land god only knows" etc part, there's a very deep vocal under it just adding that extra little level of depth to it, I caught it for a moment and had to back track and really concentrate hard to pick it up... it may just be accidental from the recording/mixing process, or it could be Adrian doing a low backing vocal.. but its bits like that that make me cry that I will never be able to write music half this good.

    Face in the Sand... I love this track. I think I'm probably alone in this, but I really really do. The intro is a bit slow and meh, but the verse's and chorus just constantly build and build and build. The only track Nicko has ever used a double base pedal on.. maybe that's why I think it's so good. It just feels powerful to me. The lead into the solo is great.. there have been a few tracks lately where I just feel the solo is out of place, but this one meshes fantastically into the lead before it, I only wish the solo were longer.

    Age of Innocence. I wouldn't expect to but I really like the intro here, how it builds into the verse is awesome. The music is a really rocky piece and whilst I may be repeating myself here, if the vocals were a bit faster it could again be a good contender for the album opener, certainly better than Wildest Dreams at least. Again though, I don't know what it is with this album but the build up to the solo is fantastic! That low hum into a really distorted crunchy start. Favourite bit is when it kicks into "You can't protect yourself...", it sounds so heavy and Bruce's voice so gritty... sounds very stripped back imho - what I wish NPFTD/FOTD sounded like (Given they were meant to be the 'back to basics' type thing).

    Journeyman. I know it's not typical Maiden, but as I've said above.. I often like the softer side. One thing I love about listening to metal bands (and often how I catch new fans) is that there is great diversity, they apply their writing talents not just to heavy stuff but they can write emotional tracks too. This isn't emotional in some senses, but it's a lovely soft side of Bruce's voice... I actually managed to get my Mum to (okay, she doesn't own CD's, but I made some Rock/Metal mix CD's and she actually puts them on out of choice) listen to the bands I like by playing things like Journeyman and Angel by JP. Causing a "Who's this?" reaction and then "Really???" ... followed by playing things like DoD, TTLBLAH etc and she started to appreciate that it's not all heavy, and the songs are well structured. Sorry, sidetracked... I like balllady type things a lot of the time, and so I think it's great that Maiden went for diversity and a left field song, and I think it worked great.

    Now.. Thats my opinion of the tracks, but track opinion and album opinion's can be different. I think the tracks are all great.. but I'm not sure I'd say the album is as good as the sum of its parts, but given its #3 on my list already then if it was it'd be a bloody masterpiece.

    I think a few songs are out of place when put next to others... Journeyman is an awesome track on its own but with the rest of the album it comes as a bit of a shock. Wildest Dreams best compliment to the album is that it really makes Rainmaker pop out, and helps give that "this just keeps getting better" feel to the overall thing. Again Montsegur is an awesome track but it's a bit out of place being a heavy one in that first section. I sometimes wonder if some of these tracks would be better moved to other albums, pulling up the overall score of some of the weaker albums without overly denting the score of this one.

    Okay sod it, I won't give a precise rating as it depends how I judge it.. but the albums... 9.5 for me. Originally I was going to say "Lower cos WD drags it down a bit" then it kicked back into WD and I had to change this, it's one of those tracks that is actually pretty damn tasty, but gets overshadowed and forgotten by the rest of the brilliance thats there.

    My track order at the top of this post has changed 5 times since I started writing this. While I've been writing it I've had the album playing and every time a new track came up I thought "!!!!"... it's just got back round to the start (I've skipped through parts of tracks that I know very well to try and help me write about other bits) - and due to the guitar tone they've had in the reunion albums when Wildest Dreams hit that verse I just had a temptation to go up to the top and change the list again! But if I keep doing that I'll be cycling through it forever :p When I started writing.. No More Lies was 4th on the list, but so many other bits of other tracks have popped out I just had to bump them up.

    Honestly, PFD/DoD are ahead of the rest by a clear margin for me because they are near/ARE perfection. There's not a major gap before the other tracks, but the gap between the other tracks is minimal. After writing this out and hearing the start of the album again I may just have to solidfy that 9.5 ... and possibly bump this to #2 on my album rankings  :wub: Which is pretty nuts considering the opening of the album I had very little to say and consider it to be the weakest part...

    EDIT: Oh I totally forgot!! ... The album also gave birth to the greatest maiden song ever. Nicko's version of Age of Innocence!!!!!! That's easily a 12 on its own.

    I think my average words per post just doubled.
  4. Yax

    Yax Ancient Mariner

    I think DoD is the only weak album of the reunion albums. It's still good, mind you, with excellent songs like Paschendale, Dance of Death, No More Lies and Rainmaker.

    Then there are a couple of good songs, and some fillers (New Frontier, Gates of Tomorrow... And bad ones at that). The production isn't very good by professional standards either.

    I instantly put BNW upon entering this thread.  :innocent:
  5. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    ^ agreed. It's weaker than BNW and not even in same league with AMOLAD and TFF.
  6. snake plissken

    snake plissken Ancient Mariner

    I'd give it a 7. Some absolute stunners on there but the filler is very weak IMO. Songs like Face in the Sand, Age of Innocence, New Frontier, Gates of Tomorrow just don't get a look in.
  7. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    That's how I see it. Virtual XI and Dance of Death switch from time to time as the least good album.
    Both still around 7 in my book.
  8. bornless1

    bornless1 Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.

