General Album Ratings

Great post Private Benjamin Breeg! I intend to make a start of some ratings myself in the next couple of days, and I hope you wouldn't mind if I used the lettered grading system you used?
Okay I can only rate the albums I have, so:

Iron Maiden (1980): Good first album but Prowler is probably my least favorite maiden song. Probably because I woke up to it at 6am every day for a while and it just got annoying. There are some really good ones like Sanctuary, Phantom of the Opera, and Remember Tomorrow, however I'm not a big fan of Iron Maiden or Running Free. My favorites have to be Remember Tomorrow and Strange World (but only the soundhouse tapes version).

Killers (1981): Although most of the songs are leftovers from Iron Maiden, I like this album much better. I appreciate the production, and I think it does Di'Anno justice unlike the first album. How can you argue with songs like Ides of March, Wrathchild, Killers, Prodigal Son, Purgatory, and Twilight Zone? Di'Anno is my favorite Maiden singer and this is my favriote album by him (however ironically, my favorite Maiden album was with Dickinson).

Number of the Beast (1982): Although they're good songs, I'm sick of Number of the Beast and Run To The Hills. Rest of the album has some great songs (Total Eclipse, Hallowed, Children, Prisoner, etc.) but to be honest I don't listen to this album much. Invaders and Gangland are often skipped.

Piece of Mind (1983): Great follow up to NOTB, and I find myself listening to it more often anyway. Revelations... what can I say, it's a great song with one of Bruce's best performances and great lyrics. Flight of Icarus... I can remember getting lost in this song on long car rides as a kid, I would imagine Icarus standing on a hill with the sun reflecting in his eyes with a crowd below him as he shouts "In the name of God my father I'll fly!" Still love that song. Not a huge fan of The Trooper, Sun and Steel or Die With Your Boots On, but Still Life and To Tame a Land are some of their best songs.

Powerslave (1984): Not a big fan of Aces High but I like the album as a whole. 2 Minutes To Midnight is a classic, Back in the Village is a great song, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner is probably their best epic (which BTW was great to hear again on the SBIT tour). Powerslave is IMO one of their least distinctive title tracks but still a classic nonetheless.

Brave New World (2000): A great comeback album for Bruce with mostly fantastic songs and a few bores. Nomad has a powerful intro (as does Dream of Mirrors), which leads to a brilliant chorus and some tasteful solos. Dream of Mirrors has some great Bruce moments despite some repetitiveness. I was obsessed with Wicker Man for a while but it's worn out a little for me now. Nonetheless it's a great song to get into the album with. Blood Brothers and the title track are epics (a taste of what's to come on the next two albums) but are unfortunately pretty bland IMO. I get that they are supposed to be epics, but I don't believe it when listening to them. Ghost of the Navigator is probably the strongest track off the album mainly because it tells a story and you can hear it in the lyrics as well as the music. The music matches the lyrics as the story is told (which is not what I feel in Brave New World or Blood Brothers). Out of the Silent Planet is repetitive but the verses and solos make up for it. Thin Line is a strange song that I like but don't love. Great Bruce vocals in that one. Mercenary and Fallen Angel are nothing special and awful repetitive.

A Matter of life and Death (2006): My favorite Maiden album (which I confirmed as I mowed the lawn today listening to it). This album is an example of everything that's right with the new lineup. Janick actually has some great solos that can stand next to Dave's and Adrian's (and do quite well). It's probably the most consistent album too. This is the real proof that Maiden are legends; that they can still write such a brilliant album with melodies that match the lyrics perfectly with nothing sounding familiar or rehashed at this age. I honestly feel that pound for pound, this is as good as, if not better than, Number of the Beast. Sure, NOTB has classics that are catchy and every song is very unique, but I much prefer an album like AMOLAD that has more substance and songs that you can really get lost in. This album is so good, I have to go song by song:

Different World: "Ayee!" Initially my favorite song because it was the shortest and easiest to get into, and it was the hardest rocker. I still like it though, but now more for Adrian's solo and the power in the guitar riffs and chorus singing.

These Colours Don't Run: I forgot how great this song was. Gotta love how Bruce belts out that chorus. Plus, the solos are beautiful and fit the song perfectly (actually every solo on this album fits it's respective song extremely well).

Brighter Than A Thousand Suns: One of the best off the album, probably the only I would call a classic though. Love the lyrics, love the guitars, love the drums, it's all great. This song shows the power that comes through the excellent production. Two mind blowing solos. Gotta love this song.

The Pilgrim: I would have to pick this as the album's weakest track which just goes to show how good the album is because this song still has a beautiful instrumental break with a strangely Middle Eastern vibe.

