Fear of the Dark: individual album judgement by yours truly

Discussion in 'Fear Of The Dark' started by Forostar, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. frus

    frus Barbed Wire Hen

    Then your rating is skewed
    "10" should mean "mindblowing"
    "good catchy shallow fun" is more like 7 or thereabouts
  2. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 As you scream into the web of silence...

    Sometimes I like my good catchy shallow fun and consider it on par with the mindblowing stuff.

    I realize that I give 10s out quite liberally, but it's only because I'm quite honest about what I like. What I like happens to be most of Maiden's discography. Sometimes a not-so-mindblowing song may get a 10. That's because it's a 10 for me when I listen to it. The experience is everything. Others might only give it a 7, but we each have our own ways to rate songs.
  3. NPFTD

    NPFTD Invader

    Be quick or be dead: 8
    From Here to Eternity: 7
    Afraid to Shoot Strangers: 9
    Fear is the Key: 5
    Childhoods End: 6
    Wasting Love: 7
    Fugitive: 8
    Chains of misery: 5
    Apparition: 7
    Judas Be My Guide: 9
    Weekend Warrior: 5
    Fear of the Dark: 8
  4. Jer

    Jer CriedWhenJanickStayed

    Just went through this myself on the individual track threads.

    Be Quick Or Be Dead - 8/10 >
    From Here To Eternity - 7/10 >
    Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 6/10 >
    Fear Is The Key - 5/10 >
    Childhood's End - 4/10 >
    Wasting Love - 7/10 >
    The Fugitive - 6/10 >
    Chains Of Misery - 6/10 >
    The Apparition - 5/10 >
    Judas Be My Guide - 8/10 >
    Weekend Warrior - 3/10 >
    Fear Of The Dark - 7/10 >

    Average: 6.0/10

    The nadir of Bruce Dickinson's time with Iron Maiden, and arguably his worst overall vocal performance on an Iron Maiden studio album. Some questionable songwriting choices, too.

    Still, there are a number of bright spots here, including "Be Quick Or Be Dead" and the criminally undervalued "Judas Be My Guide" (please play this live sometime!). I also think this is a better album overall than the debut or either of the Blaze-era albums.

    (Album rankings by person post >)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  5. Shmoolikipod

    Shmoolikipod Nomad

    Be Quick or Be Dead: 10/10
    From Here to Eternity: 6/10
    Afraid to Shoot Strangers: 10/10
    Fear is the Key: 8/10 (and lies and lies and lies and lies...)
    Childhood's End: 8/10
    Wasting Love: 8/10
    The Fugitive: 5/10
    Chains of Misery: 8/10
    The Apparition: 2/10 :down:
    Judas Be My Guide: 8/10 (I need to listen to this one again)
    Weekend Warrior: 9/10 (I used to hate it. It ain't that way any moooore!)
    Fear of the Dark: 10/10

    7.666. Fearful indeed
  6. Kalata

    Kalata Out of the Silent Planet

    FOTD -> very underrated album and one of my favorites:
    Every band has weak spots in their discography, and Maiden ''dark years'' were in the 90's, but this album is one of the bests from Maiden.

    Be Quick Or Be Dead - 10/10
    From Here To Eternity - 9/10
    Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 10/10
    Fear Is The Key - 6/10
    Childhood's End - 10/10
    Wasting Love - 10/10
    The Fugitive - 8/10
    Chains Of Misery - 7/10
    The Apparition - 5/10
    Judas Be My Guide - 10/10
    Weekend Warrior - 7/10
    Fear Of The Dark - 10/10
    Average album score: 8,50
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  7. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 As you scream into the web of silence...

    Be Quick or Be Dead - 7 >
    From Here To Eternity - 7 >
    Afraid to Shoot Strangers - 8 >
    Fear is the Key - 5 >
    Childhood's End - 1 >
    Wasting Love - 6 >
    The Fugitive - 5 >
    Chains of Misery - 6 >
    The Apparition - 10 >
    Judas Be My Guide - 10 >
    Weekend Warrior - 7 >
    Fear of the Dark - 9 >

    Average Score: 6.75/10
    Actual Score: 7.5/10

    Fear of the Dark has fallen a little for me. The beginning is good, the next few songs kinda vary in quality, but it ends with a string of stronger notes. Doesn't deserve to be quite as disliked as it is, though there are definitely somethings on here that deserve criticism.
  8. Zare

    Zare sorry Zed

    Can I do a short review here? Move it if not appropriate.

