Empire Of The Clouds

How good is Empire of the Clouds on a scale of 1-10?


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    115
  • Poll closed .

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Maybe he simply thinks Empire would benefit from a chorus whereas Hallowed doesn't need one?

Just like I like a cold beer when I eat dinner, but (usually) not for my breakfast :D
I think most Maiden epics suffer from having a chorus rather than benefitting from it. It usually drags down the song's momentum IMO. I'm glad Empire doesn't have this.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
I think most Maiden epics suffer from having a chorus rather than benefitting from it. It usually drags down the song's momentum IMO. I'm glad Empire doesn't have this.

100% this. I don't think it's entirely coincidence that probably the two most popular Maiden epics in HBTN and ROTAM don't have choruses. A chorus in something of this scale largely hinders the sense of progression in my opinion. Sub-choruses for specific sections can work (I am thinking largely of Octavarium as I write this) but overall going without them when trying to tell a story like this works very well.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I wouldn't cut anything from this song. Nothing repeats too much, there are lots of changes... it doesn't feel that long at all. The Red & The Black feels twice as long as Empire.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Oh but the guitar melodies after the first and second Morse code part DO drag for too long. It is like the CD is stuck or something. I would normally expect that in one of Steve's songs. Varying the drums underneath the melodies is not enough. Having said that I am just talking about a total of 90 sec decrease in length. This is how I edited the song and - in my opinion - flows much better.
 

Brave New Pilgrim

What not to do if your bird sh#$% on you....
There was a part of me that thought the song could have been cut down a bit. That was before I was able to wrap my head around the structuring of the song completely.

After wrapping my head around the whole thing, I've concluded that any trimming I would do to this song would be very minor and superficial. Hence my 9.5/10 rating.
 
This morning on my way to university I was listening to it and I realized something: The two solos represent the battle that takes place in the song. Let me explain myself:

The first solo comes after the "Legacy" section, which was also precedeed by the riff that has this "proudness" feeling to it. And it comes before the instrumental part in which the song turns into a "conflict", just before the second solo, which is followed by the lamentation and desperation. First solo is about the crew, the ship fighting the storm. Their resistance and wanting to survive. The second solo is the storm raging around the ship, a force of nature beyond good and evil that sets destruction no matter what.

At least that's the way I see them when analyzing the song's structure.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Re: chorus

the song is a narrative, it would be a bit silly to stick a repetitive chorus into it. Rime doesn't have one either.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
I wouldn't cut anything from this song. Nothing repeats too much, there are lots of changes... it doesn't feel that long at all. The Red & The Black feels twice as long as Empire.

I really like the piano at the start, but 2 minutes before the first set of lyrics? You could shave half of that off easily, it's literally the same tune played twice over. The change in tones are pretty erratic also during the mid-late stages of the song, and a couple of those could have been cut or altered too.

This song could be so more concise and effective if it was shorter. It just seems to me that people are eating this up because it's a long track by Maiden, which approaches being 5 minutes longer than Rime. Longer /=/ better; especially in this case.

If anyone here's played Fallout 3, you've probably seen the damage done to the Capitol Building. Yet the building still stand tall and is still hospitable. To me, this is a metaphor for the song. A huge mess, but ultimately, it still works. But the best song by Iron Maiden which I've been seeing it declared not even two weeks after the albums release? Absolutely not.

Just my two cents.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
I really like the piano at the start, but 2 minutes before the first set of lyrics? You could shave half of that off easily, it's literally the same tune played twice over.

I completely disagree. In fact, I would have made it longer, although I like it as is. It serves as a buildup to the emotional weight of the lyrics. Most songs of this length by other artists would've have vocals enter until 4-5 minutes into the song.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Please someone tell me if we could have anything done differently in the structure of i.e. Powerslave or Hallowed? This my friends is the difference between an instant classic and a classic wannabe. I think it is time we take the song for what it really is. Good night and good luck.

EDIT: It is a good song with some really nice melodies but it onky takes one listen to understand there is not much attention to the structure. All I can hear is people trying to convince themselves that it is magnificent...well,time will tell to begin with but In my opinion most of us heard enough Maiden in their lives to know that I am right.
 
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SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
there is not much attention to the structure

I think that's incorrect. They're telling a story with music: the SOS and crash are in the right place for that reason. What's different is that the structure of Empire is dictated by the lyrics, and Maiden has never really taken that approach before.
 
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Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
EDIT: It is a good song with some really nice melodies but it onky takes one listen to understand there is not much attention to the structure. All I can hear is people trying to convince themselves that it is magnificent...well,time will tell to begin with but In my opinion most of us heard enough Maiden in their lives to know that I am right.

So you think that people who after repeated listens think the song is great, aren't being honest with themselves?
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
I think that's incorrect. They're telling a story with music: the SOS and crash are in the right place for that reason. What's different is that the structure of Empire is dictated by the lyrics, and Maiden has never really taken that approach before.

I agree on the SOS part and the crash. Maybe my phrasing was a bit off. By structure I meant the never ending melodies. As if the CD is stuck on the same part. Maybe Bruce is giving too many details on the line of events of the crash and the music shoukd havd been more varied.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Please someone tell me if we could have anything done differently in the structure of i.e. Powerslave or Hallowed? This my friends is the difference between an instant classic and a classic wannabe. I think it is time we take the song for what it really is. Good night and good luck.

EDIT: It is a good song with some really nice melodies but it onky takes one listen to understand there is not much attention to the structure. All I can hear is people trying to convince themselves that it is magnificent...well,time will tell to begin with but In my opinion most of us heard enough Maiden in their lives to know that I am right.

Just because you do not believe it is magnificent does not mean it is not.

Just because you do not think there is attention to the structure does not mean there is not.

Just because you insist you are right does not mean you are right.

I am of the opinion Empire doesn't need cutting down - I'm more curious to hear what they cut out.
 

Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
Just because you do not believe it is magnificent does not mean it is not.

Just because you do not think there is attention to the structure does not mean there is not.

Just because you insist you are right does not mean you are right.

I am of the opinion Empire doesn't need cutting down - I'm more curious to hear what they cut out.

So I am wrong and you are right? So it is wrong to claim it is not perfect but it is ok to think it is?! Dude if it is perfect for you then fine by me.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
So I am wrong and you are right? So it is wrong to claim it is not perfect but it is ok to think it is?! Dude if it is perfect for you then fine by me.

I think you are wrong in so aggressively attacking other people's opinions.

I think it is wrong to say whether it will be a classic or not less than 2 weeks since release.

Do I think the song is perfect? God knows, but I like it enough to not worry either way.
 

TheSpectreWithin

Pirate of the Undergorund
This was the only song that immediately stood out as an instant classic. It sure didn't take any convincing, as there are several others on the album that don't really impress me, but this one continues to get better with each listen. Every section is there for a reason if you're paying attention to the story. This isn't a song you throw on for a quick headbang, you have to invest in it.
 
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