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karljant

Ancient Mariner
FOTD was the first new release Maiden album after I became a fan. I was 15 when the album came out, now I feel old lol.
Also was 15 and got it the day it came out on a record store nearby high school. Bought the gatefold double vinyl and despite not liking the record that much still have it to this day (besides the 98 CD remaster). My third Maiden new release though.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I was 17th then. I bought the release date, but after see the album cover in a little Metal Hammer ad between more albums… It was like Live After Death but when I bought it 2 weeks later I noticed the logo on the side and I thought…wtf happens here? is this like gnr? I enjoyed the album but I knew that something changed in them. My favorite always has been Be quick or be dead and the Fugitive's intro is magnificent .
I still had my Fear of the Dark t-shirt like new. :)
 

stvn1974

Educated Fool
Fear Of The Dark was the last Maiden album that I had bought when released until A Matter Of Life And Death. After Fear Of The Dark I pretty much lost touch with metal and didn't even realized Bruce had left the band until years after he had rejoined. I saw A Matter Of Life And Death on CD at a Wal-Mart of all places and decided to give it a chance. I loved it and bought the albums I was missing and have been listening ever since.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Some good points while others I don't agree that much.

- While I pretty much dislike Wasting Love (perhaps even more than TAATG) and while being boring there's no way it's more boring than that chorus' broken record effect.

- I don't agree FOTD is better tan NPTD (left alone so much better) but hey... opinions.

- When it comes to Janick's compositions I also think it's quite a mixed bag. Yeah there's Be Quick Or Be Dead (which is my favorite song from the lot) yet the remainder of the songs which he's credited are IMO filler at best (The Apparition) or really weak songs in my book like the aforementioned Wasting Love, Weekend Warrior and what I consider to be Maiden's worst song ever in Fear Is The Key. So... one great track and 4 songs that I would gladly like they never existed is kind of not the best of scenarios.

- While I concur BQOBD is deeply into proto Speed-Thrash territory, Painkiller (released 2 years prior) is Heavy-Speed metal on steroids (with the only thrashy riff being the chorus). And while BQOBD is one of a kind when it comes to its sound style among Fear Of The Dark songs, Painkiller features several songs that are within the same soundscape like Leather Rebel and All Guns Blazing with Metal Meltdown even surpassing teh title track in heaviness and speed (although not in quality). Plusthe remainder of Painkiller is deeply planted in muscular Heavy Metal soil with the exception of A Touch Of Evil unlike FOTD. Finally no matter how much I like BQOBD it's no match for Painkiller in my book.

- This one's factual. NPFTD was the first album where Maiden took a look on political affairs, not FOTD. namely in songs like Holy Smoke, Public Enema Number One or Mother Russia.

- Yes I think it was the constant friction within the band that ultimately dictated the departure of Adrian, the drop in quality, and then Bruce leaving. I don't believe the shift on tendencies in the rock genre had that much impact (at least in Europe). If there's one thing Maiden taught us towards the years is that they're truly fashion proof and no matter what's the new trend as long as they release great records with Bruce they'll continue to be a top band. Maiden was far from being a Glam like band during the 80's or a Thrash act regarding the last couple of years of the decade (this last era I witnessed personally when bands like Metallica shared the spotlight with some Glam bands like Motley Crue or Hard Rock ones like Whitesnake). Yet they dominated the 80's despite of both media and critics indifference (and even contempt). The reason why they became less relevant in the 90's is really simple: after a spree of superb albums fact is NPFTD and FOTD were not closely up to par to its predecessors (and then Bruce exited and came a singer that was really not on the same level as its predecessor). Want something to prove Maiden's trend resilience? In 2000 Nu Metal was at its prime and yet Brave New World was a complete success while the band's reunion was talked as much as the Korns and Limp Bizkits of the world. Plus, no matter what the "specialized" media says about them, fact is Maiden reclaimed their throne ever since , as trends come and go.

