Mysterious intro. Strange opener in some respects being target mid tempo. It does feel they are playing within themselves at times here. But that's a tremendous chorus (probably best on the album). Must say I love the outro!
So I went throu and ranked all albums back in 2015 just before The Book Of Souls came out. When it came it I decided to wait a bit to let the album sink in, but now with the exciting complete ranking going on it inspired me to go back and do the album.
If Eternity Should Fail is such a epic track. Remember sitting at a listening party the night before the release in Stockholm and being blown away instantly. For me this is Iron Maidens second best opener ever, only second to Sign Of The Cross, and definitely cracks my top 10 best ever. From the atmospheric intro and outro, to the amazing lyrics, to the grandiose chorus, its nothing I don't like. The song is over 8 minutes long but flows by so fast, and I'm never bored a second.
For me, this has been since I first heard it, an easy 10.
We open with ominous keyboards introducing an ancient, vaguely Eastern-tinged melody under Bruce Dickinson’s rich voice as he displays the soul of a man. The moodiness is a perfect prologue to the next hour and a half of music. It calls to mind the bookends of Maiden’s magnum opus, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The full band kicks in and If Eternity Should Fail chugs and gallops it’s way through catchy verses, a wailing chorus, and an amazing jam section. As Maiden openers go, Eternity is not the fastest, but it is as powerful as anything they’ve ever written. Adrian Smith and Janick Gers recorded the song in dropped D tuning for an extra bit of heaviness and it works wonders. The harmonies are rich, the rhythm section pounds away during the bridge, and Adrian plays some tasty leads underneath the final batch of choruses. Interestingly enough, there is no true guitar solo. The outro, a spoken word piece about some character named Necropolis, is certainly creepy but feels out of place. Apparently this track was supposed to be the beginning of Bruce’s next solo album, a concept piece, and this would have no doubt set up the remaining songs. Steve Harris heard the outro and decided to keep it, which was definitely a mistake, but it’s a small matter when the preceding song is so damn good. A unique, incredible opening track all around.
Let's get it out of the way: This song is a strange one to open an album with given that there's also Speed of Light on it. That said, it still works, especially given that it's an album called 'The Book of Souls'. It fits. It would work even better as the opener to a concept album though, but still, great track, especially the chorus. The ending however is completely batshit weird and comes completely out of nowhere. Like, what the fuck?! Still, it's a good track, and gets a strong 8/10 from me.
An amazing opening song/anthem! The introduction is very foreboding before exploding and settling into a confident, steady pace. Bruce Dickinson sounds larger than life (even more than usual) and the other band members play their instruments with skill and precision. The Drop D tuning is also a great touch and makes the song even heavier than if it were in standard tuning. 9/10
This song has blown me away since I first heard it. The intro is great, the chorus is amazing (but very repetitive at the end), and the Necropolis bit at the end is reasonably cool. Compared to the live tempo, the studio tempo can drag a little, especially during the last three choruses.
9/10 studio, 10/10 live.