The Longest Day: I would say this is the defining song of the album, and no doubt my pick as the best epic on the album. I love the foreboding intro; you can almost hear the swishing water as the boat approaches the enemy shore and the half-spoken lyrics became instant classics for me. Then the chorus has a more fast and flowing quality that makes me think of soldiers charging across no man's land. The first solo was another instant classic for me. The instrumental bit before the second solo is probably the most powerful and memorable part of the song. My only real complaint is that like many other songs on the album, it ends with the intro riff.

If you haven't already seen this video, watch it because I think it illustrates my point very well:


Out Of The Shadows: Nicko said he thought this song turned out to be the hidden gem of the album and I'm inclined to agree. This song is very unique within the album because it breaks apart from the subject of war to discuss birth and death. I think this song is the most effective at creating a mood that fits the lyrics. The first verse discusses birth, "Who will be born today; a gypsy child at daybreak, a king for a day" and the second verse death, "Eyes are closed and death is calling, reaching out its hand". I particularly like the last line before the second chorus, "Call upon the starlight to surround you" because the way Bruce sings it and the music behind him make you feel like you're heading for a light at the end of a tunnel and the light surrounds you as you make your way out. I do wonder though if this is referring to birth (heading for the light which represents the world) or death (heading for the "light at the end of the tunnel" that represents the afterlife). Not necessarily my favorite song but definitely a great one.

The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg: No doubt another great track off this album. Some complain the intro is too long but I think that's absurd. Maiden views their songs as art, and to complain that Shakespeare's books were too long means you didn't understand them because there is a reason Shakespeare's books are as long as they are much like there's a reason this song has a long intro. That rant aside, I think this song most effectively uses the drawn out intro technique that is used healthily on this album. I also like how it kicks right into that powerful riff (one of the best riffs on the album IMO) after the intro.

For The Greater Good Of God: For some reason, this one tends sound Powerslave-y to me. Great solos, a powerful verse riff and some interesting instrumental bits make this a standout for me.

Lord of Light: One of the better tracks on the album IMO. Once you're past the intro, it sounds much like classic Maiden. The riff after the intro reminds me of Prowler, the breakdown after the second chorus reminds me of Revelations and of course there's the galloping bass behind it. Plus this song has some classic lines; "Free your soul and let it fly" and "Fire breathing lead the way, Lucifer was just an angel led astray". Not to mention the hard driving part that starts with "We are cast out by our bloody fathers hand". Great song.

The Legacy: Along with Breeg this has one of the best exaggerated intros with awesome lyrics. Then there's the very epic electric guitar part that breaks up the acoustic intro once or twice. I like the chorus too, it's got a great hook. Then there's the twist about halfway through before the solo that's reminiscent of a part of Dance Of Death. I didn't know Janick had such songwriting talent.

"Some strange yellow gas
Has played with their minds,
Has reddened their eyes,
Removed all the lies."
IRON MAIDEN : One of the best debut albums in history. I like the sound of the album and it has one of my favorite Maiden songs : Phantom of the Opera. I like Transylvania and Prowler too. - 6/10

1. Phantom of the Opera
2. Transylvania
3. Prowler

KILLERS : Another album that have “old school” Iron Maiden sound. Great album. Has 2 good instrumentals, and 3 amazing songs. 7/10

1. Killers
2. Wrathchild
3. Murders in the Rue Morgue

THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST : A heavy metal classic. An album that changed the world and its music. That album cemeted Iron Maiden as one of the best Heavy Metal bands in the world. So it’s really great. But I like fast, catchy Iron Maiden songs. This album is a heavy album and difficult to find a fast and catchy song. 8/10

1. Hallowed Be Thy Name
2. Children of the Damned
3. Run to the Hills

PIECE OF MIND : I think Piece of Mind is the peak of Iron Maiden’s guitar sound. Has a heavy metal classic (The Trooper), one of the most underrated songs in Maiden history (Still Life) and two badass songs (Revelations, Flight of Icarus). That album deserves a 9. 9/10

1. The Trooper
2. Still Life
3. Revelations

POWERSLAVE : Now we came to my favorite. That Egyptian thing is a thing that came from heaven. Has my favorite Iron Maiden song (Rime of the Ancient Mariner), has my 4th favorite Iron Maiden song (Aces High) and 2 songs that in top 15 of my Iron Maiden Song List. (Powerslave, 2 Minutes to Midnight). These songs are classics. I like Flash of the Blade’s pull off intro and the instrumental Losfer Words. The Duellists is an underrated song too. My favorite album in all Heavy Metal world. 10/10

1. Rime of the Ancient Mariner
2. Aces High
3. Powerslave

SOMEWHERE IN TIME : The album that the classic Iron Maiden sound changed. But whatever, it’s my second favorite Iron Maiden album. Has incredible melodies. Look at Deja Vu, Alexander the Great. A song that maybe turn people to listen Heavy Metal (Wasted Years) and a lot of great songs. I will give a 9. This can’t reach the Powerslave level.