- The reason why the band rejected Dickinson's compositions wasn't because "what the fans wanted was pure Heavy Metal". Proof is Somewhere In Time was the most risky album to the date of its release featuring keyboards and synths and some really radio friendly tunes in Wasted Years and Stranger In A Strange Land. Not that's a bad thing... quite the opposite: Somewhere in Time is my favorite Maiden album. But it seems that the majority of the tracks Bruce presented were really calm and semi acoustic (and if it's true Omega was in that batch and the remainder of those tracks are at least that amazing it puzzles me why they never released it in later albums instead of i.e. Wasting Love).

- Yup... the cover art is the first one not made by Riggs yet I 100% agree it's amazing. Now saying it was to "increase the sales among melancholic Grunge kids" (WTF?) or that it reflects the album's "dark mood". What dark mood apart from Be Quick Or Be Dead, Afraid To Shoot Strangers and dare I say Chains Of Misery?

- Bands like Maiden, Priest or Sabbath aren't in competition with nobody. Once you reach a certain point of success on such various levels like these bands did you have nothing to prove anymore to no one else but yourself. Plus I doubt if FOTD would be released by other band it would be received as a masterpiece. I can agree it would receive less backlash but then again here we're threading into the multiverse so one will never know.

- The point about Bruce's voice is truly well spotted yet that shift on his vocal approach started on the previous album. Nevertheless I love his raspy tone when he places it upon aggressive or even heavy/ energetic sections. Regarding both albums I love it in Be Quick, Chains Of Misery and Judas Be My Guide's verses. But also Public Enema, Fates Warning, Holy Smoke, Run Silent Run Deep and The Assassin and Bring Your Daughter's verses. And yes, Bruce pulls his more traditional voice in Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Fear Of The Dark, Childhood's End, Tailgunner, Bring Your Daughter's chorus and Mother Russia and it works wonders because its what IMO those songs ask for. Now placing a raspy tone that IMO doesn't belong on tracks I already dislike like Wasting Love, From Here To Eternity or Fear Is The Key or kind of spoiling a great tune in No Prayer For The Dying while doing so is IMO a poor choice (I always listen to the live version of this tune... the voice is so much better). But then again it's a matter of taste. Perhaps some people prefer those tunes sang that way... Bruce definitely did so.

- While I agree the album is truly inconsistent I don't think musically speaking the songs are similar (that's undeniable) or even have the same mood. There are albums that overall have a common ambiance, not to mention the issue they approach is all over the place. The X Factor and A Matter Of Life And Death have both similar moods: both really dark records. Killers had that aggression well expressed in the album's title. Senjutsu is truly into war and almost every song sounds like a battlefield hymn. Somewhere In Time had that sci-fi/ time travel feel to it and Seventh Son... well it's a concept album tight as nails in every aspect. And while various songs face similar aspects their mood is utterly different. Be Quick Or Be Dead, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Judas Be My Guide, Weekend Warrior and Childhood's End all verse about social issues like war, disasters, corruption and violence but their tone is completely different from the other. Same works with Fear Is The Key, Chains Of Misery and Wasting Love: same issue (relationship abuse) yet three utterly different approaches. Then there are four tunes that are completely isolated: the title track, The Fugitive, The Apparition and the goofiness of From Here To Eternity. And by saying it sounds less like an album but more like a compilation of leftovers (100% agree with a handful of exceptions) is the proof that nothing in FOTD spells "similar" or "consistent".

- Actually I would put Chains of Misery in a no time in the set instead of Wasting Love or From Here To Eternity. The only thing that really downgrades it to me is that awful hooligan like choir effect on the chorus. It would sound better live without shadow of doubt. Judas Be My Guide is easily one of the 5 best tracks from the album in my book so it would also be on every 1992 Maiden setlist.

