Final Frontier: one year later

Murder89

Officer Friendly
I'm loving the album perhaps even more than I was the first few months.I appreciate even the first 2 ''weaker'' songs.The only part that is still getting skipped is S15.I'm not going to compare it to previous albums but songs like Talisman, Starblind, IOA, CH, pretty much the whole album can easily be considered masterpieces even by Maiden's high standards.
I'd love it if we had seen a couple more performed live but that's another story.
 

Wyrdskein

Invader
Pretty much the same as when I first heard it. Great apart from the last three tracks. The outstanding ones for me are Coming Home, Starblind, Isle of Avalon and Mother of Mercy.
 

Tron

Trooper
This was my first released album being a big fan, i jumped on the bandwagon  :lol: just missing AMOLAD back in 06. First of all listening to it late on in the afternoon on the day of release after merely sitting staring upon it all day wondering what it may hold (i was on holiday away from internet for a while so avoided the leak. anyway late on that afternoon i played it and my first reaction was.
Satellite 15... - bloody hell thats different but i loved it, i didnt and still dont think its too long and it beautifully sets the mood with those distant haunting lyrics and the apocalyptic siren like music.
The Final Frontier - heard it with the video but better with the build up (starting to drift waiting for new music), nowerdays i consider it a mid range rocker but a fun one with some great soloing (i love adrians) Sat 15 holds it up in my rankings.
El Dorado - the first taster of this album and i still think its brilliant, theme wise its reminiscent of NPFTD but with the power of recent work and i still give this emerald a 9 because yes Banker does have a letter out of place  :p
Mother of Mercy - Another war effort, standing alone its OK. Bruce seems to be overdoing it here but the stories good behind it, i just think they were trying too hard to make a better war song than Amolad and didnt quite outdo any of them. Now its mid range but not skipping material.
Coming Home - A great heartfelt track that at first listen stood out from the pack with starblind. Not the norm lately but nailed it and live its great especially from the perspective of Albions land. Its fallen from originally being a 10 but its still a great song.
The Alchemist - Originally i was jolted by its quick intro after coming home, i wasnt a big fan of either the sound or the story and didnt see how it fitted with the spiritual theme that was going. i still dont and if it werent for another certain track it would be the worst on the ablum for me, seems like a compulsory rocker and there shouldnt be such a thing (i blame Janick).
Isle of Avalon - Now things heat up, a great number about god worship as with that which follows, one that rarely pops up on shuffle but when it does i always smile to myself. Lyrically im not a big fan but some of the melodies that pick up are brilliant and it comes together as a wonderful light flowing track.
Starblind - My original favourite and it stayed like that for a longlong time, the themes are great and a load of fun trying to decode its meaning and relatable to me own views on life and religion. all in all a beautiful track and still soaring high in my rankings until...
The Talisman - This fella came along last month and dethrowned Starblind! i dont know what it is but ive got a thing about marinous songs and something about this is the paschendale of the sea pushing down ghost of the navigator and even rime to a surprising result on my rating system. while its not that technically brilliant and wasnt too viable live the sheer power and putting yourself on that boat... WOW        i didnt think it came off too well live but i can imagine what it couldve been maybe earlier in the tour and if the crowd really got into it  :edmetal:
The Man who would be king - the one, the one that came out below alchemist, i love the prog but i really cant enjoy this one it just seems to go on and on with no captivating story no spine tingling emotion and no bone crushing power... and so no real interest especially for its length. On first listen i was holding myself back from the skip button and nowerdays ive given up fighting it.
When the wild wind blows - at first another long song didnt make me hopeful after TMWWBK at midnight but having watched the cartoon soon before i gave it a chance. I wasnt blown over  :lol: hahaha but it was ok, the story developed nicely but again prog through loss of power for me but it did redeem itself live and now its growning on me, plus my girlfriend loves it so i have to give it a chance  :blush:

MY TFF RATINGS (placements out of all maiden songs)
1. The Talisman 10/10
4. Starblind 10/10
10. Isle of Avalon 9/10
13. El Dorado 9/10
20. Coming Home 9/10
24. Satellite 15... The Final Frontier 9/10
38. When the Wild Wind Blows 8/10
70. Mother of Mercy 7/10
101. The Alchemist 7/10
107. The Man Who Would be King 7/10

Overall TFF is my second place album with all songs scoring at least maiden average for me (7), The talisman may drop but not far and for now is really doing it for me. 1year on and still gurd and in regards to a theme i think its either travel or faith, maybe more the latter... faith in loss of faith at the start, faith in bankers a god (in many), the government etc.
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
^ nice reading. TMWWBK is too, in my opinion, one of three weakest tracks on the album (The Alchemist and opener are other two), but I didn't analyze why it belongs there. When I think about it, it has some great riffs, melodies and lyrics, but it just seems to be going nowhere. Eg. underdeveloped, but with potential. The same kind of problem that a lot of NPFTD tracks have.
 

