How do you guys feel about the newer Maiden albums?

Do you like Modern Maiden?


  • Total voters
    60

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
I'm a big fan of modern Maiden. Brave New World was the album that got me into Maiden in the first place and everything since then has been more or less great. As albums in their entirety I think Brave New World and AMOLAD are some of Maiden's best works (together with Seventh Son and NOTB ). Most of my favorite songs are from the 2000's as well. I'm not sure what it is I like so much about the songs from this era but I think having three guitars probably makes for a more complete sound...that and some good uses of synth.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
Repetition and monotony:
"Steve, we've talked about this before. This is a song of 8 or even 9 minutes. I feel it needs a change in tone or speed or else it starts dragging too much."

"Then change the key, then change the key but not the meeeeeelody" :D

I generally like the last four albums, I think they are all solid. The lows are higher than on all the 90s albums, and there are some really great songs. However, and this has been elaborated well by @Forostar in the post from which I quoted a little. A number of post-2000 songs sound like they are too long, and have been made long the same way - by repeating the same motif/theme more times than necessary. Repeating choruses is not a new thing, ref. for example Caught Somewhere in Time, and it did start to become the modus operandi already on Virtual XI.

Also, the clean, slow intro is being used very often now. Almost to the extent where you are surprised when the next song starts with a fast riff.

I'm not saying I automatically dislike songs where these elements are present. I find many of them great.

Regarding another thing from Foro's post- the lack of originality. If I read that post correctly, that lack of originality is seen in the fact that parts/melodies are reminiscent of parts from older songs. In fact, I think some of these are on purpose and meant as a nod to those earlier songs. For example, the part in The Talisman following the guitar solo (at 6:47) clearly has something in common with the intro of The Unbeliever. But honestly, I don't think this is due to laziness. I think the band (including stubborn old Steve) are perfectly aware of this similarity.

To sum it up: I really like the newer albums, but I am well aware of the things that can cause some to not like them. They just don't outweigh the positives (for me, at least).
 

SirRobbins

Ancient Mariner
well, here goes

1. Somewhere in Time "Masterpiece" - flawless IMO. Every song is a 10/10
2. Powerslave "Masterpiece" flawless again with every song getting a 10/10 but not as awesome as SIT
3. Brave New World "Masterpiece" Every song is brilliant! Amazing album!
4. Piece of Mind "Perfect" - Every song is awesome in its own way and is a true "metal" album.
5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son "Great" - loved the concept, a few awesome tunes, some not so much
6. Iron Maiden "Great" - simply vintage sounding and Paul's vocals are awesome! Love every song!
7. A Matter of Life and Death "Great" - really do like this album and it grows on me every day.
8. Killers "Great" - another fine album and features my favorite Paul song "Purgatory"
9. The Final Frontier "Good" - A nice change of pace, good riffs, atmospheric sounds and pleasant melodies
10. Number of the Beast "Good" - always thought it was overrated and half the songs on it are crap IMO
11. Fear of the Dark "Good" - generally not that exciting of an album but still some goodies on it
12. Dance of Death "Ok" - some good tunes and one awesome one but a sad disappointment following BNW
13. No Prayer For the Dying "Ok" - really only 2 songs on the album I listen to and that's it
14. Virutal XI "Ok"
15. The X Factor "Ok"
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I absolutely love the modern Maiden albums, though I'll readily admit that they all have their flaws. Brave New World suffers from some pretty bad repetition and can sometimes sound a little too clean for my tastes, Dance of Death and The Final Frontier both have really messy sounding productions and TFF and AMoLaD both can drag out a bit too long. Having said that, I also think that the classic Maiden albums all have their flaws too (the most common of which is generally having some mediocre/bad filler tracks per album). In fact, I would argue that the single most perfect Iron Maiden album is actually Bruce's solo album, The Chemical Wedding.

If I had to give any personal suggestions to the band for the songwriting on their next (and probably final) album, it'd be to tighten things up a bit. I don't mind an album that has several epics, but rather than having them all range from seven to nine minutes, I would suggest cutting it to a range of six to seven minutes long with maybe one nine-plus minute long epic as an exception to the rule. I think it says a lot that the best epic on TFF was the shortest (Starblind). I would also suggest either replacing Kevin Shirley as a producer or at least have Steve back away a bit from influencing the production.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I would also suggest either replacing Kevin Shirley as a producer or at least have Steve back away a bit from influencing the production.