- Fear Of The Dark is a good song and easily one of the best tracks from the record. But what created the Fear Of The Dark myth and propeled it to classic echelon wasn't the studio version but the live one thanks to the incredible crowd in Helsinki that night. It was the crowd's fabulous sing along that added FOTD its aura, its mystique. Like adding up a new instrument to it. Plus post reunion Maiden would always thrive nonetheless. Just check how bonkers the crowd goes with The Wicker Man, Blood Brothers, The Red And The Black, Dance Of Death or even Brave New World.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
- When it comes Janick's compositions I also think it's quite a mixed bag. Yeah there's Be Quick Or Be Dead (which is my favorite song from the lot) yet the remainder of the songs which he's credited are IMO filler at best (The Apparition, Chains Of Misery) or really weak songs in book like the aforementioned Wasting Love, Weekend Warrior and what I consider to be Maiden's worst song ever in Fear Is The Key. So... one great track and 5 songs that I would gladly like they never existed is kind of not the best of scenarios.

I have not watched the video, but it is worth mentioning that Chains of Misery is a Murray filler.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
- I don't agree FOTD is better tan NPTD (left alone so much better) but hey... opinions.
The highs are higher in FOTD imo. I always thought the album would have been better received if there were only 8 or 9 songs:

Be Quick Or Be Dead
From Here To Eternity
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Childhood's End
Wasting Love
The Fugitive
Judas Be My Guide
Fear Of The Dark

It will be a really short album (approx. a little longer than Killers). We can add Chains Of Misery or a more metal version of Weekend Warrior.

Anyway, both albums are underrated and maybe that's because the albums before that (and after) are really strong. FOTD is one of my favorite albums of Maiden. If we combine both albums, then a classic will be born - these are my picks:

Tailgunner
No Prayer For The Dying
The Assassin or Run Silent Run Deep
Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter
Be Quick Or Be Dead
From Here To Eternity
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Childhood's End
Wasting Love
Judas Be My Guide
Fear Of The Dark

reserves: Fates Warning and The Fugitive
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
The highs are higher in FOTD imo.
Yup... Be Quick Or Be Dead and Afraid To Shoot Strangers are easily my favorite regarding all songs from both albums. Then come Fear Of The Dark, Tailgunner and Bring Your Daughter. Nonetheless when it comes to stuff I'd gladly see removed NPFTD only features Hooks In You while FOTD has From Here To Eternity, Fear Is The Key, Wasting Love and Weekend Warrior. Nevertheless I still prefer NPFTD as a whole quite considerably.

I always thought the album would have been better received if there were only 8 or 9 songs:
Which is exactly what I have converted to my PC: just these 8 songs:

Be Quick Or Be Dead
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Childhood's End
The Fugitive
Chains Of Misery
The Apparition
Judas Be My Guide
Fear Of The Dark

If we combine both albums, then a classic will be born
I wouldn't say a classic but a really good album. Still not on par with any of its predecessors IMO. My picks would be:

Be Quick Or Be Dead
Public Enema Nº One
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Fates Warning
No Prayer For The Dying
Tailgunner
Run Silent Run Deep
Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter
Fear Of The Dark

... and perhaps Mother Russia as a closer
 
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Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Nonetheless when it comes to stuff I'd gladly see removed NPFTD only features Hooks In You while FOTD has From Here To Eternity, Fear Is The Key, Wasting Love and Weekend Warrior. Nevertheless I still prefer NPFTD as a whole quite considerably.
FOTD has more fillers than NPFTD, yes. I think No Prayer is even more underrated than Fear, yeah it's a weak album if we compare it to Seventh Son (and the overall strong material of Maiden), but the songs are well balanced, short, sharp and with great riff and melodies. The production is also not that bad.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
FOTD has more fillers than NPFTD, yes. I think No Prayer is even more underrated than Fear, yeah it's a weak album if we compare it to Seventh Son (and the overall strong material of Maiden), but the songs are well balanced, short, sharp and with great riff and melodies. The production is also not that bad.
Absolutely.
 
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