1. Alexander the Great
2. Wasted Years
3. Deja Vu

SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON : I’m sorry guys, but I think that album is overrated. It’s badass yeah, but not one of the best albums of Maiden I think. I like Only the Good Die Young, The Prophecy’s outro, The Clairvoyant and the title song. But that’s not works for me. Sorry. 7/10

1. The Clairvoyant
2. Only the Good Die Young
3. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING : Adrian Smith ran away from band because of changing sound. He was right. No Prayer for the Dying is a disaster. That’s the only album that haven’t got any songs that exceed the 6 minute. That explains many things. Bruce’s words for this album “Dream Theater’s demos are better than this crap”. Yeah. 5/10

1. Mother Russia (only the good song of this album I think)
2. Bring Your the Slaughter
3. No Prayer for the Dying

FEAR OF THE DARK : Last album before the seperation. Has 2 of my favorite songs (title song and Afraid to Shoot Strangers) an average song (Be Quick or Be Dead) but others are crap. 6/10

1. Fear of the Dark
2. Afraid to Shoot Strangers
3. Be Quick or Be Dead

THE X FACTOR : Underrated. Yeah that features Blaze Bayley, yeah we miss Bruce but thats really good. Sign of the Cross is an amazing song. Fortunes of War, 2 A.M. etc. They’re good. Better than Fear of the Dark. Same level as Killers.

1. Sign of the Cross
2. 2 A.M.
3. Fortunes of War

VIRTUAL XI : So many people thinks that’s the worst. Me to. 4/10

1. Como Estais Amigos
2. The Clansman
3. Futureal

BRAVE NEW WORLD : Yeah that’s a new world. Bruce and Adrian came back. Janick is still here. Has the best cover of the Iron Maiden history. But we talking about musical elements. Blood Brothers, Ghost of the Navigator and Brave New World are really good. 7/10

1. Blood Brothers
2. Ghost of the Navigator
3. Brave New World

DANCE OF DEATH : Better than Brave New World but not a classic. Dance of Death and Paschendale are classics. Rainmaker is amazing. 7,5/10

1. Dance of Death
2. Paschendale
3. Rainmaker

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH : Best Iron Maiden album in the 21st Century. For the Greater Good of God, The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and The Legacy is amazing. Others are good. 8/10

1. For the Greater Good of God
2. The Legacy
3. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg

Sorry for my English. I’m 14 years old an English is not my first language.
maidenhead1996 said:
NO PRAYER FOR THE DYING : Adrian Smith ran away from band because of changing sound. He was right. No Prayer for the Dying is a disaster. That’s the only album that haven’t got any songs that exceed the 6 minute. That explains many things. Bruce’s words for this album “Dream Theater’s demos are better than this crap”. Yeah. 5/10


"With Janick in the league Maiden was flooded with energy and enthusiasm. Bruce says; "There were several ways the band could have gone at that point but as it turned out, the next one "No prayer for the dying" was a huge backward-step, I thought." The idea was to make a low key, very street sounding, album, but the production - it was recorded with a mobile studio in their rehearsal room - was just not right."