Tron

Trooper
yeah for me tmwwbk had such potential in its story but just sounded like a mirage... however they sound (empty and detached i imagine). with the alchemist the only real disappointment to the rest of the album. after listening to it i just dont feel anything, normally a maiden song regardless of quality brings some sort of emotion.    in terms of energy and holding interest i put it on par with 2am however the instrumentals and technical side save it from being down that low in my rankings.
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
This is still my favorite Iron Maiden album, followed closely by Seventh Son and Powerslave.  I love every single song, and tracks like "The Alchemist" and "Starblind" are so full of passion and vigor that they blow me away every time I hear them, even a year on from release.
 

S6T6N

Prowler
Black Thunder said:
Still awesome in my ears. The Alchemist is the only track I'd skip.

It happens the same with me. The final frontier is the 2nd best album of the decade, after AMOLAD. Smith's huge contribution added something else to the record, which makes it really different. The Talisman is a hell of a song, and instant classic. Everyone's performance is top form, especially Bruce's. This record contains his best studio perfomance since 7th Son I think!
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
I still listen to it fairly often, but think it is a bit behind AMOLAD, but ahead of DoD and about even with BNW

I would rank the songs like this

1. Avalon (one of their all time greats)
these are a notch below, but real good
2 Talisman
3. Starblind
4. Coming Home

Another step down, but still good songs

5) El Dorado
6)  Sat 15/Final Frontier
7) Mother of Merch
8) When the Wild Wind Blows
9) Man Who Would be King
10) Alchemist
 

Alex Anghel

Invader
mckindog said:
And Wild Wind matches or surpasses all of Steve's soft/hard multi-section epics of the past two decades.

mckindog said:
I see The Final Frontier as an outstanding collection of songs, perhaps the best one the band has ever recorded.

Hadn't been for those comments, I would have stated that your view over The Final Frontier was pretty much the closest spot on I have came across on any board in connection thereof.

In any event, When The Wild Wind Blows not only doesn't matches/surpasses the other soft/hard multi section epics of the past decades, but it's by far the most formulaic, generic and rehash feeling song off The Final Frontier. Arranging and musical complexity wise, it seems miles away from what Dave hinted it would be ("lots of melodies, we had to learn it in sections, big song, etc"). Moreover, I truly believe that Harris last genuine epic masterpiece was Sign Of The Cross.

Last but not least, if The Final Frontier is the best collection of songs the band has ever recorded, I wonder how could be described effors like Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time or Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (as much as I love The Final Frontier, all of the aforesaid albums blows it out of the water).
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
I think it's getting better, with further listening, rather than poorer. What can you say? --Maiden's two most recent albums are up there with the best stuff they've written. Barely a poor tract on AMoLaD or TFF. That said, I'm still a bigger fan of most of the lead guitar work on older albums; particularly SiT & Powerslave.
 

Tron

Trooper
Alex Anghel said:
Last but not least, if The Final Frontier is the best collection of songs the band has ever recorded, I wonder how could be described effors like Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time or Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (as much as I love The Final Frontier, all of the aforesaid albums blows it out of the water).

I must intervene, being a bit opinion as facty first of all... i agree in that im not a huge fan of WTWWB but discounting the epics like dance of death, PFD and well most of amolad with Harris credited, That in my books be'est a blasphemy.
And in respect to powerslave, SiT ans ssoass. I see powerslave as having two great songs a few OK songs and the rest filler (fillerslave), SiT im not a big fan of anything really in it but Wasted Years (My personal blasphemy  :))... Seventh sons good though but now as good as TFF and more importantly all of this is NOT fact  ;)
 

Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
Tron said:
I must intervene, being a bit opinion as facty first of all... i agree in that im not a huge fan of WTWWB but discounting the epics like dance of death, PFD and well most of amolad with Harris credited, That in my books be'est a blasphemy.
And in respect to powerslave, SiT ans ssoass. I see powerslave as having two great songs a few OK songs and the rest filler (fillerslave), SiT im not a big fan of anything really in it but Wasted Years (My personal blasphemy  :))... Seventh sons good though but now as good as TFF and more importantly all of this is NOT fact  ;)

*moved to blasphemy thread*
 

Chartwell

Trooper
This album was easier to access upon first play than some other recent Maiden classics, with songs like "the Alchemist" standing out. As I prepared for the TFF tour, I became more enamored with the Talisman and WTWWB (which I still think are the standouts on the disc). On each listen, another song pops up as a winner, with Isle of Avalon, El Dorado, and Starblind now in heavy rotation. The only clunker, I think, is TMWWBK, which, as someone else astutely noted, doesn't really go anywhere. I think this is a top 4 album in the Maiden pantheon, and builds upon their success with AMOLAD and DOD. In fact, I would agree that TFF beats the pants off some of the 80s Maiden, if not just for maturity but for interest as well... from an objective standpoint, I believe some of the songs on TFF will hold up much better than songs like "Die With Your Boots On" or "The Evil That Men Do." It's a more mature, grown-up piece of work, and while it's not a Powerslave, it has songs at the same level of (the song) Powerslave... anthems that will live forever. I think it's probably the best overall album they've done in the reunion period (i.e. more consistent), which is tough for me because AMOLAD is classic and DOD is one of my favorites (as you guys know).

