Fear of the Dark: individual album judgement by yours truly

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Yeah, I think the Birch-produced albums were the last time we heard truly great guitar tones.

Yes, I think a lot of the complaints about bad production from Maiden could literally be summed up as bad rhythm guitar tones.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I doubt if some rhythm guitar tone one likes (more), would provide that same bass sound we recognize and love so much.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
  1. Be Quick Or Be Dead - 9/10
  2. From Here To Eternity - 4/10
  3. Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 8.5/10
  4. Fear Is The Key - 2/10
  5. Childhood's End - 7.75/10
  6. Wasting Love - 3/10
  7. The Fugitive - 5/10
  8. Chains Of Misery - 5/10
  9. The Apparition - 5/10
  10. Judas Be My Guide - 7.5/10
  11. Weekend Warrior - 5/10
  12. Fear Of The Dark - 8.25/10
Average: 5,83/10
 
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srfc

Ancient Mariner
I doubt if some rhythm guitar tone one likes (more), would provide that same bass sound we recognize and love so much.

I suspect most people complaining about Maiden's production would love a generic Andy Sneap album where you can't even hear the bass.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
1. Be quick or be dead 10
2. From Here to Eternity 8
3. Afraid to shoot strangers 9
4. Fear is the key 6,5
5. Childhoods end 7
6. Wasting Love 8
7. The Fugitive 8
8. Chains of Misery 6,5
9. The Apparition 7
10. Judas be my guide 7
11. Weekend Warrior 6,5
12. Fear of the Dark 10

7,8

VERY GOOD
 
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KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Be quick or be dead 9/10
From Here to Eternity 8/10
Afraid to shoot strangers 9/10
Fear is the key 7/10
Childhoods end 8/10
Wasting Love 8/10
The Fugitive 8/10
Chains of Misery 7/10
The Apparition 8/10
Judas be my guide 9/10
Weekend Warrior 7/10
Fear of the Dark 10/10

Average song rating 8,16
Overall album rating 83%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
FEAR OF THE DARK (1992)

1. Be Quick Or Be Dead - 10/10
The kick, the riff, the scream, and all the rasp that is to follow, this is one hell of a way to kick off a record.

2. From Here To Eternity - 10/10
As sexual as it may be, this song is also one of Maiden’s best examples as to how good they are at telling a story, no matter what it might be about.

3. Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 10/10
A great anti-war song about the build-up to the fight, the instrumental section holds one of Maiden’s all-time best harmonies.

4. Fear Is The Key - 7/10
Dunno what happened in the last third of the song. The rest is pretty strong, though.

5. Childhood’s End - 7/10
A solid song, but feels trite given the subject matter.

6. Wasting Love - 9/10
Absolutely wonderful chorus and a great go at writing a power ballad.

7. The Fugitive - 9/10
A hard hitting opening leads to a cool storyline and more complex bits than Maiden have ever put in one song... I mean what

8. Chains Of Misery - 9/10
A lot of fun. Maiden’s best go at gang vocals.

9. The Apparition - 10/10
I love this song. Weird as hell but that’s what makes it unique.

10. Judas Be My Guide - 10/10
Best song on the album. I need that chorus on repeat.

11. Weekend Warrior - 10/10
Best song about football hooligans you’ll ever hear. I love the rasp and guitars throughout.

12. Fear Of The Dark - 10/10
The most classic-Maiden-sounding song on the album and an absolute monster. Great closer.

Criminally underrated record and a unique one in their catalog.

Rating: 93%
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
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.
Amen
 

Wogmidget

Shitpost bot
How hard can it be?

Be Quick or Be Dead - great riff, great solos, decent vocals. Always seems to go on for slightly longer than expected. 9

From Here to Eternity - OKish AC/DC pastiche, pretty unspectacular in every way. 7

Afraid to Shoot Strangers - The spiritual successor to my beloved Infinite Dreams, with a fantastic combination of keys and guitars employed. 10

Fear is the Key - Nice intro, rest of the song finds all sorts of interesting ways to be not very good.. Really spoils the flow of the album. 4

Childhood's end - Somewhat proto-Clansman-ish little tune. Nicely atmospheric without losing any energy, the instrumental section is particularly well-executed. 8

Wasting Love - It's a power ballad, but not as we know it. Maiden's usual high standard of guitar work keeps the track from becoming forgettable. 7

The Fugitive - The intro is a bit schizophrenic, but kind of works. Incidentally, much the same could be said of the track as a whole. 7

Chains of Misery - Great little rocker. 8

The Apparition - The fuck is this, self-help metal? A painfully average verse turns into a substantially better mid-section, which only works if you haven't hit the skip button by this point. 5

Judas be my Guide - Why this song wasn't in the '92 live set is completely beyond me. Contains all the elements of a good Maiden song, and combines them in an excellent manner. 9

Weekend Warrior - Nothing bad to say about it, but nothing makes it stand out (especially given its slot in the running order). 5.5

Fear of the Dark - I don't really have to write anything here, you all know this song back-to-front. 9

Overall: 73.75%
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
How hard can it be?