"When it came to making a new album in 1992 Bruce was thrusted by the fact that Dream Theater's demos sounded infinitely better than "No prayer..." and determined to make sure the over all sound of the album would be given a good treat"
IRON MAIDEN: A top three Maiden album, but I really wish they hadn't put Sanctuary on the reissue, one of the weakest Maiden songs.  I actually like the production on here more than on Killers, and Prowler and Phantom of the Opera are the two best Di'Anno era songs.
KILLERS: Weaker than the debut, Another Life, Innocent Exile, and Prodigal Son especially are fairly weak songs.  Purgatory, Killers, Murders, and Wrathchild are among the best Di'Anno songs though.
# OF THE BEAST: A little overrated, Invaders is the worst Maiden opener besides Wildest Dreams, and Run to the Hills is a contender for least favorite Maiden song.  All the other songs, including Gangland, are good, with Hallowed and The Prisoner as the standouts.
PIECE OF MIND: One of the best, has my favorite Maiden song, Still Life on it, and Where Eagles Dare, The Trooper, Sun and Steel, and To Tame a Land are excellent.  Could never really get into Quest for Fire, and Revelations and Icarus are better live.
POWERSLAVE: Overrated.  I only really like 4 songs, and 2 Minutes to Midnight is not one of them.  Aces High, Back in the Village, Powerslave, and Mariner are all good to great.  Flash of the Blade is pretty good, the other three are subpar.
SOMEWHERE IN TIME: Second best behind BNW, no mediocre songs except Long Distance Runner.  Sea of Madness and Alexander are in my top 5 maiden songs.
SEVENTH SON: I like every song except Madness, Moonchild is one of the best openers ever.
NO PRAYER: HIGHLY underrated, one of my favorite Maiden albums.  Hooks In You in often hated but its among their best and the only awful song is the Assassin.
FOTD: Some filler, but Be quick, Afraid TSS, Fear is the Key, Childhoods End, Wasting Love, Judas, and the title track are all great.
THE X FACTOR: Awesome.  Edge of Darkness and The Aftermath are two of my favorite maiden songs.
VIRTUAL XI: Weaker, but Stranger and When Two Worlds are the only songs i really dislike.  Lightning is awesome.
BRAVE NEW WORLD: BEST MAIDEN ALBUM EVER!!!  No bad songs, and The Wicker Man is the best opener for a maiden album ever.
DANCE OF DEATH: Horrible production, too many bad songs.  Face in the Sand, Paschendale, and Rainmaker are the only songs that can stand up to the Maiden of old.
AMOLAD: Top five for sure.  For the Greater Good of God is second only to Still Life as far as Maiden songs go, and Out of the Shadows is the only bad song.
Iron Maiden — It’s like drinking with your high school buddies – the ones you still like –  25 years later. You know you’ve all grown so much, but damn it feels good to reminisce, share a few laughs and appreciate your roots. This wasn’t my intro to Maiden. Bought it four years after it came out and it took me a long time to get past the rough sound. But the songs are consistently good and the edge and the energy might be the best of any Maiden disc.

Killers — Better produced, not as well-written. A dark horse, but I can still happily run it through the player start to finish.

Number of the Beast — Exquisite. Never got into Gangland much, but the rest of the tracks are stellar. Edgy, dark, energetic, well-written and varied. A coming-of-age, and one of the best albums by anyone, ever.

Piece of Mind — Probably my favourite album ever. I still remember my 15-year-old anticipation during the ride home from the record store reading the liner notes in my grandmother’s car, and the pure ecstasy of the first listen. Superb, top to bottom. The consensus weak tracks QFF and S&S would be singles for most bands. Still sounds as good today.

Powerslave — No one has every opened a record (or a tour) with a one-two punch like Aces High and 2 Minutes. The closers were nearly as good and the stuff in the middle ain’t bad at all. Third classic in a row.

Somewhere in Time — This is my secret Santa. I think it’s because I love Sea of Madness, Loneliness and Déjà vu, and they’re meh tracks for many other Maidenites. I love the futuristic sound. (And it has the best cover art ever).

Seventh Son — This is where I gotta leave the pack for a moment. It’s good, and the singles were great. But the concept album thing didn’t quite hit the mark, the song Seventh Son doesn’t stack up to some of the band’s other epics and Moonchild is one of my least favourite Maiden tracks. Excellent, but overrated.

No Prayer For the Dying — Love Tailgunner, love Prayer, but there’s not much else to get excited about. The singles don’t match the singles that came before, the epic is just OK by Maiden standards and the rest are kinda forgettable. Easily the band’s worst effort.

Fear of the Dark — I liked this one better when it was new, probably because it has more top-end songs than Prayer and that’s what I craved at the time. But distance has reinforced the fact this is the band’s most disjointed album. There’s too much of a gap between the good stuff and the filler (gasp — in a Maiden album!) and no real flow.

The X-Factor — No album has gained more points over time for me than this one. When it came out I was in a place where dark, angry music did nothing for me. Add in my initial disappointment in Blaze and I refused to buy it for years. Once I gave it some time though, it became clear it is a masterpiece — Harris channeling his anger and alienation into a real work of art. I get why some don’t like it. It’s not typical Maiden. But it is an outstanding piece of work.

Virtual XI — I have a soft spot for VXI, maybe because it got me back into Maiden after five years of not caring, maybe just because it’s not as bad as everyone seems to say. It’s certainly not among their best, but it sounds like Maiden again, even without Bruce singing. Clansman is on my all-time list, Futureal a great opener and Educated Fool a hidden gem.

Brave New World — As good as anything they’ve ever done. Not a weak track anywhere. Bruce was missed, but the songwriting depth and variety says H may have been missed even more.

Dance of Death — The only thing wrong with this album is it’s not quite as good as what came immediately before or immediately after. It is a great disc.

A Matter of Life and Death — I cannot think of a band other than Maiden that can claim their 14th album, 25 years into their career is their best. AMOLAD might not be that album, but it could be. It shows they’re still challenging themselves to creat interesting, different music. My only complaint is the abundance of epics bogs the album pacing down a little, but that’s a weak criticism. The songs are so f-ing good.