    A controversial album from a time when Dickinson left the band. It's obviously problematic in multiple aspects. I can say right off the bat, Be quick or be dead, Fear of the dark, and Afraid to shoot strangers work right off as 1st class Maiden material. However, the album as a whole is plagued by Dickinson's vocal technique choice and Harris' production choice. If you never heard how these songs sound with normal Dickinson and modern heavy Maiden guitars, album versions seem fine but even those best three get improved.

    The very good stuff doesn't count for much. Childhood's end, Judas be my guide are great tracks but would be elevated to 1st class status if there were no problems listed above. In the part "tyrant strikes again" Dickinson is almost as unclean as Chuck Schulinder, over a heavy drum groove and riff that are technically, but not sonically there.

    The mediocrities count for a lot of songs. They are either songs not working due to lack of heaviness such as The Apparition, due to lack of proper groove such as Chains of Misery, B side stuff such as Weekend Warrior and interesting but completely off Fear is the key, these tracks aren't stylistically Maiden and they aren't executed well. Fugitive isn't bad but it comes off swiftly as stock, in a gut of an album that completely lacks the high point.

    The two tracks I left off for the ending are bad example of trying to commercialize, MTV-ize. As such I consider them the worst material of Iron Maiden.
    Randalf and frus like this.
  9. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    How do you like Davey's soling and lead sound, and how they produced it? His best from his career perhaps.
    frus, Zare and Edington like this.
  10. Edington

    Edington More Than Two Problems

    I don't know about the solos themselves being his best, but I agree, his tone and/or the production on his solos are absolutely glorious. Definitely the best tone he ever had.
  11. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    He also seemed to have put lots of melody in them on this album. Sounds less improvised and more prepared. Take his on Weekend Warrior and the title track. What compositions.
  12. John Silver

    John Silver Electric Buddy

    Martin Birch had a hand in this, buddy. I am really digging his work at the moment. Sad he retired so early.
    Forostar and Edington like this.
  13. Zare

    Zare sorry Zed

    Agreed, leads and guitar (and bass!) melodies are redeeming things on this album. I love Murray's 90s output. But some things on NPFTD seemed more on fire. The tone is excellent but Public Enemy for instance, as a solo, isn't surpassed on FOTD. The lead sound on Judas be my guide is immense and the solo is first class Dave. I think that this sound has been retained for the X Factor too.

    Dave very rarely lets down. But like extremely rarely. Never in the sound department, maybe once or twice in the solo execution (TCDR?).
  14. Edington

    Edington More Than Two Problems

    ...? FOTD and X Factor guitar tones are worlds apart. Too little gain and too much reverb on the latter. I'm still in two minds about the X Factor's sound. It's not good, but it works, but I still wish it was different.

    I'd argue that Dave lost his "spark" with his solos around the Dance of Death album. AMOLAD is easily his worst album for solos (TCDR, like you said, and FTGGOG which could be his worst ever). Maiden England 2013 was when he started to pick things up again, the first time I listened to POTO from Download festival his solo just blew me away.

    Yeah, I think the Birch-produced albums were the last time we heard truly great guitar tones.
    srfc likes this.
  15. John Silver

    John Silver Electric Buddy

    Not just the guitar tones I'd wager, the plonking of Steve's bass was phenomenal as well and the drumming (man, I miss that Burr thump, bro) - just the full package. Martin Birch - the master and main inventor of the Maiden sound.
  16. Zare

    Zare sorry Zed

    Are they, leads? I don't hear that. TXF is a lot drier, but that's it.
  17. srfc

    srfc Ancient Mariner

    Yes rhythm guitar sounds on both album are pratically identically wimpy to my ears.
  18. srfc

    srfc Ancient Mariner

    I was listening to FOTD in the car today, only got as far as FITK before I got to work, but it was an enjoyable listen. Obviously, BQOBD and AFTSS are recognised as good tracks by most fans. I like FHTE, it's just a fun rock song and there's room for that in Maiden's arsenal if you ask me. FITK is a good track, not sure why it get's negative reaction, I'd rather Maiden do a track like this where they try something a bit different.
    Shmoolikipod likes this.
  19. Edington

    Edington More Than Two Problems

    I wish there were isolated guitar tracks somewhere to compare properly, but the difference is night and day to me.
  20. srfc

    srfc Ancient Mariner

    Yes, agreed.

    I'm struggling to think of any others that could even be contenders.

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