      Dance of Death is a 10.  Absolute 10. The album is outstanding and is  my favorite of the reunion era.  I cannot for the life of me figure out the lack of love for Dance of Death on this sight.  It has no filler.  The only song I don't absolutely love on the disc would be Journeyman.  But even it is very good.  Paschendale, DOD and Montsegur are perfection and are each in my over all top 20 Maiden all time.  Rainmaker is outstanding.  The songs often referred to as filler [ Face in the sand, Age of Innocence,  and new frontier] to me are so fricken awesome, I just cannot imagine anyone mistaking them as filler.  Gates of tomorrow is a curve ball thrown by the band.  But I see it as  a creative,  twisted, yet intentionally different listen.  The song fits the over all mid evil feel of the album.  Reunion era #1 and Maiden over all #4 album all time. 
    DJMayes likes this.
  9. NavigatorsSon

    NavigatorsSon Prowler

    I couldn't agree more.
    'Dance Of Death' is my most favorite, by far of the 21st Century albums.

    (that does NOT mean that 'A Matter Of Life And Death' is not a masterpiece, because it is.)

    It does mean, however, that 'Dance Of Death' is a SUPREME MASTERPIECE  :D

    It has such a great feel.
    It is so varied.
    It's simply... awesome.

    Oh, yeah, and 'New Frontier' is fantastic. Just awesome.

    ...and I remember my first listen to 'Age Of Innocence' and 'Rainmaker'. Both were jaw-dropping blissful glee.  :D
  10. Taker

    Taker Cannon Fodder

    Agreed. While I wouldn't say the rest of the album is filler, there are some pretty weak efforts... Gates of Tomorrow in particular. The simple fact that PFD is on it makes this a good album in my world :edmetal:
  11. Dityn DJ James

    Dityn DJ James A coma stole my name.

    9. I need to relisten to it though.
  12. NavigatorsSon

    NavigatorsSon Prowler

    I think 'Gates Of Tomorrow' is a fantastic song.

    (and Bruce is talking/singing about us here on the bb, and the original "free" Iron Maiden bb)
    here on the web weaving our threads no mercy shed on the topic of this song
  13. Phantom

    Phantom Prowler

    I'm another who's a little surprised at the lack of love for this one.

    Love this album, one of favorite Maiden releases. I really enjoy 'it's variation, and have it front of BNW, & AMoLaD (although i also really like those two, BNW, in particular)

    'Paschendale' is magnificent, and i believe Adrian's finest moment as a writer. 
  14. Darth Maiden

    Darth Maiden Prowler


    'Dance Of Death'
    is a perfect 10.

    Every song on it is top-notch in every way.

    It's the 21st Century equivalent of the 80's 'Seventh Son' album.

    It's every thing Maiden is famous and awesome for.

    I'm with you, I don't understand how it's not liked???  :blink:

    But, I'm one who thinks that 'No Prayer For The Dying' is a masterpiece.
    I really like 'Quest For Fire' too, and that song gets ripped on all the time as well.
    So, maybe I'm a goof.
    But, I'm a happy goof - listening to all of these great songs and albums, so I'll take it.

  15. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    *Agrees with last four lines of previous post*
  16. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    I think DoD is the worst of the reunion albums, but I still think it's a great album.
    This board tends to have a higher concentration of prog epic-lovers than rock anthem-lovers, so songs like Gates, New Frontier and Wildest Dreams tend to drag its ranking down.
  17. Great Sage

    Great Sage Invader

    One of their worst albums. Down with VIX and Fear of the Dark at the bottom of the cannon.
  18. Delta51pwned

    Delta51pwned Trooper

    The Album That Got me Into Maiden...

    Out of the Newest Era
    1. Final Frontier #2, 9.8
    2. A Matter of Life and Death #3 9.7
    3. Dance of Death #7 9.3
    4. Brave New World #8 9.2
  19. MaidenCanada

    MaidenCanada Trooper

    This is a really good album on its own, but I think a large contingent of fans felt like it seemed like a step down from Brave New World.

    I believe everyone would be a little more forgiving if Dance of Death was the first of the reunion albums instead of it being Brave New World's follow-up
  20. 425

    425 Starblind

    This is actually an excellent point, I think a lot of people take the joy that came with the Maiden reunion and then fail to evaluate Brave New World objectively. I think people too easily forgive BNW for The Mercenary and The Fallen Angel, which are below average Maiden songs, and then slam Dance of Death too harshly for New Frontier and Wildest Dreams (and Age of Innocence. I still don't get why so many people think that one is anything worse than maybe slightly below average of Maiden songs). I think that those two albums are almost equally good, and both are a tier below A Matter of Life and Death and The Final Frontier, which are the best reunion albums.

    Basically, it boils down to: Dance of Death is often treated unfairly vs. Brave New World due to their positions in the band's history.
    mckindog likes this.

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