Final Frontier — Two for two and we haven’t heard the epics yet. Can’t wait.
Ah, I see this one also moved to a different subforum. It indeed fits better here. I still need to continue with it, and hope some others will join / continue as well. One of the best topics of the forum imho.
Iron Maiden- Bad production, mediocre vocals , almost all the songs are classics. 10/10

Killers- more agressive, much better production and vocals, slightly inferior songs. 10/10

The Number of the Beast- a landmark for heavy metal. 10/10

Piece of Mind- The best, in terms of quality, IM album. I agree with Dickinson on that. Terrific production Also my first IM album :wub: 10/10

Powerslave- the heaviest IM album. Another classic 10/10

Somewhere in time- Underated at the time of its release. 10/10

Seventh Son of a Seventh son-Maybe the second best IM album .Again underated at the time of its release 10/10

No Prayer for the dying- Horrible silly rock songs coupled with a few decent ones. Bad production and Smith's rythym guitar is missing (something that was apparent in all non-Smith albums). Dickinson sings laughably. 5/10 (just for entertainment factor)

Fear of the Dark- Horrible attempt at immitating "the black album " from Metallica, not musically but in terms of presentation. Extremely boring, bad vocals and...where are you Adrian Smith ?? 4/10 (only for the title track)

The X-factor-Much better than the previous 2 albums, tries to make a point and the silliness is gone......but unbelievably bad production (paper thin sound) buries the album which has some very heavy and dark songs that loose their punch due to the sound problems. Blaze is not a good singer , IMO(nowhere not in Wolfsbane, not in Maiden , not in his solo stuff ) and sounds like a horrible choice in epic stuff like TSOTC. 6/10

Virual XI-Oh my...the silliness of NPFTD and FOTD least in one song that happens to be 11 minutes long and ruins the entire album. Again the production is unbelievably bad. 5/10

Brave New World-Great comeback album with Maiden they should. it should have had a production that emphsizes more on the heaviness of the music. 9/10

Dance of Death- some classic tunes but the production is a bit muddy . 8/10

A Matter of Life and Death-Amazing album approaches the greatness of the eighties' albums and brings back the darkness of some of Maiden's most classic moments. 9 and a half /10

The Final Frontier- They finally made an equal to the eighties masterpieces.Huge album with lots of variety and filled with amazing songs. 10/10
It's a Great Album but The Overall Raw sound of the Album I kind of Dislike.
Top 3: (BEST)Phantom of the Opera, Strange World, Prowler
Bottom 3: Charlotte the Harlot, Remember Tomorrow, Running Free (worst)
Most Underrated : Strange World
Top 15 albums: #12
Score: 7.7

This is the Album that Developed that Classic Maiden Sound for the next few albums 1981-1984, Its Great, Paul Does a Good Job, Adrian and Dave own together and It has some really good Underrated Songs
Top 3: Killers, Drifters, Wrathchild
Bottom 3: Genghis Khan, Ideas of March, Twilight Zone
1 Underrated: Drifters or Innocent Exile
Top 15 list: #9
Score: 8.2

This Album is Great, I think its a Bit Overated, but yet again it Did Pave the Way for Iron Maiden
Top 3: Prisoner, Hallowed Be thy Name, 22 Acacia Avenue
Bottom 3: Children of the Damned, Invaders, Gangland
Underrated: I cant say there really is one but If I had to Pick 1 It Would Be 22 Acacia Avenue
Top 15: #10
Score: 8.1

Such a Good Album, Has a ton of Classics, Easily One of My favorites
Top 3: Still Life, Revelations, Where Eagles Dare
Bottom 3: Flight of Icarus, Sun and Steel, Quest for Fire
Underrated: Still Life, But Sun and Steel is also Underated
Top 15: #4
Score: 9.1

Overall it's really good, but it does have a couple Fillers.
Top 3: Rime of the... , Powerslave, 11:58PM
Bottom 3: Losfer Words, Duelists, Flash of the Blade
Underrated: Back in the Village
Top 15: #8
Score: 8.5

Easily IMO This is Maiden at their best, The synthesizers complete the Album and It has the best Guitar Work Out of any of the Others, Every song is a 9 or Greater
Top 3: Alexander the Great, Heaven Can Wait, Caught Somewhere in Time
Bottom 3: Deja Vu, Wasted Years, Sea of Madness
Underrated: Deja Vu, But Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is Too.
Top 15: #1
Score 9.8

Great Album, I think its really Good, the Keyboards are Amazing
Top 3: Moonchild, Clairvoyant, Title Track
Bottom 3: Only the Good Die young, Can i Play with...., Prophecy
Underrated: Only the Good Die young
Top 15: #3
Score 9.5

