Hell On Earth

MindlessPieces

Educated Fool
I've been watching this guy's reviews of Maiden for quite a while now.
He has perfect pitch and appears to have a great grasp of music theory.
He calls out that most Maiden is in Em and uses the same four chord progression.

I find it quite amazing to watch him, he plays piano along with listening to the song for the first time, goes straight to the right chords, straight to the right notes of the melody. I'd love to be able to do that.

He's not a fan of metal, doesn't like powerchords, but strangely he adores Metallica. (not necessarily a band he frequently listens to, just I never hear him criticise them at all)
Anyway, I always look forward to his reviews of Maiden. I think he is coming around to them (now that he has got the EM and four chords off his chest).
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Steve hits a double homer! Is that a thing? I don't know, I don't care. This song slays.

Sure, it has the same problems as lots of modern Maiden, but it is such a powerful tune and a great album closer. Steve just layers great melody after great melody and the band fires along on all cylinders. The chorus melody might be one of the best he's ever written. Maybe the best? Bruce slaughters every vocal from beginning to end, even when he sounds strained (and even when the guitars are constantly in his fucking frequency - just shut up Janick already!!!). It doesn't even matter, though, as the song is simply too good.

The dynamic shift during the Celtic middle section is wonderful, especially with the godly fury that Bruce brings to those final lines. I do wish the stacked, endless intros were a bit more diverse in terms of production and dynamics. It would make the song more powerful. This might be the only time where I enjoy a full song fade out, even if the ending would've been better as a full band fade with more power behind it.

Also: why is Kevin Shirley so absolutely shite at organically mixing lead vocal layers? Every other producer worth half their price can do it better.

Anyway, 10/10
 
At first I liked this song because it remembered me of When the wild wind blows (I can’t grasp why) then it grew on me and now it made me like the album as a whole, this is another instant classic, a beautiful song and another classic album closer.

10/10
 

Mr Stevens

Trooper
An emotional album closer. Great song.

This view may now be a bit redundant now we know that this album likely *wont* be the final album (Bruce revealed that the band were thinking of recording a second album before common sense dictated that they should release the album they already had recorded) however some have commented that this would be a fine song on which to end Maiden's recording career on.

I have to respectibly but thoroughly disagree on that one. Musically, it's quite apt but lyrically not so.

Maiden's career is one of absolute success, a testament to sincerity and integrity, and ultimately a force for overwhelming positivity. So a good song to be the end of such a career would, I feel, need to be cerebral and uplifting, maybe introspective. The Thin Line Between Love And Hate and the Journeyman would be atypical of what I am thinking along the lines of.

Lyrically, you could argue that Harris is somewhat on a debbie downer on this song - and that would not be a befitting way to mark the end of this bands recording career.

Brilliant song, still.
 

TheMercenary

Ancient Mariner
An emotional album closer. Great song.

This view may now be a bit redundant now we know that this album likely *wont* be the final album (Bruce revealed that the band were thinking of recording a second album before common sense dictated that they should release the album they already had recorded) however some have commented that this would be a fine song on which to end Maiden's recording career on.

I have to respectibly but thoroughly disagree on that one. Musically, it's quite apt but lyrically not so.

Maiden's career is one of absolute success, a testament to sincerity and integrity, and ultimately a force for overwhelming positivity. So a good song to be the end of such a career would, I feel, need to be cerebral and uplifting, maybe introspective. The Thin Line Between Love And Hate and the Journeyman would be atypical of what I am thinking along the lines of.

Lyrically, you could argue that Harris is somewhat on a debbie downer on this song - and that would not be a befitting way to mark the end of this bands recording career.

Brilliant song, still.
Totally agree with you. The four perfect songs with which Maiden could end its career could be "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner", "Journeyman", "The Legacy" or "When The Wild Wind Blows". :)

Nevertheless, Maiden is not done yet. Bruce has told to some journalists that this second album could be recorded soon. It means that they already have the songs done or at least some ideas to put together in case of another studio booking and recording... IMHO, the 3rd and last leg of TLOTB tour will be quickly followed by the official 'Senjutsu' tour. And then, in 2023/2024, Maiden will record the now so awaited 18th album. That's really enjoying to know that Maiden will at least have one more album in its discography. :)
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
What a great chorus. Why on earth (‘scuse the pun) didn’t they repeat it?!
+1. One of the all time best choruses of Maiden! A really strange decision by Steve - every other song in the album has a repeated chorus at least twice, but ''Hell On Earth'' not... actually, I think the outro works great for the song (heading calmly to the horizon and you immediately want to hear this emotional song again), but at least one more repetition before it was totally necessary. Btw, the intro is quite long, but it's pure gold imo.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Man, this album is so good that I almost wish it just never end. But all things must come to a close, and Maiden end the album with one final Steve epic, "Hell on Earth". I'm going to start this off by running through a few 'gripes' I have with the song, or rather, things I'd have done differently if I was Steve.