In conclusion, at first I was all  :) and then I listened more and was  :bigsmile: and now every time I hear it I'm all  :yey:. I really look forward to seeing some more of this material live for years to come.
Donner said:
The Alchemist seems still criminally underrated and features some of the coolest Maiden harmonies on the album.  In terms of ranking it, I think AMOLAD is stronger overall.  But I do enjoy TFF a bit more than DoD and lots more than BNW. 
I just really hope we don't have to wait another 3 more years for some new songs.

:ok: here here, agree with these statements. The Alchemist is such a catchy yet intelligent song - it's pure Maiden distilled to its essence. And lyrically, it's unbelievable... "though you speak with demons you cannot command."
I think TFF blows BNW out of the water, but I really dislike BNW (I know, moved to blasphemy thread). One of these days I'm going to pull a Jupz and explain why in a multipage thread...
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Here's what I said a few weeks ago:

Perun said:
I don't think I've ever been as excited about an album as I was when A Matter of Life and Death came out. All the anticipation and tension just exploded when I first heard the album. I played it over and over again, I basically listened to nothing else between the point when it came out and the first gig I saw in November. The reason was that it was simply so extremely good. Every time I listened to it, I had a different favourite song, a different favourite moment, and a different experience.
The Final Frontier dropped out of my playlist after a month and a half, and by the end, I was really forcing it to stay in. I still listen to it every once in a while (like, right now), but it just doesn't occupy as much. And it never has. From the first play, I had my favourites, and they're still the same, more or less. I'm not saying it's a bad album or that I don't like it, but looking back, I guess I am a bit - whisper it - disappointed.

Of course, that doesn't count for Starblind and When the Wild Wind Blows.
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
I think TFF blows BNW out of the water, but I really dislike BNW...

Totally agree. BNW just ain't up there at all.

As Perun states though: AMoLaD is even better; at least in my opinion too. Although, I don't view TFF quite so unfavourably.

I think post reunion (from best to poorest) is: AMoLaD > TFF > DoD > BNW. And, perhaps not like most here, I bought BNW + DoD + AMoLaD all at the same time --so no release fever favouritism came into play (--besides with TFF).
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
BNW is still the best reunion-era album. AMOLAD and TFF are tied for second; my preference between them varies from day to day.

Those three albums share the trait of feeling like albums, if you know what I mean. There's a consistency there; even fillers feel like they just belong.

DoD doesn't feel like a consistent album. Can't explain exactly why; it just feels more like a collection of songs without any unifying factor. Some of those songs are superb; hell, one is my #1 Maiden song. But as an album, it falls below the rest.


As for TFF specifically... My initial #1 was Talisman, then became Avalon, and is now Wild Wind. Coming Home has been stuck at #2 through all those changes.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
SinisterMinisterX said:
BNW is still the best reunion-era album. AMOLAD and TFF are tied for second; my preference between them varies from day to day.
I agree. I might even go a bit further and say that BNW is my favorite, alltime Maiden album. I love the production, even though it's fairly compressed - Seem to recall Foro said it gives him a headache. But what the heck. I'm young. I'm used to heavy dynamic compression (not saying it's better - Just that I'm used to it), considering how heavily compressed everything's become since the early 90's.


Rant: The Judas Priest Remasters are awful though. Terrible. They managed to fuck up one of the best sounding albums ever (British Steel). Ruined the guitar sound and EQed them to hell. I listen to the original instead. Much, much better.

Edit: Not to mention, they swapped the channels by accident. Tipton was pretty damn furious about it.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Night Prowler said:
IMO: BNW > AMOL&D >> TFF >>>>> DOD

Reply to rant: They sound good to me :innocent:
Listen to the original British Steel pressing and compare (with a good set of headphones or similar so the sound doesn't get colored too much)!

Edit: I mean, they don't sound awful. It's not a demo recorded in a concrete basement- They sound good. But compare it with the original pressings of some albums and you'll see the originals are way, way better. It's how they were originally intended to sound like, mixed by the guy that produced and engineered them (thinking of Tom Allom). Then this other guys comes along and fucks them up. That's my opinion of course.

Edit 2: Listen to Grinder, original and remixed/remastered. The guitars sound dull in comparison on the remastered. Less bright and less clarity. The remastered guitars are fuller. Not sure why... Listening and thinking the double tracked guitars may be louder in the mix and that's why, and slightly more reverberant?
 
Top