I Wonder Sometimes what Iron Maiden Was thinking, It does have some Worthy Tracks, but it also has some bad Ones.
Top 3: Bring Your Daughter..., Assassin, Public Enema #1
Bottom 3: Holy Smoke, Fates Warning, Hooks in You
Underrated: Run Silent Run Deep
Top 15: #13
Score: 7.5

Another Decent Album, Does have some Good Tracks, and Some Bad Ones, or Fillers
Top 3: Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Fear of the Dark, From Here to Eternity
Bottom 3: Fugitive, Apparition, Weekend Warrior
Underrated: Fear is the Key
Top 15: #14
Score: 7.2

The Blaze Albums, I Actually Like this Album, It Has Some Good Songs on it. and Some Bad Ones.
Top 3: Sign of the Cross, Unbeliever, Fortunes of War
Bottom 3: Judgement of Heaven, Look for the Truth, 2 AM
Underrated: Unbeliever.
Top 15: #11
Score. 8.0

It has 3 Good Tracks, 2 Decent and 3 terrible
Top 3: Clansman, Educated Fool, Futureal
Bottom 3: Angel and The Gambler, Como Estais Amigo's, DLttEoaS
Underrated: Educated Fool
Top 15: #15
Score. 7.0

The Comeback album, This is Awesome, But its My least favorite out of the 2000-? Era albums
Top 3: Blood Brothers, Out of the Silent Planet, Brave New World
Bottom 3: Fallen Angel, Dream of Mirrors, Mercenary
Underrated: Nomad, so is Out of the Silent Planet
Top 15: #7
Score: 8.7

Good Album, cover art is Odd.
Top 3: Pashcendale, Dance of Death, No more lies
Bottom 3, Montsegur, Wildest Dreams, Gates of Tomorrow
Underrated: I have to choose 2 on this one, New Frontier, and Face in the Sand
Top 15: #6
Score: 8.9

A Entirely War based album, except 1. Cool artwork, One of the Best albums.
Top 3: Legacy, For the Greater Good of God, Brighter Than 1000 suns
Bottom 3: pilgrim, Different World, Out of the Shadows
Underrated: Lord of Light
Top 15: #5
Score: 9.0

Great Album, I cant get Enough of It
Top 3: When the Wild Wind Blows, Isle of Avalon, Talisman
Bottom 3: Starblind, Coming Home, Final Frontier
Underrated: Alchemist
Top 15: #2
Score 9.7
It's been five years since I did the previous album (page 3) :)
I'll continue now with Virtual XI. People who know me will see there's not much new (if anything) but I felt that TXF shouldn't be the last one to do.

Virtual XI

According to Blaze's biography Maiden waited long with recording this album and when it finally happened they didn't take much time. He felt it was done in a rush.

Maybe this is why the songs don't contain as many details as in other songs. Big disappointment is Nicko. Nicko's drums are the dullest from all the records (he touches his toms 4 or 5 times on the whole album). I remember he said in an interview that he did that on purpose to give the music more room. But it didn't make the music more attractive. People have made some funny comments about it: Steve Harris had done the drums himself. ;-)
Nonsense of course, but when I was in Stockholm I actually saw an album by an artist called Steve Harris and he was the drummer!
Speaking of drums, Nicko's Muppet drums in the fast part of the instrumental section in Don't Look to Eyes of a Stranger are unforgivable.

Another critic of the time was that the album sounded like a demo, and not even one that was recorded well. In the album review I read the album's sound was compared with Helloween's Better Than Raw album, and it was trashed. I don't have much of a problem with the production sound. It's a warm sound, especially the rhythm guitars are roaring nicely from the speakers (or headphones).

I feel that there is a number of unoriginal moments on the album. A bit too easily Maiden fell back on things they did before. This happened on most of the later records as well but this was the start of it.

Remarkably this album only features one song by Janick Gers. Perhaps he had a writing block of some sort, but looking at his impact on the previous records (especially The X-Factor), I feel that the album might have suffered from the lack of his input. Thank God his playing was not blocked: He did one of his best guitar solos on The Clansman.

Virtual XI also contains some spellbinding moments. Take for instance the intros of Lightning Strikes Twice and The Educated Fool!

In 1998 Blaze looked comfortable in his role as frontman and the band was on fire. Apart from the chorus of Lightning, the rest of the VXI-material went down very well.

I can enjoy the album (a few years back I gave a 7,4 for it!) but I simply do not find it as striking as most other stuff Maiden has done.
Okay, here's my thoughts on every album!

Iron Maiden

This album is a true classic in my eyes. With only one stinker (Charlotte The Harlot) and seven amazing ones, this is certainly a great album. By the way, the "bad" production only makes this album better.