The intro is a bit too long.

The lyrics could've used a bit more time in the oven. There's a lot of awkward phrasing here. "Not to reason why that armed children are in this world." Kind of a clusterfuck, bro. He also dumps a bunch of "why can't we just be friends?" shit on us too. It's an awkward attempt of Steve's to recommend peace for the umpteenth time in his career.

Why do we only get on run of the chorus? It's so good that it should get at least one more spin through!

The momentum of the song screeches to a halt when we break into the instrumental section. Should've just kept flying.

"You dance on the graves who bled for us." Huh, didn't realize graves could bleed. This section feels ham-fisted, like Bruce is being forced to choke out the lines before the timer is up. Then it jumps right into an unrelated section with a way slower place that feels kind of unnatural.

Not having another go at the chorus means that the ending feels premature. And the outro is too long.

There, glad I got that out of the way. Now I'm going to do the exact opposite and talk myself into why this song actually does deserve a perfect score. Because ultimately what gripes I had have worn off to the point where I really just don't care much about them anymore. Because the fact of the matter, which I learn more and more each time I spin this thing, is this: I really love this song.

I love the mournful, building intro. We get five runs of each of section's pieces, and there are two sections to this intro. First we're only greeted with bass and guitar, but two lines in the keys come up to remind us of their presence. Then things switch to an almost wharf like atmosphere, with warships sailing off into the horizons, leaving behind tears on the shore. And what makes the lengthy intro successful is that uncertainty of when the crash will come.

Without any warning whatsoever, Nicko jumps on the motherfucking beat and kicks things into high gear as the guitarists join for a really scorching riff. This leads to the chorus melody, a beautiful piece that makes me want to cry. A great foreshadowing nod from the band. We also get a foreshadowing of the verse melody as well. This whole section is awesome and I love it so much.

Bruce comes in and in spite of the weird lyrics he makes it work. Love the effect on "Prey!" Pre-chorus reminds me almost of "Rainmaker". This part almost doubles as a sort of nostalgic think-over of Maiden's illustrious career. If this is the final song they release, they're making it count.

And my god, when that chorus erupts into the speakers, it's just nothing short of glorious. Best moment on the album? Probably. It's the most passionately emotional and honest lines that Steve has ever written. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Why couldn't we get another go of it later on? Damn you, Steve! You're too good for your own worth!

Lots of momentum and yet we suddenly shift gears into a solo section with Dave and Adrian letting loose before the song dips into a quiet bass-driven interlude. Love the way the guitar rises through here. Bruce's multi-tracked voice is gorgeous. And the explosion into the final "Love in anger, life in danger," section is death-defying. This part of the song hits hard, man. It's like one of the many moments on this album where we enter a world beyond our own, brought to life only through music. Incredible, truly.

The following instrumental section reminds me a lot of "Blood on the World's Hands". Janick comes in with the last solo of the album and just does whatever the fuck he wants. And who's to stop him? I'm enjoying this too much man. An altered reprise of the "Love in anger" lines and then one last beautiful, musical peal and we return to where we started with a mournful, quiet, subdued outro that slowly... fades... to... black....

What a song. If this is where it all has to end, then what a place to bring their career to a close. For all the little nitpicks I may have had, "Hell on Earth" also 100% reminds me of why I love this band in the first place. The scope, the performances. They make me feel things few other bands can. Up the fucking irons, man. I hope to hear them again, whether on Earth or in Heaven. So long as Maiden exists, life is just a little bit brighter and a little more wonderful. That's why I love Iron Maiden, and that's why I love "Hell on Earth". 10/10
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Why do we only get on run of the chorus? It's so good that it should get at least one more spin through!

The momentum of the song screeches to a halt when we break into the instrumental section. Should've just kept flying.

"You dance on the graves who bled for us"... This section feels ham-fisted, like Bruce is being forced to choke out the lines before the timer is up. Then it jumps right into an unrelated section with a way slower place that feels kind of unnatural.

Not having another go at the chorus means that the ending feels premature. And the outro is too long.
Spot on about the chorus. Even the part ''Love in anger, Life in danger'' is repeated twice, which can be viewed as an additional chorus, I suppose. The song is very ''rich'' and interesting, but I will always wonder why Steve has made such a decision.

I really like all the tempo changes throughout the song and I think the instrumental section is brilliant. The start of Davey's solo is so cool.