I kind of agree, but it'll never happen. I understand the mentality behind how they record albums, but it has produced some rather non-stellar tracks in recent years. The mixing/mastering on all of the new albums, minus Brave New World, leave something to be desired.
 

Chained Prometheus

The Spiral King
I kind of agree, but it'll never happen. I understand the mentality behind how they record albums, but it has produced some rather non-stellar tracks in recent years. The mixing/mastering on all of the new albums, minus Brave New World, leave something to be desired.

That's definitely true. However I would argue with you that AMoLaD had a pretty good production. In my opinion, that "raw, live" feel that Steve always seems to be trying to capture on the new albums actually worked on that album and really complimented the darker tone of the songs.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
AMoLaD had decent production, definitely better than Dance of Death or The Final Frontier, but it still sounds a little muddled. I would compare it to The X Factor, both in tone and in production. Granted, AMoLaD is sounds infinitely better than TXF, but it is still a mid "wall of sound" at times.
 

NotePad

Nomad
You know what's absolutely crazy? For the longest time now I'v been remember Virtual XI as the album with The Unbeliever on it. It's always felt like it had the Virtual XI vibe, that's why. Huh. Really, it sounds to me like it a bridge to Virtual XI. I will say Blaze was am odd choice for maiden. He has such a different style then Blaze, he's unique and i guess that's why. He sounds darker and clearly they wanted to be more melancholy and moody. So that makes sense. But at the same time, he's isn't very talent TBH. Live he is not very good and he lacks energy pretty much all around. And this is coming from a big Blaze fan. I will say that Blaze has had better performances with his band after Maiden. Albums like Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension are amazing, Blaze is amazing on them, and the music is fantastic. I haven't bothered to listened to his newer stuff because the band that made those albums is gone.

What exactly don't people like about Virtual XI? I feel like the music isn't THAT different from The X Factor, it just has more melody.
 

CA Bryers

Educated Fool
I will say Blaze was am odd choice for maiden. He has such a different style then Blaze, he's unique and i guess that's why. He sounds darker and clearly they wanted to be more melancholy and moody. So that makes sense. But at the same time, he's isn't very talent TBH. Live he is not very good and he lacks energy pretty much all around. And this is coming from a big Blaze fan. I will say that Blaze has had better performances with his band after Maiden. Albums like Silicon Messiah and Tenth Dimension are amazing, Blaze is amazing on them, and the music is fantastic. I haven't bothered to listened to his newer stuff because the band that made those albums is gone.

I'm a big Blaze fan too, and in my view, he just never found any kind of footing or identity in the band. It became Steve's show, in interviews and even stage presence. Watch some clips on YouTube, and Blaze exhibits very little of the personality he showed in Wolfsbane (in which he had PLENTY). Bruce always commanded the stage, whereas Blaze simply occupied it.

After Maiden, Blaze put out a handful of albums that showed far more promise than he showed in Maiden. The production was better, his vocals were more emotive and dynamic, and proved he could be a solo artist where he was the showcase element (which, after hearing his Maiden stuff, I had doubts he could pull it off--but hey, Ozzy never was a vocal powerhouse, either). Now, I agree, he's certainly not a monumental talent. He knows his limits, and since Maiden, he's stayed within those limits vocally. He said in the Blaze band biography that Maiden refused to tune down the Bruce era stuff to accommodate his smaller range, and as a result, his voice was blown early, and he sounded like garbage through much of his two tours.


BUT, back on topic, I've liked reunion Maiden for the most part. BNW I thought was a great return with a good, vibrant sound to it. DoD was a great follow-up with some great songs on it, and AMOLAD to me, stands as their reunion peak. Sure, the production sounded rushed and even somewhat lazy, but the songwriting was top-notch. Final Frontier, I still just can't get into, though. "Starblind" is cool, but overall, I'm not a fan of it. Same rushed sound to the production, lack of vocal harmonies, and just not a lot that stands out to me. Hoping for better in their next (and I agree, probably final) album!
 
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Wally Swift

Invader
I still haven't picked up the last two. AMOLAD has grown on me though. So has Brave New World. Still think X Factor is a masterpiece and my favorite Maiden LP.
 

richo

Prowler
Brave new world is one of my favourite albums, DOD is relatively poor only paschendale is of earlier quality, I think AMOLAD is very good especially Longest day and out of the shadows (great meledy on both) Tff starts off really good and coming home is a really good song, the production seems to wane on the longer songs and bruce is too quiet in the mix.
 
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