Not nearly as bad as everybody says it is. Every song on here is great! And I love the production!

The Number Of The Beast

While certainly great, this one isn't as good as the two albums before it, in my personal opinion. It does include overplayed classic #1 and #2 and the incredible Hallowed Be Thy Name, yes but there's also two stinkers instead of just one stinker on the album. So, all in all, there's three amazing ones on here and six great ones.

Okay, I'll stop here for now. Continuing...later!
Why not?

Iron Maiden:

A very good album to start off their tenured career that flows very nicely and covers a decent range of emotions and topics, even if some of them are pretty outlandish for Maiden nowadays. No bad songs on the album also assists in making this a strong album. B+

Outstanding songs: Phantom Of The Opera
Great songs: Remember Tomorrow
Solid songs: Prowler, Sanctuary, Transylvania, Strange World,
OK songs: Running Free, Charlotte The Harlot, Iron Maiden
Bad songs: N/A


Not as strong as the debut, but still a decent album on the whole. The music sounds more refined in this album, but in a way, that works against it as it attempts to achieve a happy medium of polished production and punk overtones. Unlike the debut, there's no POTO to really sell this album, but there's still things on this album worth listening to, even if it means drifting (haha) through some forgettable songs to get there. B-

Outstanding songs: N/A
Great songs: Wrathchild, Killers, Purgatory
Solid songs: Murders In The Rue Morgue, Genghis Khan, Prodigal Son
OK songs: Another Life, Innocent Exile, Twilight Zone, Drifter
Bad songs: The Ides Of March

The Number Of The Beast:

Definitely Maiden's most influential album to date, but not quite the best. That said, Bruce gets his debut off to an excellent start with his vocal performances in various songs, and numerous memorable tracks scattered across the album. It's certainly deserving of a lot of its praise, but not quite deserving of being placed over some other albums as Maiden's best work. A-

Outstanding songs: Hallowed Be Thy Name
Great songs: Children Of The Damned, The Number Of The Beast, Run To The Hills
Solid songs: The Prisoner, 22 Acacia Avenue
OK songs: Invaders, Gangland
Bad songs: Total Eclipse

Piece Of Mind:

Truth be told, I find this album to be pretty overrated. That's not to say it's a bad album, but I'm not particularly fond of the song order on the album, and I'm also not a fan of the production on a few songs. That being said, before the second half of the album, it really does an exceptional job of drawing the listener into the album, but after Still Life, the momentum is hurled off a cliff with two poor songs, and To Tame A Land can't really garner the momentum back. Despite its flaws though, it is another solid Maiden album. B

Outstanding songs: Revelations, The Trooper
Great songs: Flight Of Icarus
Solid songs: Where Eagles Dare, Die With Your Boots On, Still Life, To Tame A Land
OK songs: N/A
Bad songs: Quest For Fire, Sun And Steel


In my eyes, the greatest album of all-time. This is really where Iron Maiden hit their musical peak and continued to ride it throughout the 80's. The song order is perfect, the production is top notch, the songs are memorable and atmospheric; it's a masterpiece. A**

Outstanding songs: Aces High, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Powerslave, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Great songs: Flash Of The Blade, The Duellists
Solid songs: Losfer Words, Back In The Village
OK songs: N/A
Bad songs: N/A

I'll continue later on.
OK then (will anybody read this?)…

Iron Maiden A great collection of songs (some even written by Iron Maiden members themselves!), powerful, driven performances, and a raw, cutting sound. The only thing that stops this from being a great album for me though is that the songs, mostly great in themselves, don’t hold together as an album. It’s a bits-and-pieces collection of songs. This was made worse with the ’98 issue putting Sanctuary in at the front. I think this is a problem of putting together 8 (or 9) songs that were written (by various incarnations of the band) over 4 years. It’s also, for me, the problem with the production. I love the sound of the album, but there’s something missing in terms of flow and cohesion. 7/10.

Now, this is a coherent album. Every song is right up there, and the album flows from start to finish. It has it’s own vibe. I think Martin Birch added more than a deeper, fuller sound. He could coax performances where every musician was consistently at their best across an album. And, of course, H! His licks and rhythm playing tie the songs together and his solos dovetail seamlessly with Dave’s. I also think Martin Birch got the last great performance out of Paul Di’Anno’s recording career. For me, no singer could have done better on this album. 9.5/10.

The Number of the Beast This is the first of the run of ‘80s albums where the band started with no material, were on a tight schedule, but were on fire. The peaks, Hallowed, Beast, Children of the Damned, Run to the Hills, are at the peak of all metal music, ever. But for the first time, there are troughs. Invaders sounds rushed, and Ganglands, which I think’s OK, is missing the complexity or interest of other songs. 8.5/10.