The calm middle part with Bruce's singing is amazing - one of the best moments in the whole album imo. Then explodes into another contender for the best moment in the album... and because those two parts are unrelated, it sounds so great, powerful and epic.

The outro is too long, but it's effective (like the intro) and it works great for the song. I think the ending feels premature to you because we should have a repetition of the chorus before it.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I think if I was Steve I'd have tied the second chorus into the outro. Slow it down, back it only by the bass, quiet guitar, and keys, and have a softer Bruce sing over it before flowing into the outro as we know it.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
I think if I was Steve I'd have tied the second chorus into the outro. Slow it down, back it only by the bass, quiet guitar, and keys, and have a softer Bruce sing over it before flowing into the outro as we know it.
And if I was Steve I'd have gone full Angel and the Gambler on this chorus. It's too good not to.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
A rare occurrence that people want additional chorus repeat to a Steve Harris song.

Right, that was cheap. :D

Anyway, while I get where you're coming from, I also kind of dig that the song manages to leave some hunger. Of course, such magical parts wouldn't suddenly lose their edge by just being repeated once or twice more, but I think there's some appeal in the effect of... kind of wanting for more - or actually, wanting to get back to it.

I'm not explaining my view very well, but I think Hell on Earth is just more magical with that "chorus" having just one go. It's rewarding, but it also makes the latter half of the song have a life of it's own and leaving that hunger & desire to revisit the album (or just the song) quite soon, where as sometimes this kind of albums & songs might feel slightly too "overwhelming" for an instant re-listen. :) For me, anyways!

I think there's a little bit of that in Stratego too: on another album or era, it might have an additional chorus repeat either before the instrumental break or right at the end, but as it does not, it feels very tight and exciting and leaves that little hunger.

I love that. As much as I love quite a lot of those "repetitive" songs from their catalogue, I also appreciate when a catchy chorus or whatever hook in the song has isn't "beaten to death" - as enjoyable as it might be.

Ehhh?
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
I'm not explaining my view very well, but I think Hell on Earth is just more magical with that "chorus" having just one go. It's rewarding, but it also makes the latter half of the song have a life of it's own and leaving that hunger & desire to revisit the album (or just the song) quite soon, where as sometimes this kind of albums & songs might feel slightly too "overwhelming" for an instant re-listen. :) For me, anyways!
I appreciate what you're saying here but for me the opposite happens. I often lack the patience to sit through the second half of the song, because I've had the good bits already. It peaks too early.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
I think if I was Steve I'd have tied the second chorus into the outro. Slow it down, back it only by the bass, quiet guitar, and keys, and have a softer Bruce sing over it before flowing into the outro as we know it.
It might work pretty well (like the calm middle part), but I think the chorus should be the same. It's too good to have any changes.
I love that. As much as I love quite a lot of those "repetitive" songs from their catalogue, I also appreciate when a catchy chorus or whatever hook in the song has isn't "beaten to death" - as enjoyable as it might be.
You are right about the hunger, but I think such glorious parts should be repeated at least twice in a song. And we are talking about an epic, not a short song - it's almost necessary. For example, ''Days Of Future Past'' has a lot of repetitions of the chorus for its 4 minutes, but it's great because the chorus is also amazing.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
I appreciate what you're saying here but for me the opposite happens. I often lack the patience to sit through the second half of the song, because I've had the good bits already. It peaks too early.

Yeah, I definitely see your point. It's actually quite interesting what you say about the song peaking quite early (assumably) with that "chorus" where as I've also came across a lot of comments where the "You dance on the graves who bled for us" and "LOVE IN ANGER" parts are praised as some of the finest moments on the album and the song.

That's what I love about Senjutsu: among the people who really like the album, it's very different songs and moments that are brought up! Some love Death of the Celts, where as I find it as probably the most blatantly typical and/or least interesting song on the record. I love The Parchment and I think it's one of the finest songs Steve has written since The X-Factor or something, but there's a fair amount of fans who think it's the most boring one on the album and too repetitive. Some absolutely love The Time Machine, where as I think it relies slightly too much on recycling Gers/Harris tropes, as exciting and fun song as it is anyway.

Of course, the same goes for basically every Maiden album, but I think the opinions are a bit more centralized with most of them. Might be just a false gut feeling at this very moment, but...

I mean, The Red and the Black grew to be bit of an ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE/I can't stand it... flip of a coin, but it seems to be fairly general consensus that IESF, the title track and maybe Empire are the beef of TBOS, where as Senjutsu seems to divide opinions a bit more when it comes to individual songs and album highlights. That's very interesting.
 
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