Be Quick or Be Dead - great riff, great solos, decent vocals. Always seems to go on for slightly longer than expected. 9

From Here to Eternity - OKish AC/DC pastiche, pretty unspectacular in every way. 7

Afraid to Shoot Strangers - The spiritual successor to my beloved Infinite Dreams, with a fantastic combination of keys and guitars employed. 10

Fear is the Key - Nice intro, rest of the song finds all sorts of interesting ways to be not very good.. Really spoils the flow of the album. 4

Childhood's end - Somewhat proto-Clansman-ish little tune. Nicely atmospheric without losing any energy, the instrumental section is particularly well-executed. 8

Wasting Love - It's a power ballad, but not as we know it. Maiden's usual high standard of guitar work keeps the track from becoming forgettable. 7

The Fugitive - The intro is a bit schizophrenic, but kind of works. Incidentally, much the same could be said of the track as a whole. 7

Chains of Misery - Great little rocker. 8

The Apparition - The fuck is this, self-help metal? A painfully average verse turns into a substantially better mid-section, which only works if you haven't hit the skip button by this point. 5

Judas be my Guide - Why this song wasn't in the '92 live set is completely beyond me. Contains all the elements of a good Maiden song, and combines them in an excellent manner. 9

Weekend Warrior - Nothing bad to say about it, but nothing makes it stand out (especially given its slot in the running order). 5.5

Fear of the Dark - I don't really have to write anything here, you all know this song back-to-front. 9

Overall: 73.75%
Agreed with everything about your review except the Fugitive which should be a 10.

Your review gets a 8.6/10
 

Poteitos

Prowler
My ratings:

Be Quick Or Be Dead: 8,5
From Here To Eternity: 6,5
Afraid To Shoot Strangers: 8
Fear Is The Key: 9,5
Childhood’s End: 10
Wasting Love: 8
The Fugitive: 7,5
Chains Of Misery: 7
The Apparition: 7
Judas Be My Guide: 10
Weekend Warrior: 6
Fear Of The Dark: 10

Overall: 8,2
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Just gave the new remastered cd a listen, no change to the opinion I've had on this album for years, basically, there's 3 ten out of 10 tracks, a couple of decent ones and then the rest are either good ideas that weren't pulled off or base level metal by numbers tracks. Most Maiden fans prefer the base level metal by numbers tracks and are triggered by the band trying something different, I'm the opposite.

10 out of 10 : Be Quick or Be Dead, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Fear of the Dark
Decent tracks: From Here to Eternity (good mindless fun) 8, Wasting Love (good single fodder, blueprint for Out of the Shadows/Coming Home) 8, Judas Be My Guide (ultimate Maiden hidden track) 9

The rest:
Good ideas that didn't hit the spot: Fear is the Key 7, The Apparition 7, Weekend Warrior 7
Mindless fun: Chains of Misery 7
Metal by numbers with little redeeming features: Childhoods End 6, The Fugitive 6
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
I listened to this album myself recently and actually enjoyed it more than previously. Still plenty of guff on it but Fear is the Key isnt as bad as I remember. Still probably my least favourite Maiden album, though.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Be Quick Or Be Dead - 9/10
Fear To Eternity - 8.5/10
Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 9/10
Fear Is The Key - 8/10
Childhood's End - 7/10
Wasting Love - 8.5/10
The Fugitive - 7.5/10
Chains Of Misery - 6.5/10
The Apparition - 6/10
Judas Be My Guide - 8.5/10
Weekend Warrior - 8/10
Fear Of The Dark - 10/10
Overall - 80%
 

Arturo_J

Prowler
Be Quick Or Be Dead - 8
From Here To Eternity - 5
Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 6
Fear Is the Key - 5
Childhood's End - 5
Wasting Love - 7
The Fugitive - 5
Chains of Misery - 6
The Apparition - 5
Judas be my guide - 9
Weekend Warrior - 6
Fear of the Dark - 10
 

SirRobbins

Ancient Mariner
This album is much like NPFTD; full of brilliant riffs and solos but Bruce's vocal style on it just doesn't do much for me but I overlook this fact for the aggression of the tracks... It's a really solid album after giving it a full and thorough listen during this pandemic...

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

Average - 7.58
 

MindRuler

Ancient Mariner
One of my bottom albums (together with DOD and VXI)

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

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
Be Quick or be Dead 8 - straigh to the point
From Here to Eternity 4.5 - American hard rock mockery
Afraid to Shoot Strangers 8.5 - awesome guitar melodies
Fear is the Key 4.5 - laughable
Childhood's End 6 - interesting
Wasting Love 6+ - bastard daughter of Tattooed Millionaire
The Fugitive 4 - wasted occasion
Chains of Misery 5 - boring
The Apparition 3 - horrible
Judas Be My Guide 8 - AOR-ish
Weekend Warrior 4.5 - terrible
Fear of the Dark 8.51 - sliiiightly better than Afraid

Overall: 4/10
 
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