Piece of Mind Wow, has any album ever hit the ground so hard and kept it going for so long? The first six tracks here are awesome. The last two are pretty good too. Quest for Fire is an embarrassment though. Other than that one song, this album has a great, heavy sound, awesome performances and classic songwriting. 9/10

Powerslave I love the sound of this album. It’s crisp and clear, the performances are out of this world. Nicko’s finest in my opinion. But the songwriting suffers from being either killer or filler. Aces High and 2 Minutes are the best one-two on a Maiden album, Flash and Back in the Village are decent, Powerslave and Rime are the best two album closers in the canon. The Duellists is musically unimaginative and drags on, and Losfer is, to me, a lazy, pointless instrumental. 7.5/10

Somewhere In Time Another album of killer and filler. The peaks are right up there (CSIT, Wasted, Sea, Stranger, Alex), but the rest sounds tired. I don’t think I’ve listened to Loneliness or Déjà vu all the way through for 20 years. Great guitar work throughout though, and a distinctive sound and vibe. 7.5/10

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son As a start-to-finish work of art, this is the album. A great set of songs, but this is best enjoyed in one sitting, from front-to-back. Outstanding performances, great songwriting, a coherent work. My favourite Maiden album and one I have been listening to at least once a month since it was released. 10/10

No Prayer for the Dying A mistake. A deliberate look backwards but with a lazy rockstar attitude. The sound of a band that’s not trying any more, and one that’s missing a key member. 4/10

Fear of the Dark Still looking backwards, but this time at their ‘80s peak. And then failing to match it on every count. It sounded lost and irrelevant at the time, and sounds worse today. Their nadir. 3/10

The X Factor A darkly fresh start in every way. A brooding, complex album with great highlights (Sign of the Cross) matched by a beautifully dark tenor performance from Blaze. The most coherent album since Seventh Son, let down, for me, by a lack of interest and hooks in the second half of the album, and the uncomplimentary nature of Dave and Janick’s guitars. 6/10

Virtual XI I like this album! Blaze sounds comfortable, the band sound more free, and the whole thing is looser than before. There’s still lots missing though, not least the songwriting skills of H and Bruce. And drum fills. 6.5/10

Brave New World The boys are back! H adds a richness and depth to the sound, and what a sound it is! The new, mature Maiden have found their 21st Century Birch, and the Caveman gets a sound that is huge, and crunchy and clear and full at the same time. Bruce’s vocals have a mature tone that suits the storytelling perfectly. I think, though, this is another “collection of songs” album, and it is, in parts, a little too noodley. More than decent though. 7/10

Dance of Death A real up-and-down album. The highs (Paschendale, Montsegur) would grace any Maiden set across the years, the lows (New Frontier, Age of Innocence, etc) are dull and unimaginative. The performances are, again, superb throughout and I like the dry, crunchy sound. 7/10

A Matter of Life and Death There we go. This is the sound of a band of mature musicians who know each other’s playing inside out. No outside influences, no chasing chart places or single sales, just doing exactly what they want. An album to lose yourself inside and one, like Seventh Son, that I can see myself still playing in 20 years’ time. 9.5/10

The Final Frontier This album takes the looseness of Virtual XI and marries it with the songwriting maturity, musical performances, vocals and production of the reunion years. A lovely, rich album that demands the listener’s concentration. Full of risks, from the Satellite 15… intro to Isle of Avalon’s prog and the epic closer. El Dorado, Coming Home and The Talisman are songs I’d love to hear them play again. 8.5/10

For what it’s worth, I’d say Killers – Seventh Son – AMOLAD are the holy trinity of Maiden albums. One early, one mid and one late Maiden classic. Each sound different enough to almost be a different band, and together they mark Maiden’s career perfectly.
From best to worst....

1. Piece of Mind 10/10
2. Number of the Beast 10/10
3. The X Factor 10/10
4. SSOASS 10/10
5. Iron Maiden 10/10
6. AMOLAD 9/10
7. The Final Frontier 9/10
8. Dance of Death 9/10
9. SIT 9/10
10. Killers 9/10
11. Powerslave 9/10
12. Virtual X1 9/10
13. BNW 8/10
14. NPFTD 6/10
15. FOTD 5/10
I'll use @Liveone order:

1) Piece of Mind 8/10
2) Number of the Bead 7/10
3) The X Factor 8/10
4) SSOASS 8/10
5) Iron Maiden 6/10
6) AMOLAD 9/10
7) The Final Frontier 9/10
8) Dance of Death 8/10
9) SIT 8/10
10) Killers 3/10
11) Powerslave 7/10
12) Virtual XI 7/10
13) BNW 8/10
14) NPFTD 8/10
15) FOTD 7/10